In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 

Recent high school graduates not enrolled in college in October 2013 were over twice as likely as enrolled graduates to be working or looking for work--74.2 percent compared with 34.1 percent.

Of the nearly 3.0 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2013, about 2.0 million (65.9 percent) were enrolled in collegein October. 

The college enrollment rate of recent high school graduates in October 2013 was little different from the rate in October 2012 (66.2 percent). 

For 2013graduates, the college enrollment rate was 68.4 percent for young women and 63.5 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of Asians (79.1 percent) was higher than the rates for recent white (67.1 percent), black (59.3 percent), and Hispanic (59.9 percent)graduates.

Las Vegas, NV – Michael Newman, managing director, CBRE Las Vegas, announces the return to the firm of three veterans of gaming real estate, who together, form its Global Gaming Group (GGG):  John Knott, executive vice president and global head of gaming; Michael Parks, first vice president; and Brent Pirosch, director of gaming consulting.  Additionally, Matt Bear, vice president, has recently joined CBRE as a member of the Global Gaming Group to focus on the unique retail needs of CBRE’s gaming and resort clients.

CBRE’s Global Gaming Group works with gaming entities in emerging markets as well as major gaming concerns around the world.  Of particular note is GGG’s work with the city of Singapore on land rights for gaming properties.  The Group’s services include the acquisition and disposition of gaming properties, project consulting, feasibility studies, market assessments, debt and equity financing and retail development within resort environments.

Knott brings 29 years of real estate experience to CBRE, including 14 years with CBRE Las Vegas, 10 years with Cushman & Wakefield in West Los Angeles and five years with Sullivan & Knott, a Las Vegas-based company he founded in 1994.

Parks has been involved with numerous gaming asset sales in Las Vegas and across the US, including the Sahara Hotel Casino, Las Vegas Hilton, Flamingo Laughlin and Trump Marina. Parks has represented both gaming and non-gaming companies in the acquisition and disposition of land parcels throughout the country.

Bear joins CBRE with 22 years of commercial real estate experience, specializing in retail acquisitions and dispositions, sale leaseback structures, retail roll-out assignments, hotel acquisitions and capital structure advisory.  Prior to CBRE, Bear worked for a number of companies, including Avison Young, Colliers International, New Market Advisors and ROI Commercial Real Estate.  He is a founding partner of Venture Development Group, a company specializing in the development of single-tenant buildings and neighborhood and power center projects.

Pirosch, who has served as director of gaming consulting services for CBRE’s Global Gaming Group in Las Vegas since 2004, has long led the team’s efforts to provide analytical and due diligence support for numerous casino transactions in Las Vegas and throughout the world. He is lauded by many in the industry for his ability to make sense of large volumes of complex information and is the author of a Las Vegas Strip forecast praised for its depth and prescience.

CBRE is the world’s largest full service commercial real estate services and investment firm with 90 employees in Las Vegas.



Western Alliance Bancorporation  today announced today its financial results for the first quarter 2014.

Its Nevada operations reported a gross loan balance of $1.72 billion at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $31 million during the quarter. Deposits were $3.02 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $127 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $30.9 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $14.8 million during the first quarter 2014.

Arizona reported a gross loan balance of $2.03 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $8 million during the quarter. Deposits were $2.17 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $78 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $27.4 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $14.1 million for the first quarter 2014.

California reported a gross loan balance of $1.66 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $48 million during the quarter. Deposits were $1.87 billion at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $30 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $24.0 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $11.0 million during the first quarter 2014.

Specialty Finance reported a gross loan balance of $1.62 billion at March 31, 2014, an increase of $271 million during the quarter. Deposits were $845 million at March 31, 2014, an increase of $93 million during the quarter. Net operating revenues were $14.4 million and pre-tax, pre-provision operating earnings were $7.9 million during the first quarter 2014.

First Quarter 2014 Highlights:

