Business news briefs for 8/4/10
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Mortgage rates set a record low for the sixth straight week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 4.54 percent in the week ended Tuesday from 4.56 percent last week, McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac said. The average 15-year rate was 4 percent, also a record in the data going back to 1971.
The average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline at Pittsburgh-area pumps was $2.709 Tuesday, down less than a penny per gallon from last week's average of $2.71, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. A year ago, the average price was $2.586. The national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.726. This time last year, the national average price was $2.549 per gallon.
Pittsburgh Glass Works is in discussions about a possible joint venture with a Chinese auto parts maker. PGW, in which PPG Industries holds a minority stake, said it was in discussions with Xinyi Automobile Parts about a venture that would make automotive glass parts in China and for export to other markets. Xinyi supplies windshields, accessories and glass moldings.
Shares of Calgon Carbon fell more than 8 percent Tuesday after the Robinson environmental services firm reported sharply lower second-quarter earnings, citing an $11.5 million pretax charge for losing a breach of contract lawsuit.
Net income totaled $2.9 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, vs. earnings of $6.1 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales rose 20 percent to $123.6 million.
Last week, a federal jury in Pittsburgh ordered Calgon Carbon to pay $12 million in damages to ADA-ES, which had claimed it was entitled to a commission on Calgon Carbon's 2008 sale of activated carbon to a U.S. power generator. The carbon was used to remove mercury from the plant's emissions.
Calgon Carbon shares finished Tuesday at $12.64, down $1.19. They are off 9 percent for the year.
Tollgrade Communications reported a net income of $1.2 million, or 10 cents per share, for the second quarter of the fiscal 2010 year, up from the $1.5 million and 12 cent losses reported that quarter one year ago.
Revenue for the quarter increased nearly $1 million to $11.5 million.
The Cheswick-based telecommunications company recently has seen some management shake-ups, with Edward Kennedy, president and chief executive officer, succeeding former CEO Joseph Ferrara in June. Severance costs for Mr. Ferrara's exit were approximately $0.6 million.
Tollgrade expects third-quarter revenues to be in the range of $11 million to $13 million.
Shares closed Tuesday at $6.65, up 4 cents.
RTI International Metals reported a second-quarter profit, but president and CEO Dawne S. Hickton said she was cautious about the titanium producer's prospects for the rest of the year.
The company reported net income of $10.2 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, vs. earnings of $125,000, or 1 cent per share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales increased 2 percent to $106.7 million.
Titanium mill product shipments during the quarter totaled 2.5 million pounds vs. 2.7 million pounds in the year-ago quarter. Average prices fell 13 percent.
Lawrence-based digital communications company Black Box Network Services saw net income of $13.1 million, or 75 cents per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. That's up from the $7.8 million, or 44 cents, the same quarter one year ago.
Total revenues for the quarter were $264 million, up $29 million from last year. The company is targeting revenues of between $255 million and $260 million for the second quarter, with earnings per share between 76 cents and 81 cents.
Black Box shares closed yesterday at $31.37, up 47 cents.
• HFF Inc. reported revenues of $34.1 million for the second quarter of 2010, an increase of $17.7 million compared to the second quarter of 2009 revenues of $16.4 million. The Downtown company had operating income of $5.2 million compared to a loss of $1.8 million for the second quarter last year, representing an increase of $7 million. HFF is a broker of commercial real estate nationwide
• Natural gas distribution company NiSource Inc. said it earned $28 million, or 10 cents per share, in the second quarter vs. a loss of $4 million, or 1 cent, in the same quarter last year. NiSource owns Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania.
First Published August 4, 2010 12:00 am