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Business news briefs — Jan. 14


‘Underwater’ homes decline

More than a quarter of Ohio homes with a mortgage were “deeply underwater” in December, meaning they were worth at least 25 percent less than combined loans secured by the property, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate research firm in Irvine, Calif.

A total of 552,277 Ohio homes, or 28 percent of homes with a mortgage, fit the “deeply underwater” category last month, RealtyTrac said.

December was an improvement over September, when 31 percent of Ohio homes with a mortgage were in the category.

For December, the state ranked sixth in the nation for the percentage of homes secured by a mortgage that were underwater.

Nevada ranked the highest, with 38 percent. Next was Florida, with 34 percent; Illinois with 32 percent and Michigan with 31 percent. Missouri was tied with Ohio at 28 percent.

Nationally, 19 percent of homes with a mortgage were in the “deeply underwater” category, down from 23 percent in December.

— Katie Byard

Goodyear announces results

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will report fourth-quarter and fiscal 2013 financial results Feb. 13.

The Akron tire maker’s results will be released prior to the opening of stock market trading and will be followed at 9 a.m. with a conference call with industry analysts.

Goodyear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kramer and Chief Financial Officer Laura Thompson will take part in the call.

About 8:15 a.m., the company will post financial and other related information on its investor relations website, The public can listen in via the website or by calling 800-895-1085 or 785-424-1055 before 8:55 a.m. and providing the conference ID “Goodyear.”


Google buys Nest

Google Inc. will spend $3.2 billion to acquire Nest Labs Inc., a Silicon Valley company founded by former Apple Inc. employees to develop better versions of common devices for homes. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nest last year introduced a connected smoke detector to its product line, which previously included a thermostat originally launched in late 2011. At Apple, executives led teams that created the iPod and the iPhone, and Nest had received backing from Google’s venture capital arm.

TWC says no to offer

Time Warner Cable Inc., which has Akron operations, rejected an acquisition offer from Charter Communications Inc. valued at more than $61 billion including debt, spurning the biggest unsolicited takeover bid since 2008.

Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Officer Rob Marcus called the $132.50-a-share bid a “low-ball offer.” The proposal included about $83 cash per share and about $49.50 in stock, according to Charter. Excluding debt, the deal would be worth about $37.3 billion.

Charter, backed by billionaire John Malone, is seeking to create a provider of TV, Internet and phone service for about 20 million subscribers in 38 states. The combined company would be the third-largest pay-TV operator by customers — behind Comcast Corp. and DirecTV — helping it generate cost savings and negotiate better programming deals.


GM resets dividend

General Motors Co. said it will pay a dividend of 30 cents a share, marking its first quarterly payment since July 2008. The dividend is payable March 28 to all common stockholders of record as of March 18, the company said. GM, which reports earnings in February, is likely headed for its 16th straight quarter of profit. The Detroit-based company has improved its cash flow and has fewer outstanding preferred shares following its 2009 bankruptcy reorganization. Shares rose 2.6 percent to $41.08 and gained 42 percent last year.

Dow rises 116 points

The S&P 500 index gained 19.68 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,838.88, its biggest gain since Dec. 18. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115.92 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 16,373.86, just below its high of the day. The Nasdaq composite rose 69.71 points, or 1.7 percent, to 4,183.02.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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