Business news in brief

A finished wooden radio is wrapped in a box at a workshop in Temanggung, Indonesia. The Radio Magno is produced by local carpenters at a small company, Piranti Works, on the island of Java. The radios, each made of sustainable ebony wood by hand in 16 hours, come in three retro-looking models.
A finished wooden radio is wrapped in a box at a workshop in Temanggung, Indonesia. The Radio Magno is produced by local carpenters at a small company, Piranti Works, on the island of Java. The radios, each made of sustainable ebony wood by hand in 16 hours, come in three retro-looking models. (PUTU SAYOGA / Getty Images)
Posted: July 12, 2013

In the Region

UniTek gets new credit line

UniTek Global Services Inc., of Blue Bell, which provides services to the telecommunications industry, said it closed on a $75 million credit line with Apollo Investment Corp. UniTek saw its shares tumble after an April disclosure that it would need to restate financial results for 2012 and 2011, and that a board investigation had turned up what it said were "fraudulent activities" at a business unit. CEO Rocky Romanella said the new financing "provides us with additional liquidity" and the company is "advancing other key initiatives related to the completion of the audit and refinancing of our term loan." Shares, which have traded in a 52-week range of 95 cents to $4.33, closed down a penny at $1.69. - Reid Kanaley

House approves $19M for dredging

The House on Wednesday passed an energy and water appropriations bill that included $19 million in funding for continued deepening of the Delaware River navigation channel. President Obama allocated $20 million for the project in his 2014 budget. A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) said the $1 million difference between $19 million appropriated in the legislation and $20 million in the president's budget represented a 5 percent across-the-board cut due to the federal sequester. - Linda Loyd

Retailer sees revenue growth

Destination Maternity Corp., Philadelphia, said its third-quarter revenue rose 2 percent to $141.9 million, at the high end of its forecast. The retail chain expects earnings for the period to be in the top half of its predicted range. The company's prior outlook was for third-quarter revenue between $138 million and $142 million. It previously forecast earnings of 56 cents to 64 cents per share. Destination said third-quarter revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4.9 percent. The results for the period ended June 30 include online sales. Adjusting for a calendar shift, the figure increased 5.3 percent. - AP

Oil by rail less profitable

Profits from shipping oil by rail are shrinking as U.S. and global benchmarks converge to the narrowest since 2010, making pipeline deliveries more attractive and slowing the demand for train cargos like the one that derailed and exploded in Quebec July 6. Refineries in the East and Canada that traditionally buy more costly foreign crudes have benefited from burgeoning output from North Dakota, where prices have been as much as $48 a barrel cheaper than oil priced off North Sea Brent, which was more than enough to cover the cost of rail shipments. The gap between West Texas Intermediate at the U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Okla., and Brent has shrunk by 59 percent this month, making it more profitable to move oil to the central United States on pipelines than to the coasts via railroad. - Bloomberg News

Airlines' on-time rate falls

The U.S. Department of Transportation said only 79.4 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in May, down from 83.4 percent in the same month last year. Hawaiian Airlines was most likely to arrive on time, while American Eagle, regional affiliate of American Airlines, had the worst rate. US Airways, the dominant carrier at Philadelphia International Airport, was sixth out of 16 airlines with an on-time rate of 81.99 percent. The department said five planes were stuck on tarmacs for more than three hours, which is longer than allowed by federal regulations. Cancellations ticked up slightly from a year ago. - AP

Elsewhere

Crude oil down after surge

The price of oil retreated below $105 a barrel, ending a surge that had pushed crude to a 16-month high. The pullback followed a report from the International Energy Agency that said supplies would exceed an expected rise in demand next year. U.S. benchmark crude fell $1.61 to close at $104.91. Brent crude, which is used to price imported crude used by many U.S. refineries, fell 78 cents to $107.73. Oil has shot higher in recent days on a dramatic drop in supplies of oil and gasoline in the United States. - AP

Powerful camera in Nokia phone

Nokia is unveiling a phone with a powerful camera that promises sharper images, even in low light. The Nokia Lumia 1020 was introduced at an event in New York City. It will run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone system. The 41-megapixel camera records more detail than other camera phones and even tops point-and-shoot cameras. More pixels mean more sensors for capturing the light that forms an image. Nokia says the Lumia 1020 gives people the ability to take good pictures with a device they always carry. - AP

Sprint introduces unlimited plan

Sprint is introducing a wireless plan that guarantees new and existing subscribers unlimited voice, text, and data plans, in a move to differentiate its service from rivals AT&T and Verizon. Sprint Nextel Corp. said the plan, called the Sprint Unlimited Guarantee, offers unlimited data for $30 a month on smartphones and $10 per month on traditional phones. Voice and text cost $50 for the first line and less for additional phone lines. Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, is under the control of Japanese investment firm SoftBank, which owns a 78 percent stake after a $21.6 billion deal closed on Wednesday. - AP

China agrees to negotiate treaty

China agreed to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty with the United States, a move hailed by Washington as a significant step in the Asian giant's economic reforms that could level the playing field for American businesses. China made the concession during annual U.S.-China security and economic talks in Washington. - AP

Mortgage giants' bailout challenge

Investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accused the United States of depriving them of the value of their preferred shares when it changed the terms of its takeover of the mortgage finance companies in August 2012. The suit filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is at least the fourth recent complaint challenging aspects of the bailout. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid dividends of 10 percent on shares held by the government until this year, when they were required to turn over all profit to the Treasury. The suit calls that a "blatant appropriation" of investors' rights. - Bloomberg News

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