Ford to lay off 261 in Ohio
Ford Motor Co. will begin laying off workers at its Walton Hills stamping plant at the end of June as it prepares to close the plant.
In a filing with Ohio, Ford said it will lay off 221 hourly and 40 salaried workers starting June 30. Other layoffs will occur in July and from September through December.
The United Auto Workers in 2011 ratified a contract that included its agreement to allow Ford to close the 2.1-million square-foot factory. The plant, which opened in 1954, makes Econoline van body panels, doors, fenders and other parts.
Ford and other automakers are eliminating centralized stamping plants and instead moving those operations into, or next to, assembly plants.
Area business health slips
The two-county Akron metropolitan area’s small-business credit health worsened slightly in the first quarter from a year ago, according to Moody’s Analytics and business information company Experian.
The Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index worsened the first three months of 2014 compared to the same period a year ago for Summit and Portage counties. The index looks at what is called risk score, the number of days business bills are past due, delinquency rates and bankruptcy rates. The Akron area index was up 2.7 percent from a year ago. The increase was likely attributable to bad winter weather causing larger creditors to limit transactions and small businesses more reluctant to take on debt, Experian said.
Deal reached on energy rules
A compromise was reached on energy efficiency and renewable energy rules between Gov. John Kasich and Ohio Senate Republicans. The Plain Dealer reported that a proposal would lessen the impact on monthly bills.
Senate Bill 310 calls for a three-year freeze on rules. The report said a vote in the Ohio General Assembly could come today.
Insurer beats estimates
Specialty insurer National Interstate Corp.’s first-quarter net income rose slightly from a year ago, beating analyst expectations. The Richfield company reported earning $8.06 million, or 41 cents per share, on gross premiums written of $163.6 million, for the three months ending March 31. A year ago, the company had net income of $8.02 million, or 41 cents per share, on gross premiums written of $151.9 million. Earnings beat analyst expectations of 38 cents per share.
Company executives will discuss first quarter results with industry analysts in a 10 a.m. conference call today The public can listen in by calling 877-837-3911 or online at http://invest.natl.com.
DirecTV reports profit
DirecTV beat analysts’ first-quarter profit estimates on higher bills for U.S. customers and more subscriber sign-ups than expected in Latin America. Earnings of $1.63 a share, excluding one-time items, topped analysts’ estimates for $1.48 a share on average. The largest U.S. satellite-TV provider’s first-quarter revenue rose 3.6 percent to $7.86 billion.
Winter hurts gaming results
MTR Gaming Group in Chester, W.Va., is reporting a first-quarter loss of $6.2 million, or 22 cents per share. MTR reported a loss of $800,000, or 3 cents per share, during the same period in 2013. President and chief operating officer Joseph L. Billhimer said in a news release that a harsh winter and competition from gaming facilities in Ohio affected MTR’s first-quarter results.
Revenues at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester dropped 6.6 percent to $45.9 million. At Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, Pa., revenues fell 11.9 percent to $33.1 million. Revenues at Scioto Downs in Ohio decreased by half a percent to $35.8 million.
Office Depot plans closings
Office Depot is planning to close at least 400 U.S. stores, as its merger with OfficeMax resulted in an overlap of locations. The company had 1,900 stores at the end of the first quarter, so the plans call for closing about 21 percent.
No details were posted on the company’s website. Office Depot and OfficeMax Inc. completed their $1.2 billion deal last November.
Compiled from staff and wire reports