Chattanooga apartment rental rates up almost 15% from a year ago and more business news

Chattanooga apartment rental rates up 14.9% in past year

The median price of a two-bedroom apartment in Chattanooga jumped last month to $1,310 a month, up 14.9% from a year ago, according to a new Zumper report on rental rates in the U.S.

Chattanooga’s median rental rate for a 2-bedroom apartment last month was still 35.3% below the national average of $1,746, which reached another record high for the 15th consecutive month.

“More remarkable than hitting new all-time highs is that the pace of rent growth in 2022 is accelerating relative to the torrid pace in 2021,” Jeff Andrews, an analyst for the Zumer National Rent Report, wrote in a report issued Wednesday. “Rising rent can be traced to rising home prices. As home valuations rise in any given market, it prices out renters who were on the bubble of being able to buy s home, leaving them in the rental market.”

According to Zumper, New York City was the most expensive rental market in the country with a median monthly rate of $3,420 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Zumper said a typical one-bedroom apartment in Chattanooga was priced at $1,130 a month in April, up 3.7% from the median price charged a year ago.


Jack Link’s snacks expands in Georgia

Georgia is welcoming Sasquatch, or at least the Wisconsin-based meat snack company that has adopted the furry creature as a mascot.

Jack Link’s protein snacks announced Tuesday that it will build a $450 million factory in the middle Georgia town of Perry, hiring 800 people after it opens in late 2023. Link Snacks says it is the largest maker of protein snacks worldwide, making beef jerky and other meat snacks sold under its own name and other brands.

Gov. Brian Kemp and members of the Link family who own the Minong, Wisconsin, company, gathered with other officials Tuesday in a 120-acre pecan orchard in Perry where the factory will be built.

Kemp said it’s Georgia’s largest economic development project outside metro Atlanta this year.

“Today is the latest fruit of our hard labor to create more jobs and opportunity for hardworking Georgians,” Kemp said.

CEO Troy Link, the son of founder Jack Link, said the Georgia plant will be the largest his family’s company has ever built.

“The Georgia facility is going to ensure that we continue to lead the protein snacking category with great innovation, and continue to grow with our customers, consumers and team members,” Link said.

Kevin McAdams, the company’s North American president, said Link Snacks considered more than 30 sites nationwide. McAdams said the company is hiring immediately for a plant manager, human relations manager, controller, food safety and quality director and plant engineer.


Ford loses $3.1 billion amid chip shortages

Ford Motor Co. reported Wednesday that it lost $3.1 billion in the first quarter, weighed down by its investment in an electric-vehicle startup, and its revenue slid as a shortage of chips limited the supply of pickups and SUVs in North America.

Company executives pointed away from the loss and toward results that excluded the lower value of its stake in Rivian. Ford said that it made $2.3 billion in pretax profit and is still on track to hit its full-year target for that measurement.

Chief Financial Officer John Lawler said the quarter produced mixed results.

“Clearly the demand for our new products is very strong,” Lawler said, “yet we continue to have issues with supply of chips, which constrained us, and in particular here in North America, it hit us disproportionately on our large vehicles.”

The chip shortage has caused Ford and General Motors to close multiple North American factories for a week or two at a time, including plants that build popular full-size pickups.

Ford said it sold 966,000 vehicles in the first quarter, down 9% from a year earlier.

Lawler said the company also faced inflationary pressure from suppliers, but it was able to recover that in higher vehicles prices.

The first-quarter loss of $3.11 billion compared with a profit of $3.26 billion in the same period last year. Revenue skidded 9% lower that a year ago, to $34.48 billion.


Meta stock jumps despite slower growth

Facebook parent Meta’s first quarter profit jumped past Wall Street’s expectations despite slower revenue growth, sending shares up sharply in after-hours trading.

The company earned $7.47 billion, or $2.72 per share, in the January-March period. That’s down 21% from $9.5 billion, or $3.30 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Meta cut a sharp contrast with Google parent Alphabet, which on Monday reported what analysts called disappointing earnings, with profit below Wall Street’s expectations and revenue growth slower than in previous quarters.

Meta shares rose 13.2% to $198 in after-hours trading.


Greece taps bond markets after sovereign upgrade

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has raised 1.5 billion euros in a 7-year bond re-issue, tapping markets days after a sovereign credit rating upgrade.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said the money was raised with a yield of 2.4% up from the 2% yield in 2020 when the bond was first issued. The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s last week raised the Greek sovereign rating to BB+ from BB, one notch below investment grade.

Athens is hoping to return to investment grade next year for the first time since the near-collapse of its economy triggered successive international bailouts starting in 2010.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner