Business News in Brief

Teva Pharmaceuticals officials (from left) CFO Eyal Desheh, Chairman Phillip Frost and CEO Jeremy Levin during the opening bell ceremonies of the New York Stock Exchange. The Israeli company said last week that it expects weaker sales of generic drugs, which bring in most of its revenue, and of brand-name products, which has become a priority for Teva in recent years and drove its recent $6.8 billion acquisition of Cephalon Inc. RICHARD DREW / Associated Press
Teva Pharmaceuticals officials (from left) CFO Eyal Desheh, Chairman Phillip Frost and CEO Jeremy Levin during the opening bell ceremonies of the New York Stock Exchange. The Israeli company said last week that it expects weaker sales of generic drugs, which bring in most of its revenue, and of brand-name products, which has become a priority for Teva in recent years and drove its recent $6.8 billion acquisition of Cephalon Inc. RICHARD DREW / Associated Press
Posted: May 31, 2012

IN THE REGION

Vishay sells debt to buy shares

Vishay Intertechnology Inc., a Malvern producer of electronic components, said it sold $150 million in convertible debt. The proceeds will be used to buy back shares, the company said. — Harold Brubaker

Institute helps nonprofit leaders

The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Foundation started a Nonprofit Board Leadership Institute to provide collaborative training for nonprofit board chairs and their executive directors. The 21 organizations participating also have the chance to apply for eight $10,000 grants to implement what they learn through the institute’s programs this month and next. The grants are expected to be awarded in September. Participation in the institute was open to organizations with annual operating budgets between $1 million and $5 million. — Harold Brubaker

ELSEWHERE

April jobless rates fall in cities

Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in April from March, aided by summer hiring on farms and in tourist destinations. The Labor Department said rates fell in 356 of the 372 largest U.S. metro areas. That topped last April, when 339 areas reported declines. The economy has generated steady job growth for the last five months. That has helped lower the national unemployment rate from 9.1 percent in August to 8.1 percent last month. Some cities that experienced steep declines last month depend heavily on summer tourism, such as Ocean City, N.J. Others are farm communities likely staffing for the harvest. The metro employment data aren’t seasonally adjusted for such trends, so they can be volatile from month to month. — AP

Obama signs Ex-Im Bank renewal

President Obama signed legislation that renews the charter of the Export-Import Bank for three years and increases the bank’s lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion. The bank is the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales. Obama said the move would help thousands of businesses sell their products and services overseas and help them create jobs at home. The president said the independent federal agency is a key factor toward reaching his goal of doubling exports over five years. Lawmakers passed the legislation earlier this month amid resistance from conservatives who argued that the bank distorts the market. The bank had support from numerous business groups. — AP

FDA warning on handing of complaints

The Food and Drug Administration is warning a Johnson & Johnson unit that it failed to look into dozens of consumer complaints about its K-Y Liquibeads Vaginal Moisturizer and other products in the last two years. The FDA sent a warning letter to the company’s McNeil division on May 22. It said the company received 227 complaints about the K-Y Liquibeads between June 2010 and December 2011, and more than 100 complaints were either not thoroughly evaluated and investigated, were closed without written justification, or were incorrectly closed because the company believed the complaints referred to invalid production lot numbers. — AP

Facebook stock closes lower

Facebook Inc.’s stock once again closed lower on Wednesday, nearly $10 below its initial public offering price. Shares of Facebook Inc. dropped 65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $28.19. It’s the third consecutive trading day the stock has dropped from the previous close. Wednesday’s close is down about 26 percent from the stock’s IPO price of $38. Facebook began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on May 18. The day started with a delay due to trading market glitches and didn’t get much better from there. Still, the IPO raised $16 billion for Facebook and early investors, making it one of the largest IPOs ever. — AP

Google offering free Zagat reviews

Google Inc. is adding a new entree to its menu: free restaurant ratings from the Zagat review service. Zagat, which Google bought in September, had been charging $25 annually or $5 monthly for online access to its survey of diners. Those diners have rated about 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 cities around the world. The free reviews will be available on Zagat.com as well as several services on Google’s website as part of a change announced Wednesday. Zagat will still charge $10 annually for access through an application designed for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, although Google indicated it may eventually drop that fee, too. Google didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about its plans for a version of the Zagat app designed for devices running on its Android software. The Internet fees helped protect sales of the burgundy-colored guides that Zagat has been selling since its 1979 inception. For now, Zagat still intends to sell the guides, which were listed Wednesday on Amazon for $8.75 to $16. — AP

Fiat Industrial chief seeks merger

Fiat Industrial Chairman Sergio Marchionne is seeking a full merger with U.S.-based CNH farm and construction vehicle business, in a move that would shift the company’s capital center to the United States. and drop the Fiat name. But Marchionne, who is also CEO of the Fiat and Chrysler carmakers, cautioned Wednesday against considering the deal a blueprint for a future merger of the two automakers, which are in a three-year partnership. Under the Fiat Industrial-CNH proposal, the combined company’s shares would be traded on the New York Stock Exchange with a secondary listing in Europe, but not Milan, where it is currently traded. The merged Fiat Industrial and CNH would likely not carry the Fiat name, Marchionne told analysts. But he wrote in a letter to Fiat Industrial employees that the operational structure would not change. — AP

Money-market fund rates unchanged

The average seven-day yield on taxable money-market funds was 0.03 percent this week, unchanged from last week, according to iMoneyNet Inc. A seven-day yield is an annual yield that is based on the preceding seven days’ level of income by the fund. The average yield on tax-free funds was 0.02 percent this week, unchanged from last week. — Rhonda Dickey

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