Business news briefs
GDP in U.S. grows
at faster pace
The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster but still anemic rate at the end of last year. However, there is hope that growth accelerated in early 2013 despite higher taxes and cuts in government spending. The gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the October-December quarter, the Commerce Department said.
`close' to flying
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said his company is "very close" to getting its troubled 787 Dreamliner jet back flying again. Two incidents involving batteries on 787s led the Federal Aviation Administration and regulators in other countries to ground the planes in January. Boeing is testing a redesign of the battery system.
USDA: Farmers plan
large corn planting
Farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936, the USDA's spring planting survey said. The survey said the 2013 corn planting forecast is up slightly from last year's 97.2 million acres. Corn remains profitable, as prices are holding strong at around $7 per bushel after severe drought left the grain in short supply.
Food maker IPO
raises $580 million
Shares of Pinnacle Foods, the maker of Birds Eye frozen foods, Duncan Hines frosting and cake mixes and Vlasic pickles, rose in their first day of public trading. Shares lept 14 percent to a peak of $22.88 after being priced at $20 per share. The Parsippany, N.J., company raised $580 million in the offering.
Philip Morris International Inc., the world's second-biggest cigarette company, awarded its CEO Louis Camilleri compensation valued at more than $24.7 million in fiscal 2012, up about 23 percent from 2011, according to the AP. The seller of Marlboro and other brands overseas saw its net income grow 2.4 percent to $8.8 billion last year.
N.Y. court backs
online sales taxes
New York's highest court ruled the state can collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers, rejecting claims by Amazon.com and Overstock.com that the tax law violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause. The Court of Appeals said in a 4-1 ruling that the sellers meet the legal test of having "a substantial nexus" with the taxing state.
to offshore drilling
Lebanon's Energy Ministry says 52 companies have participated in a pre-qualification process to win licenses for offshore oil and gas work. The ministry says the companies include Chevron and Exxon Mobil Corp. from the United States and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Lebanon is a resource-poor nation and any finds could help it pay off one of the highest debt rates in the world.