Well permits growing
Ohio is approaching 500 Utica shale well permits.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Oil and Gas Resurces Management has approved 498 permits in eastern Ohio. The permits were issued from late 2010 through Jan. 12.
To date, 208 of the wells have been completed — with 48 wells producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane.
The state approved 17 Utica shale permits last week: two in Belmont County, three in Carroll County, one in Columbiana County, three in Guernsey County, three in Harrison County, one in Jefferson County and four in Noble County.
Carroll County remains the No. 1 drilling county in Ohio with 179 permits.
Bank annual meeting
Fairlawn-based Central Federal Corp., the holding company of CFBank, said its annual meeting of shareholders will be at 10 a.m. May 16 at Fairlawn Country Club, 200 N. Wheaton Road. The record date for stockholders eligible to vote will be April 1.
Interest rates decline
The average interest rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage inched closer to its record low this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.38 percent, down from 3.40 percent last week. And it’s slightly above the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 2.66 percent. The record low is 2.63 percent.
The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.66 percent in 2012, the lowest annual average in 65 years.
Solid earnings at United
UnitedHealth Group Inc., the biggest U.S. medical insurer, reported earnings that matched analyst estimates, as higher premiums and a surge in enrollment outweighed rising medical costs. Fourth-quarter earnings of $1.20 a share met the average of 19 analyst estimates tracked by Bloomberg News. Enrollment increased as the Minnesota-based insurer added 6.4 million members after a Brazilian acquisition.
Big bank sees decline
Bank of America said its fourth-quarter earnings shrank as it cleaned up old problems from its mortgage unit. The bank made $367 million in the last three months of 2012 after paying preferred dividends, down from $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago. The earnings were equivalent to 3 cents per share.
Citi sees increase
Citigroup reported earnings below Wall Street’s expectations as the bank’s legal expenses climbed. Citi said it earned $1.2 billion after paying preferred dividends, or 38 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares with $933 million, or 31 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose to $18.7 billion, up 8 percent from the same period a year earlier and slightly below forecasts. The bank had $1.3 billion in legal and related expenses in the quarter.
Profit up at Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp. said fourth-quarter profit rose 27 percent as the firm booked a gain on a stake in Vantiv Inc. Net income jumped to $399 million, or 43 cents a share, from $314 million, or 33 cents, a year earlier, the Cincinnati-based company said. That compares with the 41-cent average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Compiled from staff and wire reports