Business news in brief

A vendor of fruit waits for customers at a market in Beijing. China's inflation - in part due to surging food prices - rose to a 37-month-high in July as the overheated economy cooled. Consumer prices rose 6.5 percent over a year earlier, up from June's 6.4 percent, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing government data.
A vendor of fruit waits for customers at a market in Beijing. China's inflation - in part due to surging food prices - rose to a 37-month-high in July as the overheated economy cooled. Consumer prices rose 6.5 percent over a year earlier, up from June's 6.4 percent, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing government data. (Associated Press)
Posted: August 10, 2011

In the Region

J&J in tentative agreement on charge

Johnson & Johnson reached an agreement in principle to settle a misdemeanor criminal charge related to the marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, the company said in a regulatory filing. The United States has been investigating Risperdal sales practices since 2004, including allegations the company marketed the drug for unapproved uses. The Justice Department and the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia "are continuing to pursue both criminal and civil actions," the company said. The company, based in New Brunswick, N.J., did not specify an amount for the settlement. The company said it is also in negotiations to settle civil investigations related to marketing of Risperdal and another drug, Invega. - Bloomberg News

Synthes sales up 11.2%

Synthes Inc., which is being purchased by Johnson & Johnson for $21.3 billion, said second-quarter sales rose 11.2 percent, to $992 million. Synthes, a maker of medical devices, is based in Switzerland but has headquarters in the West Chester area. The company did not report net income for the quarter, but it said profit for the first six months of 2011 rose 7 percent from the same period a year earlier, to $454.4 million, or $3.83 a share, on sales of $1.98 billion. J&J and Synthes announced their deal in April. It is J&J's largest acquisition and is expected to close sometime in 2012. - Reid Kanaley

Endo's quarterly revenue up 53%

Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., of Chadds Ford, said second-quarter profit rose 6 percent, to $54.6 million, or 44 cents a share, for the maker of drugs and medical devices. Revenue rose 53 percent, to $607.6 million, for the quarter that ended June 30, from the same period a year earlier. Shares rose $2.18, or 6.9 percent, to $33.76. Endo completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of American Medical Systems Inc. on June 17. For all of 2011, Endo said it expects total revenue of $2.72 billion to $2.8 billion and earnings of $2.22 to $2.32 a share. - Reid Kanaley

Entercom revenue down 1%

Entercom Communications Corp., the Bala Cynwyd owner of radio stations, said second-quarter revenue fell 1 percent, to $104.7 million. The financial results were released late Monday. Shares rose 74 cents, or 11.8 percent, to close at $7.01. A tax benefit for the quarter that ended June 30 boosted net income to $48.7 million, or $1.29 a share, from $14.3 million, or 38 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted income fell 11 percent, to 31 cents a share. - Reid Kanaley

Navy extends Lockheed contract

A Lockheed Martin Corp. operation in King of Prussia will continue maintaining the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command under a $13 million contract option exercised by the Navy, the Bethesda, Md., company said. If the Navy exercises the three remaining options on the contract, the total value would reach $50.2 million, Lockheed said. - Harold Brubaker

Hotel sold, may become Motel 6

Optimum Hotel Brokerage, a regional firm active in the distressed-hotel and note-sale market, said it had brokered the bank sale of the 240-room Skyview Plaza Hotel on Penrose Avenue in Philadelphia. The buyer is a private-equity fund. "Preliminary plans indicate that it may be a Motel 6 because of its ideal location and market orientation to the economy and mid-price lodging market segment," said Joseph R. McCann, Optimum's president. - Suzette Parmley

Sunoco announces share buyback

Fuel refiner and seller Sunoco Inc., of Philadelphia, said it would repurchase up to $500 million of its outstanding common stock. Chief executive officer Lynn L. Elsenhans called the move an "appropriate and strategic use of the company's cash while still allowing the flexibility to continue pursuing growth in our retail and logistics businesses." Shares closed up $1.17, or 3.91 percent, at $31.11. As of June 30, Sunoco had approximately 121.6 million shares outstanding. - Reid Kanaley

Elsewhere

Obama seeks big-rig fuel standards

Trucks of all sorts will, for the first time, have to trim fuel consumption and emissions of heat-trapping gases under new efficiency standards announced by President Obama. The standards apply to vehicle model years 2014 to 2018. Big rigs or semis will have to slash fuel consumption and production of heat-trapping gases up to 23 percent. Gasoline-powered heavy-duty pickups and vans will have to cut consumption 10 percent, or 15 percent if the vehicles run on diesel fuel. The standards also prescribe a 9 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions for work trucks, which include everything from fire trucks and concrete mixers to garbage trucks and buses. - AP

Auto adviser leaving White House

Ron Bloom, who helped oversee President Obama's auto-industry bailouts, is leaving his White House post. Bloom led the administration's efforts to raise the fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks last month and helped coordinate the government bailouts of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group L.L.C. in 2009. Bloom will leave his post as Obama's assistant for manufacturing policy at the end of this month to return home to the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Obama did not immediately name a replacement. - Bloomberg News

Long airline delays jump, again

Fourteen planes sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in June, the government said. It's the second month in a row that the number of three-hour delays reached double digits since a government rule went into effect more than a year ago aiming to limit them. The Department of Transportation said there were 16 such delays in May. There were only 20 in the full year before that. The rule threatening millions of dollars in fines for delays of three hours or more was implemented April 29 of last year. DOT has not fined an airline for violating the rule. Nearly all of them were caused by bad weather. - AP

Bill gives back pay to FAA workers

About 4,000 employees of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration would get back pay for the two weeks they were furloughed under a bill sponsored by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R., Fla.) and Frank LoBiondo (R., N.J.). The furloughs began July 23 after the House and Senate failed to agree on legislation to renew the agency's authority before it expired July 22. During the period, the agency estimated it was unable to collect $28.6 million a day in aviation-tax revenue. - Bloomberg News

|
|
|
|
|