Business Briefs: Rice Energy reports loss

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Rice Energy reports loss

Rice Energy Inc., an oil and gas operator based in State College that went public in January, reported a net loss of $8.7 million, or 7 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2013. Revenue was $55 million. Rice's 2014 capital budget is expected to be $1.2 billion, of which $430 million will be devoted to development in the Marcellus Shale.

Health partnership head named

David F. Simon, executive vice president and chief legal officer at Jefferson Health System in Philadelphia, has been appointed the new chairman to the Pennsylvania e-Health Partnership Authority. The authority is heading the development of a statewide health information exchange, allowing patient data to be shared among hospitals and insurers. 

United Way gets grant for disabled

The FISA Foundation awarded $50,000 to the United Way of Allegheny County to support the 21 and Able work initiative, which helps youths with disabilities transition into the workforce. Among the projects the FISA grant will fund are long-term career planning, and programs to assist disabled youths live independently.  

Amazon hikes Prime membership to $99 per year

Amazon is betting that shoppers will pay $20 more for its Prime two-day free shipping and video streaming service of movies and TV shows. The online retailer said Thursday that it is raising the price of Prime to $99 a year. It’s the first price hike since Amazon rolled out the service in 2005.

McDonald's workers allege 'wage theft'

Several lawsuits filed against McDonald’s on behalf of workers this week say the fast-food chain engages in a variety of practices to avoid paying employees what they’re owed. The suits in California, Michigan and New York come amid growing attention on the country’s widening wealth gap and the pay practices in the fast-food industry. McDonald’s, based in Oak Brook, Ill., said in a statement that it is investigating the allegations and will take any necessary actions.

Chuck E. Cheese owner weighing bid for Dave & Buster’s

Apollo Global Management LLC, which acquired Chuck E. Cheese last month, is weighing a bid for another chain that mixes food and entertainment, Dave & Buster’s Inc., two people with knowledge of the matter said. Dave & Buster’s owner Oak Hill Capital Partners is seeking about $1 billion for the company,said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. 

FTC charges abusive debt collection

A Buffalo, N.Y.-based debt collection business operating nationwide was temporarily halted and its assets frozen after the Federal Trade Commission charged it with violating federal regulations for using deceptive and abusive practices. Among other things, operators pretended they were representing the government, falsely accused consumers of check fraud and threatened consumers with arrest, the FTC said. The business operated under various names, such as Federal Recoveries, Federal Check Processing and Nationwide Check Processing. 

Average US 30-year mortgage rate up to 4.37 pct.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.37 percent from 4.28 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage rose to 3.38 percent from 3.32 percent.



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