David Robinson - The Buffalo News

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David Robinson

David Robinson is the deputy business editor for The News, where has worked since graduating from Syracuse University in 1985. A New Hampshire native, he started out in the News' Tonawanda bureau and moved into the business news department in October 1987, exactly a week after the stock market crash.


Business

Tesla's journey through "production hell" with its Model 3 electric vehicle is a cautionary sign for the company's solar panel factory in Buffalo. Tesla's hiccups and delays with its Model 3 show that opening a massive factory isn't easy. Add in the ambitious deadlines that CEO Elon Musk is notorious for setting – and missing – and there's a good chance that the loos…

Business

22nd Century Group's third quarter loss widened as rising costs offset a 46 percent jump in the Clarence plant biotechnology company's sales. 22nd Century, which is developing technology to manipulate nicotine levels in tobacco, said it lost $3.3 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.7 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago. Sales grew to $4.5 …

Business

Ground-breaking for the Athenex Inc. drug manufacturing plant in Dunkirk is expected to take place before the end of June 2018, executives from the Buffalo pharmaceutical company said Thursday. The state in September reached an agreement with the company to disburse up to $200 million in state funding that will be used to build and equip a 315,000-square-foot pharmaceut…

Business

John Gavigan, who has guided the 43North business plan competition for nearly three years, is leaving the Buffalo Billion entrepreneurship initiative to return to the private sector. Gavigan, who informed 43North staff members earlier this week of his plans to step down, is expected to formally announce his departure Thursday morning. Gavigan leaves 43North on much m…

Business

IBM is adding 20 jobs at its innovation center in the Key Center. The new jobs are from Bluewolf, which specializes in customer relationship management and cloud computing. The jobs will boost employment at the IBM Buffalo Innovation Center to 185. IBM has pledged to bring 500 jobs to the hub by 2021,  either through IBM itself or its clients and partners. The averag…

Business

Takeform Architectural Graphics is in line to receive $150,000 from a New York Power Authority fund to help the Medina graphic design products maker expand its operations in Orleans County and add 50 new jobs. The funding recommended Monday by the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board would fund a portion of a $2.6 million expansion project to build a 15,500-…

Business

Astronics Corp. CEO Peter Gundermann thinks the East Aurora aerospace company's two-year slump could be coming to an end. While Astronics struggled again during the third quarter, with sales and profits falling short of forecasts, Gundermann said he expects a rebound to begin during the current quarter and continue into 2018. "We have high expectations for the fourth…

The value of Rand Capital Corp.'s investments inched up by a penny per share during the third quarter. The Buffalo venture capital firm said the value of its assets grew to $5.01 per share at the end of September, up from $5 a share at the end of June. The company said its investment income grew by 25 percent over the past year as Rand focused on making investments that…

Business

When state officials built and equipped the biggest solar panel factory in the Western Hemisphere, they thought they were buying into an industry that would keep growing and growing, putting Buffalo on the cutting edge of the 21st Century economy. It may turn out that way, but right now the solar industry is in a slump – and Buffalo is feeling it. Solar energy is sti…

Amherst

National Fuel Gas Co. keeps looking for ways to expand its pipeline business after state regulators earlier this year blocked an expansion of a pipeline route through New York. The Amherst-based energy company is holding talks with potential partners on projects that would help it move gas out of its drilling fields in Pennsylvania to new markets, following a route that…

Strength in its residential products business helped Gibraltar Industries third-quarter profits rise by 49 percent, easily topping analyst forecasts. The Hamburg-based building products manufacturer said it earned $20.6 million, or 64 cents per share, compared with $13.8 million, or 43 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 67 cents pe…

Business

Moog Inc., after years of cost-cutting as it main markets endured ups and downs, is shifting into a growth mode. "Our business is turning up, and our focus has shifted to growth," said CEO John Scannell after Moog reported a 16 percent jump in fourth-quarter profits that easily beat analyst forecasts. That growth focus could take the form of additional investments in…

Life Storage's self-storage facilities are fuller than they've ever been, and that led to a big jump in the Amherst-based company's third-quarter earnings. Life Storage's funds from operations jumped by 69 percent as occupancy at its more than 700 self storage facilities improved to a record high 92.7 percent, while rents held nearly stable. The company's funds from …

Business

Tesla still expects to start shifting production of its solar roof to Buffalo by the end of this year, the electric vehicle maker said Wednesday. Tesla's executives, in their most specific comment on the timing of solar roof production at the RiverBend complex, said the company expects to ramp up production of the new solar shingles in Buffalo during 2018. Tesla's solar…

Business

Tesla Inc. has its hands full as it gears up production at its long-awaited solar panel factory in Buffalo. Its timing isn't the greatest, either. The solar energy industry is slowing, just as Tesla and its partner, Panasonic, are starting production at the South Park Avenue factory, which is scheduled to be making enough solar panels to generate 1,000-megawatts of e…