Business news in brief

Stefano Gammarelli, an ecclesiastical tailor at Gammarelli, arranging a clerical chasuble at his family's store in Rome. Gammarelli was founded in 1797 under Pope Pius VI as tailors to the clergy, and lists other papal customers as John Paul I, Paul VI, and John XXIII.
Stefano Gammarelli, an ecclesiastical tailor at Gammarelli, arranging a clerical chasuble at his family's store in Rome. Gammarelli was founded in 1797 under Pope Pius VI as tailors to the clergy, and lists other papal customers as John Paul I, Paul VI, and John XXIII. (ALESSIA PIERDOMENICO / Bloomberg)
Posted: February 28, 2013

In the Region

Casey appeals for airline jobs

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) appealed to US Airways and American Airlines to retain jobs in Pennsylvania, including 1,900 in Pittsburgh, after the carriers merge. Casey wrote to the chief executives of both airlines urging them to keep an aircraft maintenance facility and operations control center in Pittsburgh, and to add flights between smaller Pennsylvania cities to support the growing Marcellus Shale industry. Airline officials could not be reached for comment. - Linda Loyd

Globus profit up 53 pct. for quarter

Net income rose 53 percent in the fourth quarter for Globus Medical Inc., an Audubon, Montgomery County, maker of spinal implants, while sales increased by 14 percent. Globus, which went public in August, earned $20.8 million, or 22 cents per share, on sales of $100.5 million for the three months ended Dec. 31. For the fourth quarter of 2011, the medical device company reported net income of $13.6 million, or 15 cents per share, on sales of $88.0 million. The company announced its results after the stock market closed Wednesday. Globus shares finished the trading session up 16 cents to $13.82. - Mike Armstrong

Report: Flowers set to buy Wonder

Tastykake owner Flowers Foods Inc. was the only bidder for Wonder and several other bread brands from bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc., according to a person familiar with the situation. The $360 million bid by Flowers also includes Nature's Pride, Butternut, Home Pride, and Merita breads. An auction will still be held Thursday for a separate $30 million bid by Flowers for Beefsteak. The source said a competing offer for that brand was submitted by Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, which makes Entenmann's cakes and whose U.S. headquarters are in Horsham. Any sales would be subject to approval by a bankruptcy court on March 19. - AP

Radian raises $689 million

Radian Group Inc. raised $689 million as the company sold more stock and senior notes than planned to boost capital at the money-losing mortgage insurer. Radian sold 39 million shares for $8 apiece, compared with the closing price of $8.15 on Feb. 25, before the company announced it was offering as many as 30 million shares. The Philadelphia-based company sold $400 million of convertible notes, compared with a plan of $200 million, Radian said. - Bloomberg News

Eight lawyers join Fox Rothschild

Eight lawyers from Day Pitney L.L.P., a firm with offices in New England, New York, Washington, and New Jersey, have joined the real estate practice of Fox Rothschild L.L.P., the 500-plus-lawyer firm based in Center City. They will be based for the time being in Fox Rothschild's Roseland, N.J., office. But the firm said the group would open a new Fox office in Morristown, N.J., this year. - Chris Mondics

ViroPharma swings to quarterly loss

ViroPharma Inc., of Exton, said it lost $4 million in the fourth quarter as revenue fell, as generic competition eroded sales of its antibiotic Vancocin and its costs increased. ViroPharma said sales of Vancocin fell more than 90 percent. Costs grew as the company made a royalty payment to French drugmaker Sanofi that was connected to Vancocin sales and it spent more money marketing Cinryze, which is used to treat a rare genetic disorder. The company's loss amounted to 6 cents per share for the last three months of 2012 in contrast to net income of $53.2 million, or 65 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue declined 27 percent to $106.5 million from $145.6 million. Analysts expected earnings of 4 cents per share on $103.7 million in revenue, according to FactSet. - AP

Old City hosts First Friday Weekends

What started in 1991 as a way to entice more shoppers, diners, and art enthusiasts to Old City on the first Friday of each month is about to become a weekend-long effort. First Friday Weekends launches Friday with Stop-In Saturdays and Brunch and Browse Sundays joining traditional First Friday festivities such as evening offerings of wine and hors d'oeuvres in galleries and shops. - Diane Mastrull


Penney loss bigger than expected

J.C. Penney Co. reported another much-larger-than-expected loss in the fiscal fourth quarter on a nearly 30 percent plunge in revenue, in the latest sign that shoppers aren't happy with the changes it's made in the past year. The results mark a full year of massive quarterly losses and revenue declines that have missed Wall Street estimates. - AP

Bernanke defends policy to House

Facing criticism from Republican lawmakers, Chairman Ben Bernanke stood behind the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies and sought to reassure Congress that the central bank has a handle on the risks. In his second day of testimony on Capitol Hill, Bernanke told members of the House Financial Services Committee that bond purchases are needed to help boost a still-weak economy. Republicans said the purchases could generate higher inflation. - AP

U.S. crude oil production booming

Monthly crude oil production in the United States has topped seven million barrels per day for the first time in 20 years as the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies trapped in shale formations in states including North Dakota, Texas, and Oklahoma, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. - Inquirer staff and wires

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