LOCAL BUSINESS

Goodyear begins conference

The 2014 Goodyear Dealer Conference opened Wednesday at the Nashville Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Tennessee.

The conference, which attracts Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. dealers from throughout the United States, runs through Friday night.

The annual event includes presentations from Goodyear executives, including Chairman and CEO Rich Kramer. The program also will include new product announcements and seminars and presentations aimed at helping Goodyear dealers build their businesses.

UTILITIES

Electricity auction set

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved the results of a FirstEnergy auction to set what are called power generation service rates. The auction is for electricity that makes up one component of a customer’s monthly bill through May 2016.

Customers who do not shop for another provider or are not part of an aggregation group pay what is called the Standard Service Offer, or default price. About 20 percent of FirstEnergy customers use the default price, said spokesman Doug Colafella.

The commission said five suppliers submitted bids selected for one year with an average price of $55.83 per megawatt hour for June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.

A two-year product for the period June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2016, saw four suppliers gain bids with an average price of $68.31.

The PUCO said the newest auction will “blend” with previous bidding and two upcoming auctions to set rates.

AIRPORTs

Hopkins sees increase

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport officials said its passenger levels for 2013 increased for the first time in six years.

The airport had a total of 9,072,126 passengers in 2013 for an increase of 0.68 percent. That equates to nearly 25,000 passengers a day. Passenger traffic in 2012 totaled 9,010,473.

“While the increase is modest, we still look at it as a great positive,” Airport Director Ricky Smith said. “Over the last several years largely due to the national recession, [Hopkins] has experienced passenger traffic reductions. This increase is an indicator that demand is slowly coming back.”

December helped lift Hopkins’ passenger traffic numbers with a 6.25 percent increase over December 2012.

Contributing to the rise was a 32 percent increase in international travelers. Hopkins offers nonstop international service to Montreal; Toronto; Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Nassau, Bahamas. The airport is the 40th busiest in the nation based on passengers, it said.

EARNINGS

Facebook reports growth

Facebook’s quarterly earnings and revenue grew and surpassed expectations as the company expanded the number of users and the amount of money it makes on mobile ads. Facebook Inc. earned $523 million, or 20 cents per share, in the October-December quarter. That’s up $64 million, or 3 cents per share, from a year earlier. Adjusted earnings were $780 million, or 31 cents per share, in the latest quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates by 4 cents. Revenue grew 63 percent to $2.59 billion, from $1.59 billion. Analysts, on average, had expected revenue of $2.35 billion, according to FactSet. For the first time, mobile advertising revenue accounted for more than half of Facebook’s total ad revenue.

SITE SELECTION

Beretta to build in Tennessee

Italian gun maker Beretta said Tennessee’s support for gun rights was a major factor in its decision to build a manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin. The $45 million plant is projected to be complete this year and create 300 new jobs.

WALL STREET

Dow drops 190 points

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 18.30 points to 1,774.20. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 189.77 points to 15,738.79. The Nasdaq composite dropped 46.53 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,051.43.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.