Business Briefs: 4/30/14

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Bayer markets facility that houses local division

Bayer Corp. has listed for sale a three-story office building in Warrendale that serves as the headquarters for its division formerly known as Medrad. Bayer acquired Medrad from Schering AG in 2006 and the business is now known as the Bayer HealthCare Radiology & Interventional business. About 100 positions at the local division were eliminated last year. In a statement, Bayer said, “The decision to market the Warrendale facility does not change Bayer’s strong presence in Pittsburgh.” Bayer’s MaterialScience unit has its North American headquarters in Robinson, where the company employs about 1,200.

Pittsburgh nonprofits receive $222K in grants

McAuley Ministries awarded grants totaling $222,500 to seven nonprofits to fund community and health initiatives in the Hill District, Uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods. The grants include: $50,000 to Grow Pittsburgh; $50,000 to Pittsburgh Foundation for the Jail Collaborative; $50,000 to the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh; $40,000 to YouthPlaces; $20,000 to the Consumer Health Coalition; $7,500 to ACH Clear Pathways; and $5,000 to the Hill District Consensus Group.

Mylan challenges FDA ruling on celecoxib

Mylan Inc. said it filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration challenging the agency's unfavorable ruling regarding marketing exclusivity on celecoxib capsules, the generic version of Pfizer’s arthritis drug, Celebrex. Mylan said it was seeking an order compelling the FDA to grant final approval May 30 to the company’s application to market celecoxib.

Local earnings

• S&T Bank on Tuesday said net income for the first quarter rose 14 percent to $14 million, or 47 cents per share, up from $12.3 million, or 41 cents, in the same period last year as the Indiana, Pa.-based bank set aside less money to cover bad loans. “Solid organic loan growth, expense discipline and improvement in asset quality metrics will continue to be a focus in 2014,” CEO Todd Brice said in a statement. Separately, directors approved a 6 percent increase in the quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share, up from 16 cents, marking the second increase in the last year. The new rate is payable May 29 to shareholders of record May 15.

• Commercial National Financial Corp. in Latrobe said earnings jumped 46 percent in the first quarter to $1.6 million from $1.1 million a year earlier. Per-share profits rose 44 percent to 56 cents from 39 cents.

Passenger vehicle mpg standards hit milestones

For the first time, more than half of new passenger vehicles are getting more than 23 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, according to an analysis by the Consumer Federation of America. Just five years ago, 19 percent of models got 23 mpg. The Washington, D.C.-based consumer group called the milestone historic for automakers. Also for the first time, there were no 2014 models getting below 13 mpg, the federation said.

Consumer confidence dips in April

Consumer confidence fell in April over concerns about hiring and business conditions, even though many people foresee a strengthening economy in the months ahead. The Conference Board says its confidence index dropped to 82.3 from a March reading of 83.9.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW announce recalls

Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 284,000 C-Class cars because the rear lights can fail. The recall affects some C300, C350 and C63 AMG cars from the 2008 through 2011 model years. BMW is recalling more than 156,000 cars and SUVs because the engines can lose power or stall. The recall covers multiple models from 2010 through 2012.

From staff and wire reports

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