Business briefs


POSTED: Friday, October 16, 2009

Unemployment claims decline again

WASHINGTON » New jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since January, and the prices of many household goods stayed low last month, positive signs of stability for the fledgling economic recovery.

The fall in jobless claims — the fifth decline in six weeks — shows companies are cutting fewer workers, though the drop isn't yet steep enough to signal new hiring, economists said. And the low level of inflation is holding down prices as Americans slowly regain their appetite to shop despite rising unemployment and tight credit conditions.

The Labor Department said first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 514,000 from an upwardly revised 524,000 the previous week.


Google's growth accelerates

SAN FRANCISCO » Google Inc. shifted into a higher gear in the third quarter and began to leave the recession behind as the 11-year-old Internet search leader recorded its biggest profit yet.

Revenue growth also accelerated for the first time since the recession began in December 2007.

Google's net income rose 27 percent to $1.64 billion, or $5.13 a share, from $1.29 billion, or $4.06 a share, a year ago. Revenue climbed 7 percent to $5.94 billion.


IBM boosts 2009 profit guidance

SAN FRANCISCO » IBM Corp. has jacked up its profit guidance for the second time this year, a sign of the company's confidence that it can uncork more profit from its business despite falling sales.

The third-quarter results show that corporations are still reluctant to spend on some kinds of technology. IBM's sales fell 7 percent, and all its major divisions suffered declines.

But IBM keeps making more money — net income was up 14 percent to $3.2 billion — largely because it has been focusing on outsourcing and other services that save clients money and are more profitable for IBM than selling hardware.


Citigroup hurt by failed loans

CHARLOTTE, N.C. » Citigroup provided a sobering reminder yesterday that the economy is still struggling, reporting that its third-quarter results were weighed down by billions of dollars in failed loans.

The bank reported a $101 million profit before accounting for $288 million in preferred stock dividends and the debt exchange offer that gave the government a 34 percent stake in the bank. Including those items, the New York-based bank reported a $3.24 billion loss. Citigroup said loan losses during the quarter came to $8 billion, down $386 million from nearly $8.4 billion in the second quarter, but a sign that many consumers continue to be overwhelmed.


Goldman earnings top $3 billion

NEW YORK » Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s third-quarter earnings more than tripled from the depths of the financial crisis as income from the company's trading operations offset a drop in its investment banking business.

Goldman earned $3.03 billion, or $5.25 a share, easily beating analysts' expectations for a profit of $4.24 per share. The bank earned $810 million, or $1.81 a share, during its fiscal third quarter last year, which ended in August.



; Dow AgroSciences has hired the following for their new seed corn facility on Kauai:

» Tom Scagnoli as site operations leader. He has eight years' experience in the seed corn industry and was previously the parent seed site manager for Monsanto Co. in Hawaii.

» Robin Robinson as farm manager. He has more than 25 years' experience in the agricultural industry.

» Randy Yokoyama as field coordinator. He has more than 15' years experience as operations lead, station manager and research associate in the seed industry.

» Keith Horton as leader in management and oversight of the production plant facilities. He has been in the seed industry since 1997.

» Jennifer Scagnoli as leader of research and development. She has been a seed technician, research assistant and operations supervisor.