Business Briefs: Some do like preparing taxes ... for the refund

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Some do like preparing taxes

While 26 percent of Americans say they hate doing their taxes, about a third of taxpayers report they actually enjoy filling out their tax returns each year, according to a national survey by the Pew Research Center. The survey of 1,003 adults found the expectation of getting a refund is the key reason people look forward to tax season. Among those who dislike or hate doing their taxes, 31 percent say it's because the process is too complicated and requires too much paperwork or they are afraid of making mistakes.

PPG in agreement to buy Deft

PPG Industries said it has an agreement to buy Deft Inc., a California-based maker of coatings for aerospace and industrial applications. Terms were not disclosed. Deft, a privately held company that also produces a line of polyurethanes and wood stains for contractors and consumers, has 140 employees and is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. It also operates a plant in Alliance, Ohio. PPG expects the deal to close in the second quarter.

RTI operating on $14M-16M

RTI International Metals said it expects to report first quarter operating income of $14 million to $16 million. The forecast excludes estimated noncash charges of $4 million to $6 million related to an early retirement offer and the sale of two small, non-titanium businesses, but includes about $4 million from the recovery of import duties RTI had expected to book later this year. The Moon titanium producer also announced an offering of $250 million in convertible senior notes. Proceeds will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures, possible acquisitions and repurchasing convertible senior notes due in 2015.

Import prices fell in March

The Labor Department says import prices dropped 0.5 percent in March after a 0.6 percent gain the previous month. The cost of fuel imports declined 1.9 percent. Excluding fuel, import costs fell 0.2 percent. Export prices also declined in March from February. They fell 0.4 percent, pushed down by cheaper agricultural goods.

Retail revenue grew slightly

As cold weather lingered across most of the country, Americans shopped modestly in March. According to a preliminary tally of 15 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers, revenue in stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent, or 2.5 percent excluding drugstores. That was below expectations, said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the ICSC.

Repossession fell to 5-year low

The number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders last month fell to the lowest level in more than five years, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday. All told, lenders repossessed 43,597 homes last month, the lowest level since September 2007.

Airbag problem for 3.4M cars

Six automakers including Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling nearly 3.4 million older-model vehicles worldwide in a massive effort to fix defective air bags. The recall mainly affects cars sold by Japanese automakers. A small number of cars made by Germany's BMW AG and General Motors Co. also are involved.

Also in business ...

PennDOT has awarded Michael Baker Corp. a $2.2 million contract to design a replacement for the 12-span Derry Borough Bridge in Westmoreland County. ... ALung Technologies, a South Side-based medical device company, has sold $7.2 million in equity to an undisclosed investor. The company is trying to raise a total of $15 million. ... First-quarter shipments of PCs fell 14 percent worldwide from the same time last year, according to International Data Corp.

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