Business news in brief

Rosaland Hemphill, 48, of Atlanta, filling out a job application at an Atlanta McDonald's restaurant Tuesday. McDonald's planned to hire 50,000 workers nationwide on its first National Hiring Day. Managers at a McDonald's in Cincinnati said that, by 10 a.m., the store had interviewed 100 people and had 25 more waiting.
Rosaland Hemphill, 48, of Atlanta, filling out a job application at an Atlanta McDonald's restaurant Tuesday. McDonald's planned to hire 50,000 workers nationwide on its first National Hiring Day. Managers at a McDonald's in Cincinnati said that, by 10 a.m., the store had interviewed 100 people and had 25 more waiting.
Posted: April 20, 2011

In the Region

Susan Stinson is charged

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia has charged Susan L. Stinson, 56, the wife of alleged Ponzi schemer Robert Stinson Jr., with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of making false statements in relation to the Securities and Exchange Commission's prosecution of her husband. Susan Stinson allegedly concealed information about a $23,000 California vacation from the SEC last summer after the family's assets were frozen by a federal judge's order. She was charged with obstruction for allegedly paying $2,600 in rent for her son's apartment last August and $17,000 in rent for her Berwyn residence in November. Ellen C. Brotman, Stinson's attorney, said Stinson intended to plead guilty. "She regrets this conduct very much and was being told by her husband at the time that the SEC charges were a mistake," said Brotman, of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads L.L.P. - Harold Brubaker

Cuban properties up for sale

Billionaire Mark Cuban has put his Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures up for sale, saying entertainment companies are attracting "huge valuations." The Landmark chain includes the Ritz theaters in the Philadelphia area. Cuban is "just testing the waters," he said in an e-mail in response to a question from Bloomberg News. "We won't sell unless the offer is very, very compelling." - Bloomberg News

N.J. takes step toward wind farms

The Christie administration is issuing a formal request for firms interested in acquiring leases through the federal government to build wind farms off the coast of New Jersey, Bob Martin, Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, said in a statement. The request is the first step in the commercial renewable-energy leasing process, the state said. - Inquirer Staff

Program receives federal grant

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded a $1 million grant to the Philadelphia-based University City Science Center to support academic researchers developing early-stage technologies with high commercial potential. The money goes to the Center's QED Proof-of-Concept Funding Program for life science technologies. Nineteen universities and research institutions participate in the program. The EDA is an agency of the Department of Commerce. - Reid Kanaley

Elsewhere

Jury convicts in $3B fraud case

A jury Tuesday convicted the majority owner of what had been one of the nation's largest mortgage companies on all 14 counts in a $3 billion fraud trial that officials have said is one of the most significant prosecutions to arise from the nation's financial crisis. Prosecutors said Lee Farkas led a fraud scheme of staggering proportions as chairman of Florida-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker. The fraud not only caused the company's 2009 collapse and the loss of jobs for its 2,000 workers, but also contributed to the collapse of Alabama-based Colonial Bank, the sixth-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Farkas testified in his own defense at the trial and contended he did nothing wrong. - AP

Unemployment falls in 34 states

The unemployment rate fell in two-thirds of the nation's states last month, the latest evidence that the strengthening economy is encouraging many employers to boost hiring. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate dropped in 34 states in March. That is the largest number of states to record a decline since June. The rate rose in seven states and was unchanged in nine and Washington, D.C. The March rate in Pennsylvania fell to 7.8 percent from 8.0 percent in February. In New Jersey, the rate climbed to 9.3 percent in March from 9.1 percent in February. Employers hired more workers in 38 states. - AP

Profit falls after Buffett dividend

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s first-quarter income fell 72 percent after the bank paid $1.64 billion in dividends to redeem preferred shares it issued to investor Warren Buffett during the financial crisis. The New York investment bank said it earned $908 million, or $1.56 a share, compared with $3.3 billion, or $5.59 a share, in the first quarter of last year. Excluding the dividend payment, earnings per common share were $4.38, beating the $3.95-per-share forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet. Revenue fell 7 percent to $11.9 billion on weakness in the bank's core businesses of trading stocks and bonds and advising clients. - AP

Yahoo Q1 earnings top estimates

Yahoo Inc.'s first-quarter earnings turned out better than analysts expected as online display advertising picked up. Yahoo earned $223 million, or 17 cents a share, for the first three months of the year. That is a 28 percent decline from $310 million, or 22 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding unusual gains and charges in both periods, though, Yahoo's earnings would have increased 4 cents a share compared with a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings of 16 cents a share. Revenue fell 24 percent to $1.21 billion. The big decline stemmed from a search partnership with Microsoft Corp. - AP

IBM earnings increase 10 pct.

International Business Machines Corp. reported stronger-than-expected net income and revenue for the first quarter, helped by the weak dollar and strong performance in the Americas and emerging markets. IBM also raised its full-year forecast for operating earnings. Net income rose 10 percent to $2.86 billion, or $2.31 a share. In the year-earlier period, IBM earned $2.6 billion, or $1.97 a share. Excluding mostly acquisition-related charges, earnings were $2.41 a share, beating the average analyst estimate as polled by FactSet of $2.29. Revenue rose 8 percent to $24.6 billion. Analysts expected $24.02 billion. The increase would have been 5 percent at a constant currency, IBM said. - AP

Intel's earnings jump 29 pct.

Intel Corp.'s earnings rose 29 percent as strong spending by businesses on new computers helped the chip-maker. An extra week in the quarter also helped. Net income was $3.16 billion, or 56 cents a share, higher than the 46 cents a share that analysts polled by FactSet expected. A year earlier, Intel earned $2.44 billion, or 43 cents a share. Revenue was $12.8 billion, up 25 percent from $10.3 billion a year earlier and higher than the $11.6 billion that analysts expected. - AP

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