Union Pacific extends contract with L.B. Foster
L.B. Foster Co. announced Wednesday that Union Pacific Railroad has extended its contract for the supply of prestressed concrete railroad ties produced at L.B. Foster's Tucson, Ariz. plant. The previous supply contract was set to expire on Dec. 31. The companies have agreed on a multi-year contract extension. L.B. Foster's Tucson plant is solely dedicated to producing concrete tie products. The company has invested more than $15 million in production machinery in the plant since it opened in 2006. About 50 people are employed there.
Oakmont and N.Y. firms agree to operate Ohio line
Carload Express of Oakmont and Hannibal Real Estate of White Plains, N.Y., announced Wednesday they reached an agreement to operate the 12.2 mile Omal railway line in Monroe County, Ohio. The Ohio Terminal Railway Co. will operate as a common carrier short line railroad connecting with the Norfolk Southern Railway.
Fab Universal expects big boost from merger
Fab Universal, a Shadyside-based digital entertainment distributor formerly known as Wizzard Software, estimates it will see more than $23 million in fourth quarter revenues following its merger with a Chinese company that closed in the third quarter. Fab CEO Chris Spencer said he believes the company will continue to see growth through the next year.
Nova closes on sale of Syntheon subsidiary
Nova Chemicals Corp. closed on the sale of its Syntheon Inc. subsidiary to Headwaters AG, a private investment company with a local office in Sewickley. Terms were not disclosed. Syntheon makes building products including steel panel wall systems and a concrete additive. It employs 25 at a plant in Leetsdale and 100 at two facilities in Chile.
Small businesses were strong in November
Spending by holiday shoppers trumped Superstorm Sandy's impact on small businesses in November. A report Wednesday from MasterCard Advisors and Wells Fargo shows that shoppers spent 5.2 percent more at small retailers in November than they did last year. Small businesses even fared better than the industry at large: Total U.S. retail sales increased 4.5 percent for the same period. The SpendingPulse report measures sales at retailers with annual revenue of less than $35 million and fewer than 200 employees.
OPEC can't yet agree on leadership position
OPEC ministers agreed to keep their daily crude production target unchanged at a meeting Wednesday. But in a sign of internal rivalries, they failed to reach consensus on a new secretary general, a post sought by Saudi Arabia, Iran and resurgent oil-power Iraq. The 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries predicts even less demand for its oil next year in part because of weak economic growth.
Honda recalls 870,000-plus
Honda is recalling more than 870,000 minivans and SUVs worldwide because they can roll away even though drivers have removed the keys from the ignition. The recall affects Honda Odyssey minivans and Pilot SUVs from the 2003 and 2004 model years. Also 247,000 Acura MDX SUVs from the 2003 through 2006 period. Dealers will repair the ignition interlock system free of charge. Owners will get notices starting in February.
Redbox to offer new service
DVD kiosk operator Redbox is launching a challenge to Netflix's streaming-video supremacy. This month, Redbox will launch, on an invitation-only basis, an unlimited streaming-video plan that includes movies from Warner Bros. and pay TV channel Epix, along with four nights of physical DVD rentals, for $8 a month.
Also in business ...
Chicken of the Sea International has hired the Perpetual Licensing agency to help the tuna company extend its brand into additional products that could include soups, meal starter kits, sandwich spreads and condiments. ... Avon Products Inc. will cut about 1,500 jobs globally and exit South Korea and Vietnam as part of a plan to save $400 million by the end of 2015. The steps will result in pretax costs of about $80 million to $90 million, the New York company said.