Law firm opens in Canton
Steptoe & Johnson LLP has expanded its presence in Utica shale country with the opening of a new office in Canton, according to West Virginia-based PRWeb.
It is the firm’s second Ohio location — along with an office in Columbus — and its 12th overall.
The Canton office will serve the growing number of energy clients conducting operations in Utica shale. Eventually, its office is to become a full-service location with business, labor and litigation practices.
Steptoe & Johnson attorney Daniel Kostrub will transfer from the firm’s Wheeling, W.Va., office to serve as the Canton managing member and will oversee activities.
Steptoe & Johnson also has offices in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.
PUCO approves auction
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Wednesday approved the results of FirstEnergy Corp.’s latest wholesale auction, which will be blended with other auctions to determine the generation rate for customers who have not chosen their own supplier.
Customers who don’t shop for another provider or aren’t part of an aggregation, pay the Standard Service Offer, or default price. About 25 percent of eligible customers in the Ohio Edison territory pay this rate.
FirstEnergy spokesman Doug Colafella said the price from the auction, $59.17 per megawatt hour, will be blended with other auctions for a new rate as of June 1. The utility will announce that rate before May 1.
The price will also be blended with future auctions to determine future rates. Colafella said the auction price came in cheaper than the October auction of $60.89. Four competitive suppliers submitted winning bids to provide the electricity.
Their names are kept confidential by the PUCO for 21 days.
US Airways income rises
US Airways said net income doubled in the fourth quarter as its planes were fuller and it made more money off each passenger. The airline reported a profit of $37 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $18 million, or 11 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items, net income was 26 cents per share, 7 cents higher than analyst forecasts, according to FactSet. Revenue rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billion.
Netflix reports higher profit
Netflix’s Internet video service added 2 million U.S. subscribers during the final three months of the year to produce an unexpected profit for the company.
The performance validates investors’ recent confidence in Netflix Inc., whose volatile stock had surged by more than 30 percent since early December. The stock soared another 29 percent after the fourth-quarter numbers came out.
The surge in new customers left Netflix with 27.1 million U.S. subscribers to its service that streams movies and TV shows to Internet-connected devices. Netflix earned nearly $8 million, or 13 cents per share. That was a 78 percent drop from the same time in the previous year. But investors had been bracing for a loss. Revenue climbed 8 percent to $945 million.
Volkswagen Golf in demand
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker, is planning additional production to meet demand for the new version of its best-selling Golf hatchback which went on sale at the end of last year. Orders for the new model, which arrived in showrooms in Germany in November, have exceeded 100,000 cars, the company said.
Government stingy with work
The U.S. Postal Service, required to send congressional letters at reduced rates, can’t win regular business from the federal government, according to an inspector general’s report.
Private-sector competitors led by FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. “consistently” have more than 98 percent of the $337 million annual shipping spending by federal agencies, according to the Jan. 18 report.
“The Postal Service faces challenges to growing its share of this market,” the Postal Service’s inspector general said. “Major challenges include pricing flexibility and the lack of 2- and 3-day guaranteed express delivery products.”
Having lacked a sales force, the Postal Service was late to enter bidding for U.S. General Services Administration contracts for federal agencies. Another handicap is the preference the Defense Department gives to carriers that have their own planes and participate in the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program. The Postal Service primarily contracts its air shipping to FedEx and doesn’t own cargo planes.
Compiled from staff and wire reports