Technology giant IBM Corp. set a new corporate speed record while updating investors in North Charleston last week.
Big Blues annual meeting of shareholders at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Tuesday lasted a mere 36 minutes, the shortest on record for the Armonk, N.Y.-based company.
IBMs board of directors played host to a small crowd of just 77 attendees at the swift morning gathering, where the discussion included slowing revenue growth and new areas of business.
After CEO Ginni Rometty wrapped up a speech and took care of some routine corporate governance formalities, just three shareholders posed questions during the Q&A portion.
IBM took the opportunity to put a positive spin on the unremarkableness of it all.
The brevity of the meeting ... and the low attendance are signs that theres little concern among shareholders, company spokesman Doug Shelton said in a written statement.
Similarly, BB&T Corp. also held its annual shareholder gathering in the Lowcountry on Tuesday.
The North Carolina-based regional banking giants chairman and CEO was in no hurry Kelly S. King spoke for nearly an hour but not one investor stepped up to the microphone in Hibernian Hall in downtown Charleston to grill or compliment the boss.
Kings feelings werent hurt in the least. His response was the same as IBMs, that shareholders are happy with the company.
OK, I take that as a good thing, he said.
The delayed Easter this spring nicked the first-quarter financial performance of one of the biggest supermarket chains in the Charleston region.
Publix estimated last week that its sales for the January-March period were off 1.2 percent because the holiday was pushed into April, after the three-month reporting window had closed.
The chain still reported a revenue gain for the opening quarter: Total sales were up more than 4.3 percent to $9.7 billion, while sales at stores open at least 12 months rose 1.9 percent, to an undisclosed amount.
The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer did not say how the late Easter affected its first-quarter bottom line figure of $981 million.
Easter was celebrated April 21 this year based on ancient rules. In 325 A.D., early church leaders decided the holiday would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon that takes place on or after the spring equinox around March 21, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. The lunar calendar is not in sync with the Gregorian version the most widely used calendar today so the date of the full moon changes each month. As a result, Easter is a floating holiday that can fall between March 22 and April 25. The next time it will be this late in the cycle is 2030. The next time Easter will fall in the first quarter is March 31, 2024.
For Publix, the good news is the 2018 Easter shopping boom, fueled by the traditional ham, will show up in the chains second-quarter finances. Not that it matters much to Wall Street. The 1,250-store chain is privately owned and operated by its 200,000 employees, who can buy stock in the business, which is one reason the company publicly discloses sales and profits.
Publix has 13 stores in the Charleston region with four more on the way, including its first GreenWise Market organic grocery concept in South Carolina.
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