Business Briefs: Rice Energy, Tesla charging station, retail sales and more

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After IPO, Rice Energy posts $129M profit in Q1

Rice Energy Inc. posted a profit of $129.5 million in the first quarter, up from a $6.8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. The Canonsburg-based Marcellus Shale driller, which completed an initial public offering in January, reported total revenue of $90.47 million in the three months ended March 31, as compared to $13.2 million last year, based on a consolidated financial statement.

Rice reported average net production of 209 million cubic feet per day, a 135 percent increase over last year and a 36 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2013. The company reported earnings per share of $1.03, as compared to a 5 cent loss during the same period a year ago.

New Tesla supercharging station opens in Cranberry

Tesla Motors opened a new supercharging station for its Model S electric cars Tuesday in Cranberry, a $150,000 project that will provide free charging stations to Tesla car owners. The station in the Residence Inn parking lot at 1308 Freedom Road is part of a nationwide network of charging stations the California company built to connect New York and Los Angeles along the Interstate 80 corridor. Tesla owners can add 50 percent battery power during a 30-minute charge, allowing them to drive an additional 150 miles.

Retail sales rose a scant 0.1 percent in April

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that seasonally adjusted retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in April, after surging 1.5 percent in March following a harsh winter that had curtailed shopping.

Businesses boosted stockpiles in March

The Commerce Department says business stockpiles rose 0.4 percent in March after a 0.5 percent rise in February. Sales in March jumped 1 percent, the largest advance since May, after a 0.9 percent February increase.

Winter flight cancellations set record

This harsh winter was the worst for fliers in the 20 years that the government has been collecting data. During the first three months of this year, U.S. airlines canceled 4.6 percent of their flights, the Department of Transportation announced Tuesday. The worst winter before this was 2001, when 4.4 percent of flights were scrapped.

Time-Life Books return, this time on store shelves

Time Home Entertainment said Tuesday it is relaunching its Time-Life Books brand, long a staple of late-night TV advertisements, and will sell them in stores instead of by mail. The company is now selling the first two books under the imprint: “World War II in 500 Photographs” and “Everything You Need to Know About the Bible.” 

Also in Business …

Community Bank, an 11-office bank based in Washington, Pa., reported profits for the first quarter jumped 25 percent to $1.1 million from $862,000 in the same quarter last year. … ConocoPhillips said Charles Bunch, PPG Industries’ chairman and chief executive officer, has been elected to its board of directors.

From staff and wire reports

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