Business news briefs: 12/19/13

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FedEx Corp. earnings up

FedEx Corp. said second quarter earnings were up 14 percent year-over-year, while its Moon-based FedEx Ground division saw a slight drop in its operating margin. For three months ended Nov. 30, FedEx saw profit of $500 million, or $1.57 per share, on revenue of $11.4 billion, compared to $438 million, or $1.39 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. According to Thomson Reuters, Wall Street analysts, on average, expected overall earnings of $1.64 per share. The Ground division saw revenue of $2.85 billion, up from $2.59 billion a year ago. Operating income was up 3 percent year-over-year, but operating margin declined to 14.9 percent, from 15.9 percent a year earlier.

Nordstrom invests in Shoefitr

Seattle retailer Nordstrom, known for its expansive shoe selection, has made an investment in Oakland online shoe sizing company Shoefitr and brought the smaller company in to help online customers find the right fit. In an official statement, Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct, said the Shoefitr technology is part of an overall effort to improve online shoe shopping and should help give consumers more confidence.

Alcoa pushes wastewater tech

Alcoa said Bauer Resources will commercialize wastewater treatment technology developed at the aluminum producer's research center in Westmoreland County. The German engineering and construction firm will use the technology in the construction of industrial and municipal wastewater treatment systems. Alcoa said the process does not use chemicals, requires 40 percent less energy and has 60 percent lower operating costs than traditional systems.

Nova continues expansion plan

Nova Chemicals Corp. said it will move forward with a growth strategy that includes possibly spending more than $300 million to expand and upgrade facilities in Sarnia, Ontario, through 2018. It will also evaluate whether to build a $1 billion plant that would produce high-performance resins used in food containers and packaging materials. Canada-based Nova has an executive center in Moon.

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