A state program designed to help low-income households with their energy bills has started accepting applications. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, assists in paying home heating bills through the winter months. Pennsylvania residents can apply online at www.compass.state.pa.us, or through paper applications available at local county assistance offices. The eligibility guidelines for LIHEAP are the same as last year. A household of four people with an income below $34,575 would qualify, for example, though the program has different income requirements for homes of all sizes.
II-VI, a Saxonburg-based laser and optics company, announced it has acquired all outstanding shares of Connecticut-based M Cubed Technologies. II-VI paid $71.4 million in cash and is subject to closing adjustments that could increase the purchase price by up to $2.5 million. M Cubed, which develops advanced ceramic materials and precision motion control products, is expected to generate approximately $35 million in revenues by the end of the fiscal year on June 30. II-VI also announced it expanded its existing $50 million unsecured credit line with PNC Bank to $80 million.
Universal Stainless & Alloy Products said hourly workers at its Dunkirk, N.Y., plant have agreed to continue working until Nov. 11 while the Bridgeville specialty metals producer negotiates a new labor agreement with the United Steelworkers union. The current agreement expired Wednesday.
After more than 15 years at the helm, Jack Norris will retire as market leader of CBRE Group in Pittsburgh at the end of March. He will be replaced by Jeffrey Ackerman, who will become managing director and market leader of the Pittsburgh real estate company's office. Mr. Ackerman is executive vice president of CBRE's investment properties group and co-leader of its national private capital group. Gerry Dudley, executive vice president of CBRE's office occupier service business, will become leader of the investment property group in Pittsburgh with Mr. Ackerman's promotion.
Longtime Ford executive Mark Fields was named chief operating officer of the company on Thursday, putting him in line to replace CEO Alan Mulally as soon as 2015. Mr. Mulally, 67, said Thursday that he plans to remain CEO at least through 2014. Mr. Fields, 51, will become COO on Dec. 1.
• Education Management reported a $13.1 million fiscal first quarter loss, citing lower enrollment and restructuring charges. The Downtown-based for-profit school operator said the loss amounted to 11 cents per share and came on revenue of $609.6 million, down 11 percent from a year ago. Average enrollment at the Art Institutes, Argosy University and the company's other schools fell 12 percent while new student enrollment was off 18 percent. The results reflect $9.1 million in pretax restructuring charges, including $7.5 million for severance paid to dismissed workers. In the year-ago quarter, Education Management reported net income of $27 million, or 21 cents per share, on revenue of $682.1 million.
• GNC Holdings Inc. reported profit of $62.2 million, or 60 cents per share, in the third quarter, up from $48.7 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. Excluding certain one-time expenses, profit would have been $63.2 million, or 61 cents per share. Analysts polled had been looking for 58 cents per share. Total revenue of $621.6 million in the quarter was up 15.5 percent over last year's $538 million, the company said. Sales at U.S. corporate stores open at least a year rose 9.8 percent, while same-store sales at domestic franchise locations were up 14.3 percent.
• Nova Chemicals Corp. said third-quarter profit fell by 29 percent and sales slid by 18 percent mainly due to declines in its segment that makes plastics used in consumer and industrial packaging materials. Profits were $107 million, down from $150 million a year ago. Sales dropped to $1.19 billion from $1.45 billion in the year-ago quarter. Nova's operations are primarily in Canada and it has an executive center in Moon. The company plans to close by the end of the year on the sale of a facility in Monaca, Beaver County, to PFB International of Calgary. The Monaca plant produces plastic resins.
• Allegheny Valley Bancorp said net income for the third quarter skidded 26 percent to $562,000 from $760,000 in the same three months last year as net interest income fell. Per-share profits declined 28 percent to 58 cents from 80 cents.
• TMS International posted higher third quarter profits despite a 19 percent decline in revenue as lower costs helped the steel industry supplier. The parent of Tube City reported net income of $9.8 million, or 25 cents per share, on revenue of $573.1 million vs. earnings of $6.5 million, or 17 cents per share, and revenue of $709.2 million in the year-ago quarter.
• L.B. Foster reported a drop in third quarter net income of $8.2 million, or 83 cents per diluted share, compared to $9.7 million, or 91 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2011. The Greentree-based rail products company fell short of analysts' predictions of 89 cents per share. Sales for the third quarter of 2012 were $170.3 million compared to $158.3 million for the third quarter of 2011.
• Ansys announced third quarter income of $51.6 million, or 54 cents per share, up from $45.5 million, or 48 cents per share, the same period last year. The Southpointe-based simulation technology company posted revenues of $196.9 million, up from $172.9 million last year. Ansys is projecting revenues in the range of $211.3 million, or 49 cents per share, to $218.3 million, or 55 cents per share, for the quarter ending Dec. 31.