LABOR

Steelworkers, ATI reach pact

Allegheny Technologies Inc. of Tuesday said in a news release Tuesday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the bargaining committee of the United Steelworkers on a new contract covering more than 2,000 employees in Stark County and other locations.

Workers in Louisville as well as Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania have been locked out for six months following their contract expiration June 30.

The tentative agreement is subject to ratification by USW members. That process is likely to take two or three weeks.

FOOD

J.M. Smucker earnings rise

Orrville food company J.M. Smucker’s profit increased in the third quarter, though its net income per diluted share decreased — partially from merger costs from its purchase of a pet-food company.

Smucker on Tuesday morning reported net income of $318.3 million, up 24.7 percent from $255.1 million for the same period a year ago. Net sales increased $533.9 million, or 37 percent, reflecting the contribution of Big Heart Pet Brands acquired in fiscal 2015, the company said.

Its net income per diluted share was $1.55, a decrease of 2 percent, the company said, as the benefit from Big Heart operations and the gain on the U.S. canned milk divestiture were offset by merger and integration costs, higher interest expense, and the impact of additional shares outstanding.

OIL/GAS

Driller holding off on Ohio

A Texas drilling company said Tuesday that it will not drill or complete any new wells in Ohio, West Virginia or Pennsylvania in 2016.

Carrizo Oil and Gas Co., a small player in Ohio’s Utica Shale, also said that it did not drill any wells in the fourth quarter 2015 in the Utica Shale in Ohio or the Marcellus Shale in western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia because of low commodity prices.

The company had curtailed its Appalachian drilling in spring 2015.

Carrizo has four producing wells in Ohio’s Guernsey County. Six other wells are being drilled and six more have been permitted on its 28,700 leased acres in Ohio.

PDC Energy boosts output

A Denver drilling company boosted production by 65 percent but lost $68.3 million in 2015.

PDC Energy said it had an impairment write-down or loss of $161.6 million due mostly to low commodity prices affecting its Utica Shale drilling in Ohio.

The company reported “steady production” from its Utica wells.

Last fall, the company had 23 Ohio wells in production in Guernsey, Morgan and Washington counties.

The company has earmarked $35 million to drill five new Utica wells in 2016.

It is studying Ohio leases that will expire in 2017 and renewing some of those leases will likely cost $30 million, the company said. Many unproductive leases will be dropped, officials said.

PDC has drilling operations in Ohio and Colorado.

TAXES

Ohio Senate OKs holiday bill

Shoppers in Ohio could get a three-day break from the state’s sales tax this summer under a bill passed by the state Senate.

The bill had initially sought to make the sales tax holiday a yearly occurrence. Sponsoring Sen. Kevin Bacon said the bill was changed Tuesday to make it a one-year pilot at the request of the state’s taxation department.

The bill passed on a 31-1 vote Tuesday.

Ohio had its first-ever sales tax holiday last August to help back-to-school shoppers reduce the cost of clothing and school supplies. The holiday would apply to clothing items that cost $75 or less and to classroom supplies and instructional materials that cost $20 or less. Such items include book bags, textbooks, notebooks and pencils.

The tax-exempt period would cover Aug. 5-7.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.