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Precision Castparts soars on big profits

May. 10, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Precision Castparts rocketed to an all-time high in trading Thursday after breezing past Wall Street profit expectations for the fourth quarter.

The company makes components for the Boeing Co. 737 and 787, which are both being built at an increasingly fast pace. Precision Castparts also owns the Special Metals operations in the Tri-State.

Net income jumped 23 percent to $414.2 million, or $2.82 per share, up from $336.1 million, or $2.30 per share a year earlier. Revenue rose 25 percent to $2.44 billion, from $1.95 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $2.76 on revenue of $2.51 billion.

In January, Precision Castparts Corp. bought Titanium Metals of Dallas, known as Timet, which supplies nearly one-fifth of the world's titanium.

Timet "was the largest driver of sales growth in the fourth quarter" in its forged products division, the company said.

Sales in that unit rose 31 percent to $1.18 billion, and operating income rose 23 percent to $252.8 million.

Revenue in the company's airframe products unit rose 40 percent to $685.1 million, and operating income rose 42 percent to $198 million. The unit benefited from acquisitions as well as 10 percent revenue growth from its existing business.

Company shares jumped nearly 9 percent, the biggest gainer on the Standard & Poor's 500 index, rising $17.19 to $209.21. Shares at one point hit $211.89 per share.

Report says 43 killed on the job in W.Va. in 2011

CHARLESTON -- A new labor union report says 43 workers were killed on the job in 2011 in West Virginia, down from 95 the previous year that included a mine blast that killed 29.

According to the report by the AFL-CIO, there were 4,693 workplace deaths nationwide in 2011, down by only three from the year earlier.

The report also notes that more than 3.8 million workers across all industries experienced work-related illnesses and injuries.

The union says that after years of steady declines, rates have been essentially unchanged. They say that means greater efforts are needed to reduce job injuries and deaths.

AT&T upgrades service in Huntington-Ashland

HUNTINGTON -- AT&T has added a faster 4G LTE network in the Huntington-Ashland area, according to a news release.

"We continue to see demand for mobile Internet skyrocket, and our 4G LTE network in Huntington and Ashland responds to what customers want from their mobile experience -- more, faster, on the best devices," said J. Michael Schweder, president of AT&T Mid-Atlantic.

AT&T's 4G network covers more than 292 million people, according to the company, and is 10 times faster than 3G.

Louisville distillery joins Kentucky Bourbon Trail

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kentucky's mostly rustic bourbon sector is spreading to the shadows of Louisville's skyscrapers, where a tiny distillery being developed by the maker of Evan Williams bourbon will become a big-city stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.

The artisanal distillery will produce one or two barrels of bourbon daily -- a drop in the barrel for a company whose top brand is the world's No. 2-selling bourbon behind Jim Beam. The distillery, scheduled to open in October, is seen mostly as a tourist destination in the heart of Kentucky's largest city.

Sears launches new lease-to-own program

NEW YORK -- Sears Holdings Corp. is launching a program at its namesake department stores that will allow financially strapped shoppers unable to quality for credit to lease electronics, home appliances, furniture and mattresses.

The program, which was tested last September in 10 stores, is being rolled out to all 900 stores starting this week. Sears is launching the program with leasing service WhyNotLeaseIt.

To qualify for the program, a candidate must be 18 years old, earn a minimum of $1,000 a month and have a Social Security or tax identification number when applying. Customers make the first lease payment at the stores.

The program comes as the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer, which also operates Kmart, is trying to turn itself around after years of weak sales.