Business news briefs: U.S. Steel layoffs underway

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U.S. Steel is laying off nearly a quarter of the salaried staff of its Canadian operations as part of a companywide effort to reduce high administrative costs. The steel maker will lay off 175 of its 723 salaried workers at its Hamilton and Lake Erie plants as well as its corporate offices in Canada, spokeswoman Courtney Boone said. None of the company's 1,656 union workers are affected, she said. Those being laid off will be notified by next Wednesday, Michael McQuade, the new president and general manager of U.S. Steel Canada, wrote in a letter to employees.

Howard Hanna sales hit record

Residential sales for Howard Hanna Real Estate Services hit a record high in 2013 with sales volume of $9.7 billion and more than 52,000 homes sold. Sales volume increased 37 percent from about $7 billion in 2012. The O'Hara-based real estate company sold 52,827 homes, a 28 percent increase over the 41,348 homes sold in 2012.

Eaton reports Q4 income jump

Eaton Corp., which has an electrical sector business based in Moon, said fourth-quarter net income jumped to $479 million, or $1.01 per share, from $179 million, or 47 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted income excluding charges for acquisitions was $516 million, or $1.08 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.06 per share. Sales rose 28 percent to $5.53 billion, just missing analysts' estimates of $5.55 billion.

For all of 2013, adjusted earnings per share rose 5 percent to $4.13 and sales rose 35 percent to $22 billion. Sales of electrical systems and products increased as a result of Eaton's purchase in late 2012 of Cooper Industries.

2013 saw donations growth

Charitable giving rose nearly 5 percent in 2013 and online donations jumped 13.5 percent compared to 2012, according to the Blackbaud Index, which tracks fundraising data. Total charitable giving grew by 4.9 percent among 4,000-plus nonprofits that raised a total $12.5 billion last year. The online giving data include about 3,400 nonprofits that generated $1.7 billion in online donations. Nonprofits involved in international affairs saw the biggest bump overall, while faith-based organizations experienced the greatest increase in online giving.

Microsoft announces new CEO

Microsoft has named the head of its cloud computing business as the company's next CEO, tapping a longtime insider to lead efforts to catch rivals in mobile devices and offer more software and services over the Internet. Satya Nadella, 46, replaces Steve Ballmer immediately to become only the third chief executive in Microsoft's 38-year history. Company founder and first CEO Bill Gates is leaving his role as chairman to serve as an adviser.

Shafer named Philips leader

Royal Philips, parent company of Murrysville-based Respironics, has named Brent Shafer as CEO of Philips North America, succeeding retiring Greg Sebasky. Mr. Shafer previously has held leadership positions with General Electric, Hill-Rom and Hewlett-Packard.

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