• Lanxess said second-quarter net income surged because of improved demand for some of its chemicals, but global sales dropped by nearly 6 percent. The German-based specialty chemicals and rubber products company has its North American headquarters in Findlay and facilities on Neville Island and in Burgettstown.
Net income rose to 55 million euros ($73.6 million) from 9 million euros in the second quarter a year ago partly because last year’s second-quarter results included restructuring charges of 40 million euros. Worldwide sales fell to 2.01 billion euros from 2.14 billion euros a year ago because of a decline in prices, competition for synthetic rubbers, and negative currency exchange rates.
In North America, sales declined by 5 percent to 339 million euros, but when adjusted for currency rates the decline was only 0.5 percent. Lanxess said it will reduce the number of business units as part of an ongoing corporate realignment program but did not disclose how many jobs may be cut.
• Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported net income of $191 million, or 22 cents per share, during the second quarter, down from $580 million, or 66 cents per share, during the same time last year. Total revenue for the quarter was $5.2 billion, up from $4.7 billion a year ago.
The Oklahoma-based oil and gas company has been on a selling spree recently, divesting of noncore oil and gas assets, compression, real estate and other interests. Another $700 million in sales is expected to close by the end of the year, the company said, including some assets in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Trade gap narrows as exports rise
The U.S. trade deficit fell 7 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted $41.5 billion, from $44.7 billion in May, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Exports rose 0.1 percent to $195.9 billion, a record high. Imports fell 1.2 percent, the most in a year, to $237.4 billion.
Sprint replaces CEO after dropping T-Mobile bid
Sprint’s new owner is replacing its longtime CEO with a Bolivian billionaire and entrepreneur after dropping its bid for rival wireless carrier T-Mobile US. Marcelo Claure, CEO of Miami-based cell phone distributor Brightstar, will replace Dan Hesse on Monday, Sprint Corp. said Wednesday. Brightstar is part of Softbank Corp., which bought 70 percent of Sprint last year.
Samsung, Apple agree to drop lawsuits
Samsung and Apple Inc. have agreed to end all patent lawsuits between each other outside the U.S. in a step back from three years of legal hostilities between the world’s two largest smartphone makers.