Business news briefs
earns sixth patent
Catheter Connections, a Utah company founded by nurses seeking to reduce hospital-acquired bloodstream infections, said it has been issued a patent that broadly covers its technology for disinfecting the connectors at the ends of IV tubing. It is the sixth patent for the company.
coal cleaning plants
Headwaters, a Utah building products company, has completed the sale of eight coal cleaning facilities to Bowie Refined Coal. Proceeds include $3.8 million in cash at closing with $10 million to be paid by the end of 2013. The plants address problems associated with more than 6,000 massive heaps of low-grade coal known as "gob piles" found in mining regions throughout the country.
Existing home sales
down in December
Sales of previously occupied homes dipped in December from November, in part because of a limited supply of available homes. But for all of 2012, sales rose to their highest level in five years and were 9.2 percent higher than 2011. Sales finished about 1 million units below the roughly 5.5 million that are consistent with a healthy market. Still, most economists say home sales are improving steadily and that the gains should continue this year.
AT&T to purchase
Alltel for $780M
AT&T said it will buy the Alltel U.S. wireless operations for $780 million to boost its spectrum in rural areas. It is buying the licenses, retail stores and network assets, along with about 585,000 subscribers, from Atlantic Tele-Network. Alltel's network covers 4.6 million people across six states Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.
Microsoft has joined the negotiations to buy struggling computer maker Dell, according to media reports. If Microsoft joins in a Dell buyout, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal say it would contribute $1 billion to $3 billion. That would make Microsoft Corp. a minority investor in a deal expected to cost $23 billion to $27 billion if completed.
Groupon has stopped gun-related promotions such as deals for shooting ranges and concealed weapons courses in the wake of last month's massacre in Newtown, Conn. The company said the temporary move is based on the deal performance, as well as customer feedback that has made it clear that "they're not a fit right now."
IBM posts higher
4Q net income
Growing software businesses such as Internet-based computing and data analytics helped IBM boost earnings per share for the 40th consecutive quarter, even as revenue was largely flat. IBM shares were up 4 percent in after-hours trading. IBM earned $5.83 billion, or $5.13 per share, in the October-December period, up from $4.62 per share, in the same period a year earlier.