Business Briefs: Heinz executives will shift jobs

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Heinz executives will shift jobs

Two top executives of the H.J. Heinz Co. are changing jobs, as the Pittsburgh food company prepares to be acquired later this year by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital. According to a regulatory filing, David C. Moran, who has been running Heinz Europe and leading the global infant/nutrition operation, will come back to run Heinz North America while keeping the infant/nutrition responsibilities. David C. Woodward, who last year took over Heinz North America, will lead the Heinz Europe operation. Mr. Woodward had previously led the U.K. operation and Mr. Moran had led North American operations.

ATI leader was paid less in 2012

Allegheny Technologies chairman, president and CEO Richard J. Harshman received compensation valued at $10.2 million last year, down 17 percent from the previous year. The total included stock awards valued at $3.1 million and $2.8 million in non-stock incentives. The figures were disclosed in a proxy statement being mailed to shareholders in advance of the company's shareholder meeting, scheduled for May 2 in Charlotte, N.C.

Earnings

• Lanxess, the German rubber and chemicals maker with North American headquarters in Findlay, said net income rose by 2 percent in 2012, to 514 million euros ($663 million) while global sales jumped by 4 percent to 9.1 billion euros ($11.7 billion) on gains of over 10 percent in the Asia-Pacific and North American regions. North American sales totaled 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion). Besides its headquarters, Lanxess' local operations include facilities in Neville Island and Burgettstown, Washington County.

The company also confirmed preliminary fourth-quarter results released earlier this month. For the fourth quarter, net income shot up to 51 million euros from 5 million euros in 2012 while sales were flat at 2.1 billion euros.

• Cranberry teen clothing retailer rue21 inc. drove higher profits in the fourth quarter mainly through store growth. The company reported net income of $15 million, or 62 cents per share, in the three months ended Feb. 2, up from $12.9 million, or 52 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding one-time expenses, earnings per share of 65 cents exceeded analysts' estimates by 2 cents. Total sales in the holiday quarter of $269.1 million were up over $219.9 million a year earlier, while sales at established stores rose 0.7 percent.

For the full fiscal year, rue21 reported net income of $43.9 million, or $1.76 per share, compared to $39 million, or $1.55 per share, the previous year. Excluding costs associated with settling wage and hour claims in California and other one-time expenses, earnings per share were $1.87 per share. Total sales of $901.9 million compared to $760 million the previous year.

It's costly to charge your taxes

Paying your federal income tax bill with a credit card might not be such a good idea. If you charge your taxes and don't pay off your card balance in full by the due date, you'll be socked with interest charges. In addition, card payments to the IRS are processed through third-party providers that charge a fee ranging from 1.88 percent to 2.35 percent, according to the credit card tracker Lowcards.com. That fee then gets passed along to you.

Highway safety app available

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released SaferCar, an iOS app that provides real-time safety information and allows users to research vehicle safety ratings, get information on installing child safety seats, file vehicle safety complaints, find recall information and more. The free app is available through iTunes.

Pace of home sales rises

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of previously occupied homes increased 0.8 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million. That was the fastest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary home buyer tax credit had boosted sales. The Realtors' group says the median price for a home sold in February was $173,600. That's up 11.6 percent from a year ago.

Also in business...

Coca-Cola says it's cutting 750 jobs in the U.S. as it continues to streamline its business. ... Intuitive Surgical Inc., the maker of robots used in 367,000 U.S. operations last year, is facing accusations in at least 10 lawsuits that it put patients at risk by marketing the machinery to doctors without providing adequate training. ... Deutsche Lufthansa AG scrapped more than 760 flights Thursday as cabin crew and ground personnel went on strike for a few hours over pay. About 2,000 employees rallied at Frankfurt Airport to protest a company plan to freeze pay for two years.

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