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Business news briefs — Oct. 24


Schulman earnings drop

Fairlawn polymer company A. Schulman Inc. reported higher sales but a loss for its fourth quarter ending Aug. 31. Schulman said it lost nearly $2.7 million, or 9 cents per share, on revenue of $537.3 million. A year ago, Schulman said it earned $11.5 million, or 38 cents per share, on revenue of $517.7 million

Schulman said it had adjusted earnings per share of 55 cents for the fourth quarter, up 12 percent from a comparable 49 cents per share a year ago.

For the full year, Schulman had net income of $26.1 million, or 89 cents per share, on revenue of $2.1 billion. For fiscal 2012, the company had net income of $50.9 million, or $1.72 a share, on revenue of $2.08 billion. Adjusted net income for fiscal 2013 was $1.83 a share, the company said.

Schulman said it expects to earn $2.08 to $2.13 a share for fiscal 2014. “We expect to see only modest global growth for the year due to a fragile macroeconomic environment,” Joe Gingo, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.


Profit up at Southwest

Southwest Airlines, whose AirTran unit is the largest carrier at Akron-Canton Airport, said Thursday that third-quarter net income jumped to $259 million, or 37 cents per share, from $16 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.5 percent to a record $4.55 billion. Analysts were expecting $4.54 billion, according to data research firm FactSet.


Interest rates drop

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages dropped this week to their lowest levels in four months. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.13 percent. That’s down from 4.28 percent. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.24 percent from 3.33 percent. Both averages are the lowest since June 20.


Bank makes cuts

Bank of America Corp., the second- largest U.S. lender, is cutting about 1,300 more jobs in its mortgage division as the firm adjusts to lower demand, two people with direct knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg News. Affected employees were told Wednesday about the cuts, which mostly involve home-loan fulfillment workers. Bank of America is based in Charlotte.

Medical jobs cut

Boston Scientific Corp. plans to shed as many as 1,500 jobs worldwide, or 6 percent of its workforce, in an effort to cut costs. The Natick, Mass.-based medical device maker had already announced up to 1,000 job cuts in January in response to limited growth prospects in certain markets and taxes related to the health care overhaul. That’s on top of a 2011 cost-cutting plan that included the elimination of 1,200 to 1,400 jobs. The company has about 24,000 employees. It will eliminate 1,100 to 1,500 jobs over two years through attrition and layoffs.


Europe firm sees drop

Saint-Gobain SA, Europe’s biggest supplier of building materials, reported a decline in third-quarter sales because of the euro’s rally against other currencies. Sales dropped 1.4 percent to $14.9 billion, said Saint-Gobain, which has 21 plants in Ohio, many in the Akron area, with employment totaling about 1,000.


Dow rises 96 points

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.88 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,509.21. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 5.69 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,752.07. The Nasdaq was up 21.89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,928.96.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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