Business Briefs: American Eagle cuts China license agreement

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American Eagle cuts China license agreement

American Eagle Outfitters said it has agreed to a mutual termination of its license agreement in China, Hong Kong and the surrounding region. The South Side teen clothing retailer, which will take over operation of six stores in the market, said it prefers to have company-owned stores in the area, which it believes has strong economic potential.

Eureka Financial saw drop in profit

Eureka Financial Corp., parent company of Pittsburgh-based Eureka Bank, said net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 fell 14 percent to $333,000 from $388,000 a year earlier, while per-share profit dropped 19 percent to 25 cents from 31 cents.

December home prices rose by most in 6.5 years

U.S. home prices jumped by the most in 6 1/2 years in December, spurred by a low supply of available homes and rising demand. Home prices rose 8.3 percent compared with a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday from CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. That is the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices rose last year in 46 of 50 states. Steady increases in prices are helping fuel the housing recovery. The states with the biggest price gains were Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, California and Hawaii. The four states where prices fell were Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

U.S. service firms grew more slowly in January

Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January. That's down from 55.7 in December, which was the highest level in nearly a year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

BP's Q4 earnings decline as production retreats

BP Plc said fourth-quarter profit declined as oil and gas production slipped at Europe's second- biggest energy company. Net income fell to $1.6 billion from $7.7 billion a year earlier, the London-based producer said. Adjusted for one-time items and changes in inventory, earnings were $4 billion. That beat the $3.7 billion average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Output excluding Russia fell 7 percent to 2.3 million barrels a day from a year earlier. BP is struggling to reverse production declines after selling off $38 billion in assets and divesting its stake in Russian venture TNK-BP, which was responsible for about a quarter of output.

Consumer Reports questions turbo engines

Consumer Reports is warning car buyers that turbocharged engines may not deliver the speed or fuel economy they expect. The magazine said its tests showed turbocharged models from Ford, Hyundai and Kia are less efficient than competitors. It also said the turbocharged Chevrolet Cruze got little extra power or fuel economy than a non-turbocharged engine. The magazine did praise a turbocharged four-cylinder from BMW. Turbochargers pump extra air into engines so more fuel can be added to boost power.

More briefs, Page A-9

Pew study: Most Facebook users have taken break

Too much drama, boredom and scads of irrelevant information are just some of the reasons Facebook users give for taking a break from the world's biggest social networking site for weeks at a time, according to a new study. A report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus of at least several weeks for myriad reasons, whether they were weary from an onslaught of gossip, or -- for the more pious -- the arrival of Lent.

Also in business ...

Law firm Duane Morris' government strategies unit named Patrick Mangus senior counsel, strategic communications. Mr. Mangus will manage a new national communications practice for the firm from its government strategies offices in Station Square. Mr. Mangus was formerly executive director of the National Aviary and has owned several public relations and consulting firms. ... Mitsubishi is recalling 14,700 of its i-MiEV electric cars worldwide because a brake pump can fail. The automaker said the recall affects 2012 models made from Dec. 2, 2011, through Sept. 7, 2012. It covers 1,400 sold in the U.S., including those still on dealer lots.

From staff and wire reports



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