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Roundup: Dick's plans to almost double sales in 5 years; ATI, AK Steel accuse 7 countries of dumping steel; more

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Dick's plans to almost double sales in 5 years

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. plans to nearly double annual sales to $10 billion by early 2018, from $5.8 billion in the fiscal year that ended Feb. 2, company executives told analysts during a presentation at the headquarters in Findlay on Wednesday. It expects to open about 300 of its flagship stores by the beginning of 2018, the end of its fiscal year. The retailer had 518 Dick's stores at the beginning of this year. The plans include an expansion of its e-commerce capabilities to grow annual sales from e-commerce transactions to $1.1 billion by early 2018 from $292 million last fiscal year. Dick's said by early 2018 it will open 54 more of its new Field & Stream stores, a concept it debuted in Cranberry on Aug. 16. CEO Edward Stack said Field & Stream store sales should reach $750 million per year within five years. In addition, Dick's plans to more than double the size of an undisclosed number of its 81 Golf Galaxy stores to 30,000 square feet to 40,000 square feet. The growth initiatives would require about $1.8 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. Dick's stock closed at $52.71 on Wednesday, up $1.84.

ATI, AK Steel accuse China, 6 other nations of dumping steel

Allegheny Technologies Inc. and AK Steel Holding Corp., producers of steel used in electrical machinery, along with the United Steelworkers, on Wednesday filed anti-dumping petitions against China and six other countries. The petitions, which were filed with the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission, accuse the countries of exporting specialty steel to the United States at unfairly low prices. The grain-oriented steel-silicon-aluminum alloys are used to make transformers used by power companies and in electric motors. Other countries charged are the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Altogether, they account for 85 percent of imported electrical steel, said the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, a Washington trade group. “We have evidence that imports are being sold in the U.S. at unfairly low prices and are benefitting from government subsidies, resulting in production and employment declines,” said Allegheny Technologies CEO Richard Harshman. In 2011, the last year data was available, 113,702 tons of electrical steel was imported, about 48.6 per­cent of domestic consumption. A spokesman for the American Institute for International Steel, which represents steel importers, could not be reached for comment.

Builders boost single-family home construction

U.S. builders started work in August on the most single-family homes in six months and requested permits to build even more in future months. The figures suggest housing remains a driver of economic growth despite higher mortgage rates. Builders increased construction of single-family homes 7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 628,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That's the fastest rate since February. And they sought 627,000 permits for single-family homes, 3 percent more than July and the best pace since May 2008. Overall, builders broke ground last month on houses and apartments at an annual rate of 891,000. That's up from a rate of 883,000 the previous month. The gain in single-family homes was offset by a decline in volatile demand for apartments. Total permits fell to a rate of 918,000 from 954,000 in July, also because of a decline in apartments. The longer-term trend also is positive: housing starts are 19 percent higher than a year ago.

McDonald's raises dividend

McDonald's is raising its quarterly cash dividend by 5 percent, bringing its fourth-quarter payout to more than $800 million. The world's largest hamburger chain said its quarterly dividend increases to 81 cents from 77 cents, for an annual total of $3.24 per share. It will make the next payout on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record at Dec. 2. McDonald's Corp. expects to return between $4.5 billion and $5 billion to its shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases in 2013. McDonald's has raised its dividend every year since making its first payout in 1976. In July, the Oakbrook, Ill., company reported a 4 percent rise in second-quarter profit but missed expectations and warned of a tough year ahead, given heightened competition and rough economic conditions around the world.

Cleveland Clinic announces job cuts

The world-renowned Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday it would cut jobs and slash 5 percent to 6 percent of its $6 billion annual budget to prepare for President Obama's health reforms. The clinic, which has treated celebrities and world leaders such as musician Lou Reed, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former Olympic gold medal skater Scott Hamilton, did not say how many of its 44,000 employees would be laid off. But a spokeswoman said $330 million would be cut from its annual budget. The clinic is Cleveland's largest employer and the second largest in Ohio after Wal-Mart. It is the largest provider in Ohio of Medicaid health coverage for the poor, the program that will expand to cover uninsured Americans under the Affordable Care Act. Cleveland Clinic has almost 100 locations throughout Ohio employing 3,000 doctors. Its main campus is world renowned for cancer and cardiovascular treatment.

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