  • Net income of $31.1 million, compared to $31.4 million for the fourth quarter 2013 and $20.9 million for the first quarter 2013
  • Net income of $30.1 million for the first quarter 2014, excluding the following, net of tax effect: $1.6 million net gain on repossessed and other assets and $0.6 million net loss from debt valuation adjustments and securities gains
  • Earnings per share of $0.35, compared to $0.36 per share in the fourth quarter 2013 and $0.24 per share in the first quarter 2013
  • Earnings per share of $0.34 for the first quarter 2014, excluding the following, net of tax effect: $0.02 net gain on repossessed and other assets and $0.01 net loss from debt valuation adjustments and securities gains
  • Total loans of $7.11 billion, up $307 million from December 31, 2013 and up $1.25 billion from March 31, 2013
  • Total deposits of $8.15 billion, up $311 million from December 31, 2013 and up $1.41 billion from March 31, 2013
  • Nonperforming assets (nonaccrual loans and repossessed assets) decreased to 1.30% of total assets from 1.53% in the fourth quarter 2013 and from 2.10% in the first quarter 2013
  • Net loan recoveries (annualized) to average loans outstanding of 0.02%, compared to net loan charge-offs to average loans of 0.13% in the fourth quarter 2013 and 0.38% in the first quarter 2013
  • Tier I Leverage Capital of 9.9% and Total Risk-Based Capital ratio of 12.4%, compared to 10.1% and 12.6%, respectively, at March 31, 2013
  • Total equity of $895 million, up $39 million from December 31, 2013

Financial Performance

“Our company is off to a strong start for 2014,” said Robert Sarver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation. “Loans and deposits each grew over $300 million during the first quarter, driving record net interest income. Asset quality continued to improve with net loan recoveries and a reduction in non-performing assets during the period. For the past four quarters, net loan losses have averaged less than five basis points of total loans.”

Sarver continued, “With WAL’s revenue growth rate again exceeding our operating expense growth rate, our efficiency ratio improved by 90 basis points to 51%. The legal merger of our subsidiary banks at the end of last year should enable us make business practice improvements to drive this key metric to under 50% in the near future.”

Income Statement

Net interest income was $90.8 million in the first quarter 2014, an increase of $0.8 million, or 0.9%, from $90.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and an increase of $14.6 million, or 19.1%, compared to the first quarter 2013. The Company’s net interest margin decreased in the first quarter 2014 to 4.41%, compared to 4.44% in the fourth quarter 2013, and increased compared to 4.36% in the first quarter 2013.

Operating non-interest income was $5.7 million for the first quarter 2014, compared to $5.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and $5.1 million for the first quarter of 2013.1

Net operating revenue was $96.5 million for the first quarter 2014, an increase of 1.4% compared to $95.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 and an increase of 18.7% compared to $81.3 million for the first quarter 2013.1

On December 31, 2013, the Company consolidated its three bank subsidiaries under one charter, Western Alliance Bank.

As a result, the Company has redefined its operating segments to reflect the new organizational and internal reporting structure. Prior year segment information has not been recast to conform to the new segmentation methodology due to the impracticability of restating segments because of the change in legal structure at December 31, 2013. The new operating segments are as follows: Arizona, Nevada, California, Specialty Finance, and Corporate & Other.

The Company’s reportable segments are aggregated primarily based on geographic location, services offered and markets served. The Arizona, Nevada and California segments provide full service banking and related services to their respective regions. The Company’s Specialty Finance segment provides banking services to niche markets. These Specialty Finance businesses are broader in geographic scope and are managed centrally. Corporate & Other consists of corporate-related items, income and expense items not allocated to our other reportable segments and inter-segment eliminations.

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – April 21, 2014) – TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada) today released the following statement from Russ Girling, TransCanada’s President and Chief Executive Officer, related to another process delay announced by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) April 18, 2014 with respect to the permitting process for Keystone XL.

DOS said on April 18 that it will seek the input of eight federal agencies in the course of assessing the National Interest Determination. DOS had previously asked for their views by early May. State has now notified agencies that it is extending the period and providing more time for the submission of their views on the proposed project. A core reason for that, in the words of DOS, is the potential impact of the Nebraska Supreme Court case which could ultimately affect the pipeline route.

Statement from Russ Girling:

“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated with yet another delay. American men and women will miss out on another construction season where they could have worked to build Keystone XL and provided for their families. We feel for them.

We are also disappointed the United States will continue to rely on regimes that are fundamentally opposed to American values for the eight to nine million barrels of oil that is imported every day. A stable, secure supply of oil from Canada and from the U.S. makes better sense and I am sure a majority of Americans agree.

Another delay is inexplicable. The first leg of our Keystone pipeline began shipping oil to refineries outside of St. Louis in 2010. It is about the same length of pipe as Keystone XL, carries the same oil and also crosses the 49th parallel. It took just 21 months to study and approve. After more than 2,000 days, five exhaustive environmental reviews and over 17,000 pages of scientific data Keystone XL continues to languish. Our Keystone pipeline has safely delivered more than 600 million barrels of crude oil to U.S. refineries, replacing foreign off-shore oil.

