Business news briefs
Pfizer income up
on lower costs
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc.'s second-quarter profits jumped 25 percent as lower costs for production, marketing and restructuring offset a plunge in revenue from Lipitor because of increasing generic competition. The Viagra maker said net income was $3.25 billion, or 43 cents per share, up from $2.61 billion, or 33 cents per share, a year earlier. Pfizer's revenue was $15.06 billion.
BP posts loss in second quarter
BP reported a loss of $1.4 billion for the second quarter due to lower oil prices and production. A year ago BP posted a $5.7 billion profit. The company also made an additional provision of $847 million for the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Home prices up
in big U.S. cities
Home prices increased in May from April in all 20 American cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, a sign that increasing sales and tight inventories are supporting a modest housing recovery. Economist, though, cautioned the trend needs to continue for several more months to establish that prices have truly bottomed.
UBS stung by
UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, posted a worse-than-expected 58 percent fall in second-quarter profits Tuesday due in part to losses from the Facebook IPO and a downturn at its investment division. The bank incurred a $349 million loss from Facebook's IPO because of technical errors that gave it more shares than its clients ordered.
rate holds steady
Unemployment in the countries that use the euro remained at a record high in June. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate for the 17 EU members that use the currency was 11.2 percent in June, unchanged from May.
The Quebec provincial government said the potential for a hostile takeover of Rona Inc., Canada's largest home improvement chain, by American rival Lowe's is not in the province's or the nation's interest. Rona has rejected the $1.75 billion offer from Lowe's.
House GOP drops
farm bill extension
House Republican aides say that party leaders have dropped plans to extend the current farm program and instead are going to press for immediate help for drought-stricken farmers. Republicans feel pressure to extend relief before Congress begins its recess this week but are stymied by divisions on how to proceed with a renewal of farm subsidies and food stamps.
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