Top 12 Financial and Business News Nuggets from the Second Half of May 2024 that You Might have Missed

{NOTE: This writeup includes news about 12 Utah-based firms and five executives.}

Top 12 Financial and Business News Nuggets from the Second Half of May 2024 that You Might have Missed
Photo by mufid-majnun-LVcjYwuHQlg and downloaded from Unsplash 23 April 2024.

{AUTHOR'S NOTE: Clearly, not every news announcement deserves to be the top story of the day. Nevertheless, many news items are significant and should be acknowledged as such. Hence, this write-up on Utah's Top 12 Financial and Business News Nuggets from the Second Half of May 2024.}

Enclosed below (in no particular order), are Utah's 12 Top Financial and Business News Nuggets from the Second Half of May 2024 that may not have hit your radar.

  • Late in the month, Salt Lake City, Utah-based KNS International Footwear announced two C-Level changes in the second half of May 2024. Specifically, Marisa Byrne has been hired as President of the company's Journee Women's Division, while Mr. Cameron Eggertz has been promoted to President of the company's Taft and Vance Men's Division. According to the company announcement, Byrne was previously with Deckers and Caleres, while Eggertz previously served as CMO and VP of Sales at KNS.
  • West Jordan, Utah-based Sportsman's Warehouse (NASDAQ:SPWH) has promoted Jeff White to Chief Financial Officer. According to the company news release, White has been with the firm for over six years, most recently as its Senior Director, Finance and Accounting.
  • Draper, Utah-based Utah Broadband has named Ben Elkins as its CEO. According to the company news release, most recently Elkins has served as CEO of Arizona-based AireBeam, a role he will continue to fill while also serving as CEO of Utah Broadband. Both Utah Broadband and AireBeam are subsidiaries of Boston Omaha Corp. (NYSE: BOC).
  • Provo, Utah-based Qualtrics has hired Lynn Girotto as Chief Marketing Officer. According to the company news release, Girotto joins Qualtrics from Vimeo where she served as its CMO.
  • Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health has named Jeremy Bradshaw as Market President for Greater Salt Lake market. According to the company news release, Bradshaw was most recently CEO of St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake City. In his new role with CommonSpirit, Bradshaw will oversee "... strategic and operational leadership for the five CommonSpirit Holy Cross hospitals in northern Utah, as well as management of future market growth in the state."
  • South Salt Lake, Utah-based Torus has entered an agreement with Salt Lake City-based Gardner Group to provide it with "... nearly 26 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage capacity across a (its) commercial real estate portfolio." According to the news announcement, Torus will begin installing its "... Torus Station energy storage and management systems at multiple Gardner Group properties ..." an effort which should be completed by Q1 2026 and which Torus claims would be "... one of the largest commercial energy storage projects in the region." Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed by either party.
  • The Falls at Canyon Rim, a 288-unit apartment complex in South Ogden, Utah has been sold by Seattle, Washington-based Investors Capital Group for $31.8 million to Los Angeles, California-based TruAmerica Multifamily. According to Multi-Housing News, The Falls at Canyon Rim sits on over 14 acres with 12 separate buildings with apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom models. "Planned renovations include improvements to apartment interiors, as well as to common areas," the article reported.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated $3.4 million to Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere). According to the news release from Salt Lake City-headquartered LDS Church, the monies are targeted at "... helping improve the health of migrant and vulnerable populations in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela."
  • Salt Lake City-based SINTX Technologies (NASDAQ:SINT) The reverse stock split is primarily intended to bring the company into compliance with the minimum bid price requirements for maintaining its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. ) has completed a 1-for-200 "reverse stock split." According to the company news release, "The reverse stock split (was) primarily intended to bring the company into compliance with the minimum bid price requirements for maintaining its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market." Post-split, SINTX has approximately 600,000 shares outstanding.
  • Additionally, Axios reported on May 31 that private equity group Vista Equity Partners has "... written off the entire equity value of its investment in tech learning platform Pluralsight, three years after taking it private for $3.5 billion." As I wrote for Silicon Slopes in April 2021, the final purchase price for Draper-based Pluralsight was actually $3.8 billion as Vista Equity concluded its "take private" transaction. That said, if Axios is correct, Vista Equity essentially values Pluralsight at $0, which is shocking to consider. From that regard, I am very curious to see what happens next with/for Pluralsight over the coming weeks/months.
  • The Salt Lake City-based Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute updated its review of the demographics within the state of Utah with the publication of it 2024 Data Book: Utah Demographic Characteristics in the second half of May 2024. According to its own description, the Data Book "... presents selected characteristics by age, disability, race, ethnicity, sex, religion and geographic location. Together, these characteristics showcase a growing and changing state." That said, I was particularly intrigued by two data points I found in my review of the Gardner Policy Institute's 2024 Data Book, specifically
    ONE: More women graduated with a bachelor's degree vs. men in the 2021-2022 school year, ~36.6K vs. ~28.9K, respectively (see Fig. 48 on p. 21);
    TWO: The Hispanic or Latino population in Utah stood at 14.4% of Utah's population during the 2017—2022 time period, more than 2.5X greater than the next largest population categorization of "Two or more races" which constituted 5.6% of Utah's population according to the Gardner Policy Institute's review of U.S. Census Bureau data for the time period. {NOTE: As might be expected, Utah's "White, not Hispanic or Latino alone" percentage was the highest concentration within the state at 77.3% of the population for the 2017—2022 time period.} (See p. 1.);

This 44-page report is chock full of just about any nugget of demographic information that any data geek might find informative/useful/helpful.

Normally, such an announcement would merit a standalone story with attendant analysis, as was the case with "Work on $2.74 Billion in Utah Road Projects is Underway (or About to Be), So Start Gritting Your Teeth Now" back in late April.

The difference is that none of these four new freeway projects have a start date before 2025, at the soonest, specifically:

Conversion of 2100 North to a freeway in Lehi: $554 million in funding, including $275 million in new funding (start date expected in 2026);
Extension of Mountain View Corridor South to Cory Wride Hwy (SR-73): funding of $553 million (start date expected "as early as 2027");
Cory Wride Freeway (SR-73) From Mountain View Corridor to Ranches Parkway: $459 million in funding (start date expected "as early as 2027"); and
Pioneer Crossing Flex Lanes: $77 million in funding (start date expected "as early as 2025 or 2026").

So, although this newly approved $1.4 billion in new UDOT funding bears some mention, hence the inclusion here, but we're not going to go into greater detail on this work until each project is actually about to begin (or is underway).


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