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Cemex says first quarter looks steady

BY HBSDEALER Staff

One of the world’s largest cement producers, Monterrey, Mexico-based Cemex, has said it expects a first quarter in line with expectations despite a drop in U.S. home building. The company expects to see “in excess” of $5.3 billion in sales in the first quarter, up 24 percent compared with last year.

“Despite continued weakness in some of our markets, our fundamentals remain unchanged,” said Rodrigo Trevino, CFO for Cemex. “This is also despite the U.S. residential sector downturn and softening demand in markets like Spain and the U.K. Our geographic diversification continues to mitigate the impact of individual countries in our portfolio.”

Decreases in ready-mix sales particularly are expected due to weakness in the residential sector, the company said, “which makes comparisons in the current quarter on a like-to-like basis unfavorable versus prior year.” In addition, adverse weather conditions in many regions of the country, including Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada, affected Cemex’s sales during the quarter, according to the company.

Cemex provides residential and commercial building materials in 50 countries worldwide.

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Dominion Homes faces Nasdaq delisting

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Dublin, Ohio-based home builder Dominion Homes is in the midst of closing a deal to go private but still faces suspension of its stock on the Nasdaq as of March 31, according to a report in BusinessFirst Columbus (Ohio).

The company violated Nasdaq rules when its stock fell, making the company have a total market value under the stock market’s minimum of $5 million. The company also violated rules when it failed to separately announce that company accountants questioned Dominion’s ability to continue due to operating losses and credit problems.

In January, the builder announced plans to go private and buy shareholders out at a cost of 65 cents per share, or $5.5 million cash. The deal means Dominion will be taken private by a group of investors that includes a company with ties to its CEO. The buyout group consists of companies affiliated with Angelo Gordon & Co. and Silver Point Capital and the company’s largest shareholder, BRC Properties.

Dominion chairman and CEO Douglas Borror, also the principal of BRC Properties, will remain in his role with the company.

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Biometrics OEM files for bankruptcy

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Orlando, Fla.-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Sequiam has filed for bankruptcy reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, according to the Orlando Business Journal.

The company recently received a licensing agreement with Black & Decker to provide biometric door locks for the company’s Kwikset division. Still, the manufacturer’s stock dwindled to around 2 cents per share recently.

The company said it accumulated $30 million in debt over the past six years on research and development, according to the report. It also said that an investor failed to honor a March 2007 agreement to advance the company $800,000.

Company founder and CEO Nick VandenBrekel recently resigned for personal reasons.

The company said it will continue to conduct business while the filing and reorganization takes place.

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