USA Truck posts $9.1 million loss in 2013


USA Truck recorded a fourth-quarter loss of $4.6 million, including one-time charges of $1.5 million related to a hostile takeover bid, on revenue of $141.4 million. One year ago, USA Truck posted a $3.2 million loss on revenue of $134.7 million. For the full year, USA Truck saw its net loss shrink to $9.1 million from $17.6 million in 2012 on growing revenues of $555 million, up from $512.4 million one year ago.

Agriculture Hall of Fame to induct six

The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame will induct six new members on March 7, 2014. Joining the distinguished club are former Congressman Marion Berry, O.H. “Doogie” Darling, Leroy Isbell, Ruben Johnson, Keith Lusby and J. Keith Smith.

Home Depot hiring 270 in Little Rock

Home Depot said it will hire 270 employees in Little Rock as part of 80,000 to be hired nationally. The Atlanta-based home improvement chain said that it expects a big uptick in business this spring.

“Spring is our peak hiring season, giving us the opportunity to find some of the best associates who are passionate about customer service,” said Tim Crow, executive vice president of Human Resources. All applications must be submitted online.

StarTek lays off 125 in Jonesboro

About 125 employees at StarTek call center in Jonesboro will be laid off as the company closes its operations on May 12. Company officials characterized the call center closing as a “strategic business decision.” StarTek opened the center in 2008 and has ratcheted down its operations in 2012 before the latest round of layoffs.

Pediatrics Plus expands to Russellville

Pediatrics Plus said it will establish a new state-of-the-art facility in Russellville in order to expand its services. Pediatrics Plus is undergoing a $4 million acquisition and renovation of the former Hog Wild Fun Center, a 23,000-square-foot space. Additionally, Pediatrics Plus will hire 50 new jobs in the region. The group provides physical, occupational and speech therapy, early intervention services and support to children and families.

nGage Labs and UALR partner on 3d project

nGage Labs and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have formed a partnership to utilize the Little Rock school’s Emerging Analytics Center. nGage is a “big data” company that has developed an “analytics engine” — software that digests a vast sea of consumer information in real time and then generates carefully calibrated deals and ads through mobile devices that drive traffic to vendors. CEO Rod Ford said he envisions bringing clients and potential clients to UALR for 3D demonstrations to showcase how his firm’s technology and a client’s product or service will be experienced by its customers.

Verizon Wireless names Kristi Crum regional president

Verizon Wireless has named Little Rock native Kristi Crum president of its South Central Region, which includes all of Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as northern Mississippi and western Tennessee. A graduate of Hendrix College, Crum began her career in the wireless industry in 2001 as an analyst with Alltel, which was acquired by Verizon Wireless in 2009. Since then, Crum has served in leadership positions in emerging communication products, consumer data products and retail sales for Verizon Wireless.

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Roby Brock, a freelance journalist based in Little Rock, writes weekly for the Arkansas News Bureau. His weekly television program airs at 10 p.m. Sundays in Central and Northwest Arkansas. His email address is roby@talkbusiness.net; his website address is www.talkbusiness.net