The Nebraska routing situation is being managed appropriately. A notice of appeal was filed by Nebraska’s Attorney General in February on the same day as the district court judge’s decision regarding LB1161. This action ‘stays’ the lower court decision, meaning LB1161 is still valid and the Keystone XL re-route in Nebraska that was evaluated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and approved by the Governor remains in effect.

Our view remains that the current 90-day National Interest Determination process that is now underway should not be impacted by the Nebraska lower court ruling since the approved re-route remains valid during appeal.

North American oil production is up dramatically and will continue to rise. That means without Keystone more oil will be shipped by rail and by barge. As the State Department concluded in its recent Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement not approving Keystone XL will lead to higher GHG’s (greenhouse gas emissions) through other oil transportation options and greater public risk. Not building Keystone XL is a lose, lose, lose scenario any way you look at it.

Keystone XL improves American energy security, minimizes the environmental and safety impacts of moving that oil to U.S. refineries, helps contribute to jobs and American businesses and continues to have the support of a strong majority of Americans and Congress. It is truly in the national interest of America and a majority of Americans in poll after poll after poll continue to agree and just want this pipeline built.

It is unfortunate that interest groups and paid activists are blocking energy security, saying no to jobs, and creating a situation that actually leads to higher GHG’s and greater public risk. Canadian oil will make its way to market with or without Keystone XL. It is in everyone’s best interests that this project move forward.”

Federal Trade Commission staff submitted written comments to Alderman Brendan Reilly of the Chicago City Council, in response to a request for comments on a proposed ordinance that would provide for the licensing and operation of transportation network providers (TNPs), particularly software applications that enable consumers to arrange for transportation services via personal vehicles.

According to the comment by staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, and Bureau of Economics, applications for arranging transportation using personal vehicles may expand transportation options, better satisfy consumer demand, increase competition, and promote a more economically efficient use of personal vehicles.

The comment states that, if regulation of TNP services are warranted at all, they should “focus primarily on ensuring the safety of customers and drivers, deterring deceptive practices relating to fares, safety and liability, and other terms of use, and addressing other consumer protection issues, especially data security and the prevention of identity theft.”

In particular, “[r]egulations should not in purpose or effect favor one group of competitors over another or impose unnecessary burdens on applications or drivers that impede their ability to compete without any justification that benefits the public interest.”

The comment notes that some provisions in the proposed ordinance may unnecessarily impede competition, such as requiring an annual $25,000 fee for a non-transferable TNP license. The city council should “carefully consider the justification for and effect of these fees on TNPs and competition,” the staff comment states.

The comment recommends that any such fees should be no greater than necessary to cover administrative costs and structured in a way that avoids unnecessarily inhibiting or deterring TNP entry and expansion in the marketplace.

Another provision in the proposed ordinance would permit TNPs to calculate fees for their services in only three ways and does not expressly recognize or permit demand-based pricing, which can be more responsive to consumer preferences than fixed pricing models.

The comment recommends that, absent evidence that a particular pricing model will harm consumers, the ordinance “should clearly allow for greater flexibility and experimentation in structuring fees in order to facilitate innovative forms of pricing that may benefit consumers. To the extent that evidence of such harm is received, any restriction designed to address that harm should be narrowly crafted to minimize its anticompetitive impact.”

The proposed ordinance also would require each TNP to have significantly more liability insurance coverage than is required for taxicab licensees and other comparable public passenger vehicles and would prohibit TNP drivers from picking up or dropping off passengers at O’Hare International Airport, Midway International Airport, or McCormick Place convention center.

Further, it would prohibit TNP application firms from owning vehicles, providing financing for obtaining, leasing, or owning vehicles, or having a beneficial interest in them, and prohibit TNP vehicles from displaying commercial advertising.

The comment urges the City Council to consider the probable anti-competitive consequences of these restrictions, whether each of them is supported by evidence of harm to consumers or other public concerns, and whether there are less restrictive options available to achieve public benefit without inhibiting competition.

Finally, the comment notes that the proposed ordinance would require TNPs to make available operations records and certain customer, driver, and trip data to the city. The staff comment suggests that the City Council consider whether this information is needed and, if so, for what purpose.

The comment cautions against publicly disclosing or sharing operational information, such as real-time trip data, among competitors involved in facilitating or supplying passenger vehicle transportation services. “If shared, this sort of data might compromise proprietary business strategies and facilitate tacit or explicit collusion among competing service providers.

Such collusion would harm consumers through, for example, higher prices, decreased output, decreased quality, or reduced innovation.

Any such information, therefore, should be treated as confidential business information.”
The Commission vote approving the comments was 4-0. (FTC File No. V140007; the staff contact is Christopher Grengs, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2612.)

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