Business news in brief

Posted: November 19, 2011

In the Region

Aqua Pa. seeks rate increase

Aqua Pennsylvania Inc., which has more than 400,000 water customers statewide, applied for a $38.6 million rate increase with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The company, the largest operating subsidiary of Bryn Mawr's Aqua America Inc., said the rate increase would boost a typical monthly residential bill by $5.08 to $57.72, a 9.7 percent increase. Aqua president Karl Kyriss said the company invested $450 million in infrastructure, including upgrades to its distribution and treatment systems since its last rate request in 2009. - Andrew Maykuth

Refinery may go to India

Sunoco Inc.'s Eagle Point refinery in Westville, N.J., which was shut down in early 2010, may be reborn in India. Amerind Petroleum Private Ltd. and the Andhra Pradesh state government signed a memorandum of understanding to reassemble the refinery in Visakhapatnam, according to Indian media reports. Syed Badruddin, chairman of Amerind, told reporters the Export-Import Bank of the United States would lend $375 million of the project's initial $500 million cost. Thomas P. Golembeski, Sunoco's spokesman, said the company had nothing to announce, but he confirmed Sunoco has been trying to sell Eagle Point's equipment since the refinery closed. - Andrew Maykuth


Amazon loses on each new tablet Inc.'s Kindle Fire tablet, which started shipping this week, costs $201.70 to make, a research firm said. That's $2.70 more than Amazon charges for it. The analysis by IHS iSuppli indicates that Amazon is, at least initially, selling the tablet at a loss that it hopes to cover through sales of books and movies for the device. - AP

Clearwire shares dive

Shares of wireless broadband network operator Clearwire Corp. plunged as much as 31 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the unprofitable wholesale wireless carrier is evaluating whether to make a Dec. 1 debt payment, citing its chief executive officer. The $237 million payment would be a "significant drain" on the company's cash, CEO Erik Prusch said in an interview with the newspaper. The shares declined 21 percent to close at $1.47. - Bloomberg News

McDonald's cuts egg supplier

McDonald's Corp. said it dropped a Minnesota-based egg supplier after an animal-rights group released an undercover video of operations at the egg producer's farms in three states. The video by Mercy for Animals shows what the group calls animal cruelty toward hens and chicks at five Sparboe Farms facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado. - AP

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