Top Headlines: Mazda Toyota plant update, Hyundai profits back on track

First steel column installed at MTMUS plant
Construction on the new $1.6 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. plant hit a recent milestone with the installation of the first steel column. A small celebration at the site, located in southern Limestone County just off the Greenbrier Parkway, was attended by team members, according to a press release. Despite a rainy season, construction is on schedule for the plant, the release also stated. – News Courier

Hyundai profits back on track with help of U.S. sales
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor unveiled a promising outlook for sales at home and in the United States, and reported its first rise in profit in five quarters, in an early sign of recovery even as it battles a slump in China. In the quarter ended March, Hyundai raked in a better-than-expected 24 percent rise in net profit, versus an eight-year low plumbed a year earlier, its first year-on-year rise since late 2017. – Reuters

McLeod Software opens Hoover headquarters
McLeod Software completed 18 months of relocation work today as it opened its corporate headquarters in Hoover. Located in Meadow Brook Corporate Park, the company spent $21 million consolidating two office locations while carrying out a remodeling project. The company was founded more than 30 years ago in Birmingham. Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock were at the offices Tuesday with employees. –

Paper lottery bill makes it through committee, on to full Senate
A lottery proposal has cleared its first hurdle in the Alabama Legislature. The Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee on Tuesday voted 6-5 to advance the bill by Republican Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore. The approved bill specifies that a lottery would be played with a paper tickets. Albritton said that is what most people think of when they envision a lottery. It would prevent electronic gaming terminals from being placed across the state. The bill could go before the full Alabama Senate as soon as Thursday. – AP

UAH spring commencement to hear Tommy Battle, Dale Strong
Two prominent North Alabama leaders, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, and Chairman of the Madison County Commission Dale Strong are the keynote speakers for The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 2, at the Von Braun Center in the Propst Arena. – UAH

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Boeing pulls 2019 guidance, pauses share buybacks due to 737 Max uncertainty
Boeing announced Wednesday it will pause share buybacks and is withdrawing its full year 2019 financial forecast while it works through issues surrounding its 737 Max aircraft, whose software is suspected in two deadly crashes. Boeing said the previous guidance “does not reflect 737 MAX impacts.” The company’s presentation to shareholders noted the commercial airplane business had $1 billion in increased costs due to the 737 production line. – CNBC

Out-of-state corporate interests fight bill to protect state’s small businesses
Washington, D.C.-based International Franchise Association has come to Alabama to battle against legislation proposed by Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper, which would protect the state’s small business interests. At the State House, IFA is portraying its efforts as advocacy for small franchises, when in fact, the group fronts for corporate giants; McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr. and Hardees), Baskin Robbins/Dunkin’ Donuts and others. – AR

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