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Auto sales may rise as small cars surge

Aug. 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

DETROIT -- Pickup trucks may have led the charge, but strong sales of small cars in July showed demand for new vehicles is broad -- and not slowing down.

Car sales grew in the first six months of this year, but not at the blistering pace of trucks and SUVs. Through June, full-size pickups were up 22.5 percent over the year before, while cars were up just 5 percent.

Last month, car sales took off. General Motors' car sales jumped 24 percent. Sales of the Honda Civic small car were up 30 percent to 32,416, their best July in 13 years. Sales of the recently redesigned Ford Fiesta subcompact jumped 89 percent, while the Toyota Prius hybrid was up 40 percent.

Premier Bancorp reports second quarter results

HUNTINGTON -- Premier Financial Bancorp Inc. had income of $3.1 million during the second quarter, up 48.6 percent from the same period last year.

Contributing to the increase were an increase in interest income, a decrease in interest expense, a decrease in non-interest expense, and a decrease in the provision for loan losses, according to a news release. Premier earned $0.35 per share during the second quarter, up from $0.22 per share for the second quarter in 2012.

For the first half of year, Premier had income of $5.6 million or 63 cents per diluted share, compared to $4.3 million or 53 cents per share for the same period last year.

"While some of our income was the result of the successful resolution of a few of our non-performing assets and a lower provision for loan losses, our operating expenses continue to decline, interest expense continues to decrease due to the extended low interest rate environment and new loan volume is more than offsetting principal payments and payoffs of existing loans," said President and CEO Robert W. Walker. "We believe all three bode well for our future earnings performance."

Premier is a $1.1 billion bank holding company with two bank subsidiaries, and locations in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Statewide entrepreneur event planned in Sept.

CHARLESTON -- Vision Shared plans to host a statewide Entrepreneurs' Cafe All-Stars event on the evening Thursday, Sept. 12, in an effort to continue to support and promote crowdfunding concepts throughout West Virginia.

The event will be in Charleston, but the specific location has not announced.

The event recognizes community "all-stars" who will compete for a cash award. Currently café programs are active in Huntington, Charleston, Shepherdstown/Eastern Panhandle, Clarksburg, Williamson, Buckhannon, Lewisburg/Greenbrier County, Wheeling and Fayetteville.

At the local level, attendees pay to attend a dinner and hear presentations by local entrepreneurs. The majority of the funds collected are awarded to the winning presenter in support of a local project.

A limited number of tickets for the Charleston will be available for the public at $50 per ticket. That includes a networking reception, buffet style dinner, a chance to watch presentations, and cast a vote for your favorite. Net proceeds will be awarded to the winning presenter.

Event sponsorships are available. Contact Rebecca Randolph at 304-767-5189 for additional information.

DirecTV reports 2Q results, lower figures

NEW YORK -- DirecTV Thursday reported weaker than expected satellite TV subscriber figures, both in the U.S. and Latin America.

DirecTV lost 84,000 U.S. subscribers during the quarter, the worst result ever. After more than a decade of heady growth, the U.S. satellite TV industry has slowed.

nearly to a standstill. Cable companies are fighting back more effectively, helped by their ability to offer wired broadband, which satellite companies don't.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the loss of 63,000 subscribers.

The company reported net income of $660 million, or $1.18 per share, in the April to June period. That's down 7.2 percent from $711 million, or $1.09 per share, in the same period a year earlier. DirecTV had fewer outstanding shares in the latest quarter due to stock buybacks, which increased per-share earnings.

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