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Vanguard move could cut investors' fees

Vanguard is expanding access to its lowest-cost mutual fund share class for individual investors, a move that will bring fee reductions to nearly 2 million clients of the nation's largest fund company. Vanguard said Wednesday that it was reducing the minimum investment amount to qualify for its Admiral share class, which charges lower investment expenses than its Investor mutual fund shares. A total of 52 of Vanguard's more than 170 U.S. funds offer Admiral shares with the new lower eligibility requirements, including 17 index funds and 35 actively managed funds. The privately held, shareholder-owned company, based in Valley Forge, has offered its Admiral share class for 10 years.

YinzCam launches app for Steelers on smart phones

YinzCam Inc. said it launched a smart phone application for the Steelers on Sunday that expands the Carnegie Mellon spinoff's coverage of local sports teams. The YinzCam applications for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms will provide real-time action and replays from four camera angles at Heinz Field, including the NFL's Red Zone Channel. YinzCam already has developed an application for the Penguins and is launching partnerships with the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers.

Costco says 4th-quarter profit rises 16 percent

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income rose nearly 16 percent on increased revenue from membership fees and international operations. The nation's largest warehouse club operator reported Wednesday that it earned $432 million, or 97 cents per share, for the period that ended Aug. 29. That's up from $374 million, or 85 cents per share, in the same quarter last year, while revenue rose 8 percent to $24.13 billion. While revenue from sales at clubs open at least a year climbed 6 percent overall, that same figure jumped 14 percent for international sales. Excluding impact of gasoline and foreign exchange, the figure rose 4 percent overall and 10 percent internationally. For the full year, Costco's net income increased 19 percent to $1.3 billion, or $2.92 per share, compared with $1.09 billion, or $2.47 per share, a year earlier. Annual revenue rose 9.1 percent to $77.95 billion.

White & Williams to close Pittsburgh law office

Law firm White & Williams will close its Pittsburgh office probably by the end of the year. The Philadelphia-based firm has five lawyers in Pittsburgh who focus on medical malpractice. Managing partner George Hartnett told The Legal Intelligencer the local office had trouble "cross-selling" its practice with the firm's other nine offices. The firm has a total of about 225 lawyers.

Grand jury indicts former manager of closed bank

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted a former manager of defunct Metropolitan Savings Bank in Lawrenceville on five counts of filing false quarterly financial reports with regulators. Donna Shebetich, vice president, director and loan officer at Metropolitan, was charged with underreporting in 2005 and 2006 the amount of delinquent mortgage loans at the bank, a 115-year-old one-branch institution that was seized and shut down by regulators in February 2007 for unsafe business practices.

West Penn Forbes Regional certified as stroke center

West Penn Hospital Forbes Regional Campus in Monroeville was awarded certification as a primary stroke center by the Joint Commission, a national accreditation nonprofit. The Joint Commission evaluated the Stroke Center during an on-site survey in September, reviewing several aspects of the program, such as stroke care protocols, whether it provided access to a stroke neurologist 24 hours a day and if it offered standardized patient education.

Also in business ...

Pittsburgh Corning Corp. named James Kane president. He was formerly vice president and general manager of the company's foamglas industrial business worldwide. He succeeds Phil Martineau, who continues as chairman and CEO.


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