Business Briefs: 5/2/14

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Study: New locks for river

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study recommends building new locks at three locations on the Upper Ohio River at an estimated cost of $2.1 billion. The Emsworth, Dashields, and Montgomery locks were originally built in the 1920s and 1930s and are the oldest facilities operating on the river that have not been authorized to be replaced, the Corps said. The recommendation comes as work continues on a long-delayed and over-budget lock and dam project on the Monongahela River that was authorized by Congress in 1992. The price tag on that project, originally estimated at $750,000, has jumped to $1.7 billion.

Corning Corp. names executive

Pittsburgh Corning Corp. said James Kane has been elected chairman and chief executive. Mr. Kane, 55, succeeds Phillip Martineau, 67, who held the positions since 2005 and who is retiring. Mr. Kane joined the company in 2007 and most recently was chief operating officer.

Local earnings

• Kennametal reported fiscal third quarter profits that were down 6 percent from year-ago levels but topped analyst expectations. The Latrobe toolmaker said net income totaled $50.9 million, or 64 cents per share, vs. earnings of $53.9 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 15 percent to $755.2 million. The acquisition of Allegheny Technologies' tungsten materials business late last year accounted for the bulk of the increase in sales. The results reflect pretax restructuring expenses of $2.7 million related to the tungsten segment.

• Universal Stainless & Alloy Products reported a first quarter loss, weighed down by state tax charges and $600,000 in expenses related to the harsh winter. The Bridgeville specialty steels producer said it lost $499,000, or 7 cents per share, during the quarter vs. earnings of $40,000, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales fell 5 percent to $46.7 million. Excluding the tax charges, adjusted income totaled $400,000, or 5 cents per share, better than the adjusted loss of 6 cents per share forecast by analysts.

• II-VI Corp. reported sharply lower fiscal third quarter profits, but topped analyst estimates. The Saxonburg laser and infrared technology company said net income totaled $8.5 million, or 13 cents per share, vs. earnings of $15.9 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Sales increased 21 percent to $173.6 million, with the company's September acquisition of Oclaro, a Zurich-based semiconductor laser producer, contributing all of the increase. Restructuring, acquisition, and other charges reduced earnings by 6 cents per share.

• Education Management Corp. saw its stock close down 28.46 percent Thursday, dropping $1.13 to $2.84 after it reported a net loss of $468 million compared to last year's third-quarter loss of $260 million. Net revenues for the quarter that ended March 31 were $595 million, 6.8 percent less than the same quarter a year ago when they were $638 million. The per share earnings loss, at $3.71 a share, compared to last year when the losses were $2.09 a share in the quarter. The Downtown for-profit education company reported that overall enrollment fell by 6.9 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2013, with new student enrollment dropping 9.8 percent during that time.

Also in business...

Alcoa announced a long-term agreement to supply aluminum sheet to Spirit AeroSystems, saying the contract has a five-year value of about $290 million.

-- From staff reports 

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