Business Briefs: 7/18/14

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East Liberty development projects move ahead

The next phase of the Mosites Co.‘‍s massive Eastside III project in East Liberty is ready to move ahead. The developer is expected to brief the city planning commission Tuesday on the development’‍s second and third apartment buildings. Plans for the first building, with 109 units, were approved last spring. Overall, the three buildings will feature 360 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail space. Construction of the first building is expected to start in August and the second in January. Also on Tuesday, developer Walnut Capital will present plans for a 175-unit apartment building at Bakery Square 2.0 in Shadyside, the second of two being built at the site.

Highmark, Indiana County hospital reach agreement

Highmark, Inc. and Indiana Regional Medical Center on Thursday agreed to a multi-year contract extension that will continue to provide in-network care for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield members at the Indiana County hospital. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ModCloth has round of layoffs, including here

ModCloth, a San Francisco-based online women's apparel retailer, has laid off 70 employees, including 25 in Pittsburgh, according to a company representative. The representative said Pittsburgh, which had 300 employees after the layoffs, will remain the company's largest center of operations. ModCloth, which had a little more than 500 employees prior to the layoffs, has been cut down to somewhere between 430 and 450 employees.

North Shore company reports high income

North Shore-based Matthews International Corp. reported fiscal third quarter net income of $19.6 million, or 70 cents per share, compared to $18 million, or 65 cents per share, for the third fiscal quarter last year. The company‘‍s performance fell short of analysts expectations that it would earn 81 cents per share for the quarter. Sales for the quarter totaled $280 million compared to sales of $250.6 million for the third quarter of 2013.

Apollo Bancorp sees rise in second quarter income

Apollo Bancorp said net income rose 7 percent in the second quarter to $343,000, up from $320,000 in the same period last year. Per-share earnings rose 8 percent to 69 cents from 64 cents.

Shadyside media company reports lower revenues

Shadyside digital media distribution company FAB Universal reported first quarter net income of $2 million, or 10 cents per share, down from $3 million, or 15 cents per share last year at the same time. Revenues of $14.7 million were down significantly from $22.6 million the same period last year. With an additional $3.9 million loss from foreign currency translation, the company reported a comprehensive loss of $1.9 million.

Auto insurance premiums jump when adding teen

Auto insurance premiums jump an average of 79 percent nationwide when a married couple adds a teenage driver to the policy, according to a report by InsuranceQuotes.com. New Hampshire is the most expensive state to insure a teenage driver, the study found, with premiums surging by 111 percent. In Pennsylvania, premiums rise by an average of 82 percent when adding a teenager, slightly more than the nationwide average. In Hawaii — which is the only state that prohibits age, gender and driving experience from affecting insurance rates — teen drivers boost rates just 17 percent. The next lowest increase was in New York, where rates rose an average of 53 percent.

Home construction drops 9.3 percent in June

The Commerce Department said Thursday that construction fell 9.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 homes. That was the slowest pace since last September and followed a 7.3 percent drop in May, a decline even worse than initially reported.


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