Business news in brief

Ford Motor Co.'s Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant employees photograph the factory's millionth Ford Mustang as it is driven off the assembly line. Production moved there in 2004. The car was built at Ford's iconic Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich., for four decades after its introduction by Lee A. Iacocca.
Ford Motor Co.'s Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant employees photograph the factory's millionth Ford Mustang as it is driven off the assembly line. Production moved there in 2004. The car was built at Ford's iconic Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich., for four decades after its introduction by Lee A. Iacocca. (CARLOS OSORIO / Associated Press)
Posted: April 18, 2013

In the Region

Wharton dean to step down

Thomas S. Robertson will resign as dean of the Wharton School, the prestigious business school at the University of Pennsylvania, as of June 30, 2014. He made the announcement in a letter to the faculty in which he said he intended to return to the school's marketing department to teach and pursue research. Named dean in June 2007, Robertson succeeded Patrick Harker, who left to become president of the University of Delaware. During Robertson's tenure, the size of the faculty increased to 478, including 230 tenured and tenure-track professors, from 435. - Mike Armstrong

Penn keeps green-power title

The University of Pennsylvania maintained its green-power superiority for the seventh straight year, finishing in first place once again in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's nationwide challenge of universities that buy renewable power. Penn purchased 200.2 million kilowatt hours of wind power last year, 30 percent more than the next-closest challenger, the University of Oklahoma. EPA defines green power as electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources. - Andrew Maykuth

Corbett to welcome shipper

Gov. Corbett is expected to be at the Port of Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon to welcome the arrival of the second Horizon Lines Inc. ship carrying containerized cargo from Puerto Rico. In March, the Charlotte, N.C., shipping company said it would move its northeast terminal operations from Elizabeth, N.J., to the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia. The addition of Horizon's weekly service is expected to support 400 direct and indirect jobs at the port and in the region, according to port officials. The first Horizon ship arrived here April 11. - Mike Armstrong

Glaxo taking grant applications

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C., which met in September with Philadelphia-area community groups that deal with health care, said it would make 10 awards of $40,000 each to groups demonstrating their achievements and innovations in improving community health, especially with underserved populations. The company has made such awards in the past, but expanded the scope after meeting with area groups. Applications for the 2013 GSK Impact Awards can be found at www.gskimpact-us.com. Organizations must be located in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties, and have annual total operating expenses between $160,000 and $5,000,000. - David Sell

N.J. utilities among top for solar

Two New Jersey electric utilities made the nation's Top 10 list of companies that added the most new solar power to their systems last year. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. ranked third, following California utilities Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison. Jersey Central Power & Light ranked sixth. The annual rankings were compiled by the Solar Electric Power Association. Other utilities making the list include Arizona Public Service, NV Energy, Tucson Electric Power Co., Progress Energy Carolinas, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Hawaiian Electric Co. - Andrew Maykuth

Elsewhere

American resumes most flights

American Airlines resumed most flights Wednesday, a day after a massive technology failure forced the nation's third-largest carrier to ground all planes from coast to coast. Some lingering problems remained. At midday, American and regional offshoot American Eagle had canceled more than 200 flights, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.com. But that was a huge improvement over Tuesday, when American and Eagle canceled nearly 1,000 flights and delayed an additional 1,100. - AP

Countrywide settles

 

Bank of America Corp.'s Countrywide unit agreed to pay $500 million to settle a lawsuit over billions of dollars in residential mortgage-backed securities that were downgraded to junk. The accord will end a class action, or group lawsuit, led by the Iowa Public Retirement System, lead plaintiffs' attorney Steven Toll of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll P.L.L.C. said in a statement. The settlement, which could not immediately be verified in court records, requires a judge's approval, Charlotte, N.C.,-based Bank of America said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. - Bloomberg News

Economy hits Europe car sales

Europe's auto market is in free fall. New car sales across Europe slid 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 2.9 million, down from 3.3 million in 2012, the European automakers association ACEA reported from Brussels. Even in Germany, one of Europe's strongest economies, new car sales plunged 13 percent during the first three months of the year. Across the rest of Europe, the figures were just as disappointing. Most major markets saw double-digit contractions: down 11.5 percent in Spain and 14.6 percent in France. - AP

EBay profit up, revenue down

EBay Inc. grew its earnings and revenue in the first quarter thanks to growth in its PayPal business and its e-commerce sites. But revenue fell shy of Wall Street's expectations and shares fell in after-hours trading. EBay said it earned $677 million, or 51 cents per share, in the January-March period. That's up 19 percent from $570 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. - AP

Lew seeks pro-growth Europe

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called on Europe's leaders to pursue pro-growth policies in the short term rather than trim their budget deficits, noting that the U.S. economy is "inextricably tied" to the health of its global partners. - AP

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