MANUFACTURING

Myers Industries reports loss

Myers Industries (NYSE:MYE) Inc. on Tuesday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $18.25 million or 59 cents a share, compared to a loss of $1.46 million or 5 cents a share for the year-ago period. Earnings came in as analysts expected.

The Akron-based plastics and rubber manufacturer and specialty tool distributor said adjusted income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 totaled $2.67 million, or 9 cents a share.

Sales for the fourth quarter increased 13.6 percent to $ 140.11 million from $ 123.29 million in the year-ago quarter.

“We are excited about the pace of our strategic execution and the growth we achieved in the fourth quarter,” President Dave Banyard said. “This past year was transformational for Myers Industries. We focused the enterprise on the key niche markets where we deliver the strongest value.”

Full-year net sales increased 2.4 percent to $547 million. Net loss for the year was $9.89 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with a profit of $1 million a year ago.

ECONOMY

Ohio is runner-up in report

Ohio has been edged out again by Texas in a closely watched annual economic-development report, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Ohio finished second to Texas for the fifth straight year. It is the sixth straight year the state has been runner-up, according to Site Selection magazine’s Governor’s Cup results released Monday.

The state had 467 projects compared with 594 for Texas. Illinois finished third with 419 projects.

Ohio finished third in projects per capita in 2017, trailing first-place Nebraska and second-place Kentucky. Those states were first, second and third last year as well.

Site Selection defines a project as one that involves an investment of at least $1 million, creates at least 20 new jobs or adds at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area. It does not count retail projects, schools, hospitals or government projects.

RETAIL

Target raising minimum pay

Target is increasing the minimum hourly pay to $12 starting this spring, the second increase in a matter of months, while accelerating its reinvention plan to make the discounter more competitive in the age of Amazon.

The discounter’s moves, announced at its annual investor meeting in Minneapolis, where the company is based, come as its ambitious plan to make itself over is driving more people to its stores and its website. But the cost of such a massive overhaul, along with its pay increases, squeezed its fourth-quarter profits, and it took some shine off overall strong quarterly sales. The company also offered a muted profit outlook.

Last fall, Target increased its hourly wage to $11 from $10. Brian Cornell, CEO of Target, told analysts Tuesday the company saw a better applicant pool and a 60 percent spike in the number of applicants in the days after the announcement. Cornell reiterated Tuesday its promise to increase the minimum pay to $15 by the end of 2020.

HEALTH CARE

Insurer plans patient rebates

The nation’s biggest health insurer will pass drugmaker rebates along to some customers starting next year, giving a potential break to those taking expensive prescriptions.

UnitedHealthcare said Tuesday it will let people covered by certain employer-sponsored health plans collect rebates when they fill prescriptions or at the point of sale. Those rebates could amount to a few bucks or several hundred dollars, depending on the drug.

Drugmakers frequently give rebates for prescription drugs, but those discounts rarely flow directly to the people filling prescriptions. How these rebates are used has become a growing source of debate in recent years as the cost of some treatments has soared.

The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute says insurers and employers most often use the money to reduce overall plan costs.

The rebates that UnitedHealthcare plans to pass along could lower customer expenses like deductibles or co-insurance payments.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.