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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

Synacor Inc. cut its first-quarter loss by almost two-thirds as the Buffalo-based internet content provider's sales rose by 24 percent. Synacor said it lost $2.4 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with $6.7 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago. The loss was 2 cents less than analysts were expecting. Revenues rose to $32.9 million from $26.5 million, topping a…

Business

Astronics Corp.'s first-quarter profits tumbled by 72 percent despite an 18 percent increase in sales as the East Aurora aerospace equipment maker's earnings were hurt by losses in its test segment business and acquisition-related costs. Astronics' profits fell to $3.3 million, or 11 cents per share, from $11.6 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago. Sales rose to $…

Business

Gibraltar Industries first-quarter profits more than doubled, as its renewable energy and industrial segments strengthened and compensation costs dropped. Gibraltar said it earned $8.4 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with $4 million, or 12 cents per share, a year ago. Sales rose 4 percent to $215 million from $207 million. The Hamburg-based company said it e…

Business

22nd Century Group posted a $1.4 million profit during the first quarter, but only because its investment in a Canadian cannabis biotechnology business grew in value. The Clarence company, which is developing technology to manipulate the level of nicotine in tobacco, earned 1 cent per share, compared with a loss of $2.6 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago, because…

Business

Proposals by Tops Markets to potentially pay more than $7 million in bonuses to 120 of its highest-ranking managers are being opposed by unions that represent most of Tops' employees and the federal government's bankruptcy overseer. The opponents say Tops' proposals would reward executives and managers for just doing their jobs and are designed to be triggered by reachi…

Amherst

National Fuel Gas is looking to ramp up its natural gas drilling business. The Amherst-based energy company, which had scaled back its drilling program in western Pennsylvania two years ago after natural gas prices plunged, has been steadily increasing its production over the past year as gas prices in the Marcellus region have rebounded. And now, with a new deal in …

Business

Elon Musk's "fluffer bot" experience at Tesla's California auto plant could hold a valuable lesson as the company slowly starts making its solar roofing panels in Buffalo. Tesla is planning to use a highly automated production process in Buffalo to make its solar roof – which looks likes a conventional roof on the outside but has solar cells inside that produce electric…

Amherst

Life Storage's self-storage facilities are fuller than ever – and that helped push up the Amherst company's earnings by 2 percent during the first quarter. The earnings beat analyst expectations by 2 cents after adjusting for $1.3 million in board and proxy-related expenses. Life Storage's revenues also were slightly higher than forecast. Life Storage said its funds …

Buffalo

Tesla Inc.’s solar energy business continued to shrink during the first quarter, although it expects production of its new solar roofing panels at its Buffalo gigafactory to “accelerate significantly” during the second half of the year. Tesla, which began holding hiring events in Buffalo last month to start building the workforce at its RiverBend factory, offered no spe…

Business

The tab for the financial consultants and lawyers and investment bankers working for Tops Markets during its bankruptcy is at more than $1.1 million and counting. And that's just through the end of March. The bulk of the professional services expenses are for FTI Consulting, the financial restructuring firm that is taking a lead role in Tops' restructuring efforts. F…

Business

Moog Inc. is pulling the plug on most of its wind energy business. The Elma motion control equipment maker said Friday it is winding down the vast majority of its money-losing wind energy equipment business over the next six months after failing to find a buyer. "It was a great business for the first few years," said John Scannell, Moog's chairman and CEO in an inter…

Business

Building a new rail line to serve companies in a redeveloped portion of the Bethlehem Steel complex in Lackawanna will cost about $650,000 more than expected. The 14 percent increase in costs is due to the discovery of an old water line beneath part of the new rail line's route. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is overseeing the project, but the additional …

Business

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency is getting ready to start doing random audits at companies receiving tax breaks to make sure they’re paying men and women the same for doing the same work. More than two years after the IDA adopted its pay-equity policy, the agency is preparing to launch an audit at one of the 37 companies that have received tax breaks since…

Business

Tops Markets wants to pay up to $3.6 million in bonuses to its five highest-ranking executives if the supermarket company exceeds its financial targets as it restructures its business in bankruptcy. The company also is proposing a separate bonus plan – with up to $3.5 million in payments – that would go to 115 key employees as part of a plan designed to both reward them…

Business

Tops Markets is looking to close "a few" of its underperforming stores as it tries to restructure its supermarket business in bankruptcy. The supermarket chain has not said how many stores it plans to close or where they are located. "No decisions have been made about potential store closings," said Kathy Romanowski, a Tops spokeswoman. But in documents filed with…