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Business news briefs — Oct. 17


New bags at Acme

Later this month, Acme Fresh Markets will be debuting a set of six new designer grocery bags done by a local artist.

The reusable bags are in a series called “Annie’s Love Story,” a story of romance in the grocery aisles of Acme by Canton artist Judi Krew.

The first colorful bag in the series will go on sale Oct. 31. Bags will be sold at all Acme locations, and supplies will be limited. The bags are in addition to others designed by Akron artist Don Drumm.


Profit goes up at Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp posted a 19 percent jump in third-quarter profit, thanks in part to the sale of shares in a former payment processing subsidiary. The Cincinnati-based regional banking company reported net income of $421 million, or 47 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with $354 million, or 38 cents per share, in the 2012 third quarter. A sale of shares in former subsidiary Vantiv accounted for an $85 million, or 6 cents per share, pretax benefit. Analysts surveyed by FactSet, on average, expected earnings of 42 cents per share. Those estimates typically exclude one-time gains and charges.

Net interest income, or income from loans and deposits, slipped 1 percent to $898 million from last year. Non-interest income, or earnings from fees and other charges, rose 7 percent to $721 million. Net charge-offs of bad loans dropped 30 percent to $109 million.

Verizon tops estimates

Verizon Communications Inc., co-owner of the largest U.S. wireless carrier, reported third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates after customers paid more for their mobile-phone subscriptions. Earnings rose to 77 cents a share, excluding one-time expenses, the New York-based company said. Analysts had estimated about 74 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Third-quarter sales rose 4.4 percent to $30.3 billion, just above analysts’ estimates for $30.2 billion. Net income attributable to Verizon climbed 40 percent to $2.23 billion, or 78 cents a share, from $1.59 billion, or 56 cents, a year earlier.

Verizon Wireless added 927,000 monthly contract users, compared with the average estimate of 1 million, according to a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts. The average monthly bill for those customers rose 7.1 percent last quarter to $155.74, compared with the $154.63 analysts had predicted on average.

Increase at Huntington

Huntington Bancshares said its third-quarter profit rose 6 percent from a year ago even as revenue fell. The Columbus Dispatch reported that the bank said it made $178.5 million, or 20 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30 compared with $167.8 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The higher profit came even as Huntington said revenue slid to $682 million for the quarter from $696.6 million in the 2012 third quarter. The bank was hurt by a drop in mortgage-banking income for the quarter.

The bank said it benefited from a $35 million drop in expenses during the quarter.

“Our performance has benefited from ongoing improvement within our core Midwestern economies,” Steve Steinour, the company’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

Huntington said it employs 118 people at 18 locations in Summit County. Elsewhere in the area, the bank has five locations in Medina with 36 workers; seven in Portage with 58 staffers; 29 locations in Stark with 192 employees and one facility in Wayne County with six people.

Google profits up

Google’s earnings climbed 36 percent despite a deepening slump in its average ad prices as advertisers purchase a growing number of cheaper commercial pitches to reach people who connect to its search engine and other services on mobile devices.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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