Business news briefs: Ampco adds 2 to its board

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Ampco adds 2 to its board

Ampco-Pittsburgh said it will add two representatives proposed by a large shareholder to its board of directors, expanding the panel from nine to 11 members. Mario Gabelli's Gamco Asset Management had nominated Corning Natural Gas CEO Michael I. German and former CPI Corp. CEO James J. Abel for election as directors at the Pittsburgh industrial products company's upcoming shareholder meeting. Gamco owns 17 percent of Ampco-Pitt's stock.

W.Va. group names chairman

Greg Babe has been named chairman of the board of Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center based in South Charleston, W.Va. He succeeds Paul Arbogast, who will become chairman emeritus. Mr. Babe is president and chief executive of Liquid X Printed Metals and was formerly president and chief executive of Bayer Corp. and Bayer MaterialScience.

Earnings

* Koppers Holdings reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.1 million, or 20 cents per share, and said its profits took a hit largely because of poor economic conditions in Europe, and restructuring costs that include shuttering plants and reducing its workforce. The loss compared to net income of $13.6 million, or 65 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012. Fourth-quarter sales fell by 9 percent to $341.8 million.

Downtown-based Koppers makes carbon chemicals and wood treatment products. Adjusted net income for the quarter -- not including restructuring charges of $13 million -- fell to $9 million, or 44 cents per share, well below analysts' average estimate of 61 cents per share. Adjusted income was $13.9 million, or 66 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

For all of 2013, net income fell to $40.4 million, or $1.94 per share, from $65.6 million, or $3.13 per share in 2012. Sales for 2013 slipped 5 percent to $1.48 billion, from $1.56 billion in 2012. Adjusted income for the year fell to $54.1 million, or $2.60 per share, missing analysts' average estimate of $2.77 per share. For all of 2012, adjusted income was $68.7 million, or $3.27 per share.

* EQT Corp.'s sale of its distribution arm and increased natural gas sales boosted the company's net income last year to $391 million, or $2.32 per share. EQT drilled 146 Marcellus Shale wells in 2013, 22 Upper Devonian wells, seven Utica wells and 50 wells in the Huron play.

* GNC Holdings Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $47.7 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, up from $47.4 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were 63 cents this quarter, missing analysts' projections by 1 cent. For the fourth quarter, GNC reported revenue of $613.7 million, up from $565 million for the same period a year earlier. For all of 2013, GNC reported net income of $265 million vs. $240 million in 2012.

GM recalls 780,000 cars

General Motors is recalling almost 780,000 older-model compact cars because a faulty ignition switch can shut off the engines without warning. The company said six people have died in 22 crashes linked to the problem in Chevrolet Cobalts from the 2005 through 2007 model years, and Pontiac G5s from 2007. GM is urging owners to remove nonessential items from key rings. Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 294,000 vehicles for a skid-control software glitch, affecting the RAV4 sport utility, Tacoma pickup and Lexus RX 350 luxury model, manufactured from March 2012 through December 2012.

Also in local business ...

Consol Energy Inc. signed an agreement with Ineos Europe AG to ship ethane from its Marcellus Shale wells to Europe. ... Rice Energy Inc. is paying $110 million to M3 Midstream LLC for a 28-mile natural gas gathering system in eastern Washington and Green Counties. ... Anheuser-Busch InBev is introducing a 16-ounce, reclosable aluminum bottle for Bud Light developed by Alcoa.


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