Business Briefs: Groupon boots CEO Mason

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WesBanco raises dividend

WesBanco Inc. announced an increase in the quarterly common stock dividend to 19 cents per share, up from 18 cents. The new dividend is payable April 1 to shareholders of record March 15.

Generic Vicodin recalled

Mylan Inc.'s institutional unit, UDL Laboratories, is recalling 3,407 cartons of hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablets, the generic version of the painkiller Vicodin, because they may contain oversized, superpotent tablets, according to a Food and Drug Administration enforcement report Thursday. The nationwide recall, initiated Dec. 14, involves lot numbers 3037841, 3040859 and 3042573 with an expiration date of December 2013.

Groupon boots CEO Mason

Struggling online deals pioneer Groupon ousted CEO Andrew Mason Thursday after the market closed, only a day after the company announced net losses of $67.4 million, or 10 cents per share for fiscal year 2012. Mr. Mason, a Mt. Lebanon native who founded Groupon in 2008, penned a tongue-in-cheek memo to the Groupon staff where he took accountability for recent losses.

Pandora caps free mobile use

Pandora, the Internet radio service, is capping free mobile listening at 40 hours a month in the absence of sufficient advertising sales to pay for rising music costs. The change begins in March, the Oakland, Calif.-based company said Thursday. Listeners who exceed the mobile threshold can still use Pandora for free on computers, or pay 99 cents for unlimited mobile use for the remainder of the month. Pandora One subscribers, who pay $4 a month or $36 a year to skip commercials, aren't subject to the limit.

Earnings

• Bayer AG reported special charges of 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) on 2012 earnings including 1.2 billion euros set aside to settle litigation involving its Yaz and Yasmin oral contraceptives. The German-based drug and chemicals maker is battling claims and lawsuits that allege the birth control products caused blood clots that were sometimes fatal. Net income for the year slipped by 1 percent to 2.5 billion euros while global sales rose by 9 percent to a record 39.8 billion euros on gains in all of Bayer's business segments. Bayer has 15,300 employees in North America and some headquarters operations in Robinson although its top U.S. executive has been based in New Jersey since last July.

• Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which confirmed it is planning an initial public offering within the next two years for a 25 percent stake in its U.S.-based Citizens Financial Group unit, said Thursday it saw losses widen in 2012 after setting aside an additional 1.1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to compensate clients wrongly sold insurance and interest-rate hedging products. The net loss swelled to 5.97 billion pounds from 2 billion pounds in the year-earlier period, RBS said. Citizens Bank is the second biggest bank in the Pittsburgh region behind PNC.

• Ansys, a Southpointe-based simulation technology company, reported fourth quarter net income of $56.1 million, or 59 cents per share, up from $47.5 million, or 50 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue was up 11 percent to $220.7 million. For the year, net income was $203.4 million, or $2.14 per share, up from $180.6 million, or $1.91 per share, in 2011.

Also in business ...

Boeing CEO Ray Conner met with Japan's transport minister and other officials in Tokyo on Thursday to explain his company's proposal for resolving problems with the 787 Dreamliner's lithium-ion batteries. ... Chrysler is investing nearly $400 million and adding 1,250 jobs in the Kokomo, Ind., area as it shifts most of its vehicles to new transmissions that save fuel and better suit the driving habits of Americans. ... Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal to distribute vehicles in Myanmar. ... AOL Inc. has hired one of its board members, former Martha Stewart Living CEO Susan Lyne, to run the AOL portfolio of brands.

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