Business news briefs: 01/31/14

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PNC 8th largest bank in U.S.

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group, which ranks as the eighth largest bank in the country, is No. 82 worldwide, according to a report by SNL Securities. Overall, 10 U.S. banks made the top 100 list based on assets. The U.S. had the second highest number of banks on the list behind China with 14.


• Kennametal shares slid 7 percent after the Latrobe tool maker posted lower than expected second fiscal quarter earnings and reduced its outlook. Net income totalled $24.2 million, or 30 cents per share vs. earnings of $42.1 million, or 52 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 9 percent to $689.9 million.

• Despite a 6 percent fourth quarter revenue increase over last year to a record $3.47 billion, scientific instrument maker Thermo Fisher Scientific saw a drop in net income from $376.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 to $342.1 million. For the year, Thermo reported that it had $13.09 billion in revenue in 2013, up 5 percent from its revenue total of $12.51 billion in 2012.

BCSB bank sale approved

Shareholders of BCSB Bancorp, parent company of Baltimore County Savings Bank, approved the previously announced sale of the bank to Hermitage-based FNB Corp.

New life for family's fur store

Canadian Fur Co., a Downtown store that's been in business 90 years, had been scheduled to close today but a lease extension on its Smithfield Street location has given it new life. Keith Rosenstock, the 64-year-old fourth-generation owner, and landlord McKnight Property Management agreed on a two-year lease extension. Mr. Rosenstock said he has received inquiries about buying it and a non-family owner is a possibility.

Economy sees spending boost

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter on the strength of the strongest consumer spending in three years. For 2013 as a whole, the economy grew a tepid 1.9 percent, weaker than the 2.8 percent increase in 2012.

Home sales dips to low point

The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 8.7 percent last month to 92.4, the lowest point since October 2011.

Toyota's heated seats get heat

Toyota has told North American dealers to stop selling six popular models with heated seats because the fabric doesn't comply with U.S. safety codes and potentially could catch fire. The order affects 36,000 cars, trucks and minivans on dealer lots in the U.S., spokesman John Hanson said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide if a recall is needed.

Google sells off Motorola

An expensive mistake by Google could turn into a golden opportunity for China's Lenovo Group. Google is selling Motorola Mobility's smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion. The deal announced late Wednesday comes less than two years after Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion.

1,400 file suit for Japan reactor

About 1,400 people filed a joint lawsuit Thursday against three companies that manufactured reactors at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, saying they should be financially liable for damage caused by their 2011 meltdowns. The plaintiffs said the manufacturers -- Toshiba, GE and Hitachi -- failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant.

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