Business Briefs: Highmark, Conemaugh extend contract

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Highmark, Conemaugh extend contract

Highmark Inc. and Conemaugh Health System have agreed to a multi-year contract extension that will provide Blue Cross Blue Shield members in-network access to the health system’s three campuses: Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown; Conemaugh Miners Medical Center in Hastings; and Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center in Meyersdale. Details on the extension were not released.

Amazon to open sorting center

Amazon plans to move into the former Roomful Express building in Crafton and use the 550,000 building for sorting packages that will be loaded onto trucks there. Nina Lindsey, a company spokeswoman, said the new facility will create 100 jobs.

Jefferson Hospital names new CEO

Louise Urban has been named president and CEO of Jefferson Hospital. Ms. Urban has been at Jefferson since 1991, starting as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit and later taking on several senior leadership positions. She has most recently served as executive vice president and chief operating officer. She takes over for John Dempster, who will be moving to a new administrative role within the Allegheny Health Network.

Restaurants hit with consumer alerts

Two area restaurants were hit with consumer alerts this week by the Allegheny County Health Department. Chinatown Inn, Downtown, was cited for a fruit fly infestation, while Saga Hibachi Steakhouse in Robinson had a roach infestation. Both restaurants also had numerous other critical food safety violations. Saga Hibachi also was hit with a consumer alert in November. Inspection reports for Allegheny County restaurants are available at​Restaurant/.

FDA approves non-prescription Flonase

GlaxoSmithKline officials say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its once-a-day Flonase Allergy Relief spray for over-the-counter sale. This will be the first nasal spray for relieving nasal and eye allergy symptoms that does not require a prescription. The product is expected to be available in early 2015.

Local earnings

• Shares of MSA Safety dipped Thursday after the Cranberry safety products company’s second quarter earnings and sales fell short of Wall Street estimates. Net income fell 6 percent to $22.8 million, or 59 cents per share, while sales dropped 1 percent to $282.5 million. Excluding foreign exchange gains and restructuring charges, MSA reported adjusted net income of 60 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast adjusted income of 62 cents per share and sales of $294 million.

• WVS Financial Corp., holding company for West View Savings Bank, said profits for its fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30 rose to $279,000, or 14 cents per share, from $231,000, or 11 cents, a year earlier. For the full year, profits slumped to $920,000, or 45 cents per share, down from $1.1 million, or 52 cents, the previous year.

• Federated Investors reported a 9 percent drop in second quarter profits on a 5 percent decline in revenue. The Downtown investment manager said net income totaled $36.9 million, or 35 cents per share, on revenue of $213 million. The results were in line with analysts estimates. Assets under management totaled $351.6 billion at the end of the quarter, down 3 percent from year-ago levels. Equity assets reached a record $49.9 billion, up 29 percent from year-ago levels. Federated has been making a concerted effort to grow its equity and fixed income businesses because of new regulations facing its money market funds.

• Wilmerding-based Wabtec Corp. reported second-quarter profit of $132.3 million, or $0.92 per share, compared to profit of $112.5 million or $0.78 per share, for the year-ago quarter. The international freight and transit company outperformed analysts’ expectations that it would earn $0.87 for the quarter. At Thursday’s closing bell, the company stock price was up over 5 percent.

Wal-Mart Asia chief becoming U.S. CEO

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Greg Foran, an executive at the retailer’s Asia operations, will take over as head of its U.S. division for Bill Simon, who is leaving the company on Aug. 9, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said Thursday. Mr. Simon, 54, had been a contender to be CEO of the whole company before Wal-Mart picked Doug McMillon as its next leader in February. “This felt like the right time to move on and focus on my next opportunity,” Mr. Simon said in a statement.

New home sales plummet in June

New home sales fell 8.1 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The report also revised down the May sales rate to 442,000 from 504,000. The median sales price in June was $273,500, up 5.3 percent over the past 12 months.

First Published July 24, 2014 8:00 PM

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