Business Briefs: Q2 income plummets at rue21

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Income plummets at rue21

Cranberry teen clothing retailer rue21 is having a slow summer, as the company prepares to be sold to a private equity investor. The company reported net income fell 88 percent in the second quarter, to $1.1 million for the three months ended Aug. 3 from $9.1 million during the same period a year ago. Net sales rose to $229.3 million vs. $202.1 million last year, driven in part by new store openings, according to regulatory filings. The company also reported the soft sales that forced higher markdowns in the second quarter continued into August, with sales at stores open at least a year down 7.6 percent.

Hearing on Heinz set for Feb.

A trial in the insider trading case involving the takeover of Pittsburgh food company H.J. Heinz Co. could take place early next year following a hearing Thursday in federal court in New York. The Securities and Exchange Commission suit filed in February alleged the unnamed traders reaped $1.7 million in profits the day before the announcement. At a conference Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff set a Feb. 13 date for a pre-trial hearing and said he would set a firm date for a non-jury trial then. Although the complaint did not identify the traders by name, a Cayman Islands business, Alpine Swift Ltd., was served with the complaint in August.

Confluence buys Data Agent

Confluence Technologies, a North Shore-based data management company, announced it has acquired Berkley, Calif.,-based data consolidation and support company Data Agent for an undisclosed figure. A press release issued by Confluence said Data Agent's expertise in alternative investment data management and reporting will help the company offer a wider variety of services to clients.

II-VI acquires Swiss firm

Saxonburg-based laser and infrared technology company II-VI announced that it has acquired Swiss semiconductor laser company Oclaro Inc., in a $115 million deal. The deal includes a $92 million cash payment. II-VI president Francis J. Kramer said in a press release the acquisition will help the company broaden its portfolio of services and that the business will be included as a new operating segment within the company. II-VI closed at $19.01, down 7.8 percent from the previous day.

Foreclosure starts fell in Aug.

Lenders initiated foreclosure action in August against the fewest U.S. homes for any month in nearly eight years. Some 55,775 homes entered the foreclosure process last month, a decline of 8 percent from July and down 44 percent from August last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Also in business...

Dell Inc. shareholders have approved the buyout of the company by founder Michael Dell and his financial ally Silver Lake Partners. ... Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. plans to raise $1.25 billion from an initial public offering of its common stock. The company did not disclose in its filing Thursday how many shares would be offered or the anticipated price range. ... United Airlines said it's reviewing whether to honor an unknown number of tickets accidentally offered online for free after faulty data was put into its reservations system.

From staff and wire reports

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