BANKING

Huntington reports

10% jump in profit

Huntington Bancshares said Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose 10 percent, helped by strong loan growth.

The bank reported profit of $358 million, or 32 cents per share, for the first three months of 2019, compared with $326 million, or 28 cents per share, for the same period of 2018.

The profit of 32 cents per share matches analyst estimates.

Revenue rose 5 percent from a year ago to $1.15 billion.

The bank said loans grew by 6 percent from the same period in 2018, driven by gains in consumer and commercial lending.

Steve Steinour, the bank’s chairman, president and CEO, said the economic outlook for the bank’s Midwest footprint continues to be favorable for consumers and businesses.

 

FOOD SAFETY

CDC: New technology

IDs more food illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Thursday that the frequency of several types of food poisoning infections climbed last year, but that the increases could be the result of new diagnostic tools that help identify more cases.

Overall, the agency believes food poisoning rates have remained largely unchanged.

Rob Tauxe, director of the agency's foodborne illness division, said the figures show more needs to be done to make food safer. He noted the two most common causes of infection have been longtime problems.

One of the two, salmonella, can come from an array of foods including vegetables, chicken, eggs, beef and pork. The other germ, campylobacter, is commonly tied to chicken. People may not hear as much about it because health officials often can't group cases into outbreaks. Both bacteria are spread through animal feces.

 

ONLINE RETAIL

Amazon profit doubles

from same time last year

Amazon's push into advertising and cloud computing is paying off, helping the online shopping giant's first-quarter profit more than double from a year ago.

The company has boosted its profits by expanding into businesses beyond selling goods online. Its cloud computing business, which powers the video-streaming site Netflix, digital scrapbooking site Pinterest and many other companies, saw its revenue soar 41 percent from a year ago. The area is getting more competitive: Microsoft has also been growing its cloud business, and both Amazon and Microsoft are vying for a multibillion contract with the U.S. military.

Overall, Amazon reported net income of $3.56 billion, or $7.09 per share, for the first three months of the year. That beat expectations of $4.61 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

In the same time a year ago, it reported net income of $1.63 billion, or $3.27 per share.

Total revenue rose 17 percent percent to $59.7 billion, which also beat expectations.