Business news in brief

IN THE REGION

Storm delays earnings reports

Mortgage insurer Radian Group Inc., of Philadelphia, and Pfizer Inc., which has operations in the region, were among many companies that postponed quarterly earnings reports because of Hurricane Sandy. Radian and Pfizer, along with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., were due to report Tuesday and will now announce results Thursday. Among other companies that announced delays, Thomson Reuters Corp., NRG Energy Inc., and McGraw-Hill Cos. said they would report earnings Friday. - AP

 

Aramark announces spin-off

Aramark, of Philadelphia, announced the spin-off of its majority interest in Seamless, a mobile and online service for ordering delivery and takeout food. The spin-off to Aramark shareholders will better position Aramark and Seamless "to capitalize on our growth opportunities," Aramark CEO Eric Foss said in a statement. Food service provider Aramark acquired Seamless in 2006 and sold a minority stake to Spectrum Equity Investors for $50 million in cash in 2011. - Inquirer staff

 

FMC reports higher profit, revenue

FMC Corp. reported higher profits and revenue in its third quarter compared with last year. The Philadelphia chemicalmaker said it generated net income of $90.0 million, or 65 cents per share, up from $86.8 million, or 61 cents per share. Revenue, which totaled $902.4 million in the third quarter, was aided by an 11 percent increase in its agricultural products business, thanks to strong demand in the Americas. FMC had revenue of $862.1 million in the third quarter of 2011. - Mike Armstrong

 

ELSEWHERE

Consumer spending up for Sept.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending increased 0.8 percent in September from August. That followed a 0.5 percent gain in August and was the best showing since February. Personal income rose 0.4 percent, an improvement from a 0.1 percent gain in August and the best gain since March. However, after adjusting for inflation and taxes, income was flat in September. That followed a 0.3 percent decline in August. Consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of economic activity. - AP

 

Layoffs at PayPal

EBay Inc. is cutting 325 jobs in its PayPal unit and plans a pretax charge of $15 million in the fourth quarter related to the restructuring effort. The company is also ending work arrangements with about 120 contractors worldwide, eBay said. PayPal president David Marcus, who took over in April, is leading an overhaul to streamline a business marked by inefficiencies such as excessive meetings and months-long project approvals. The cuts represent about 2.5 percent of PayPal's work force of 13,000. - Bloomberg News

 

Supreme Court hears copyright case

Supreme Court justices are weighing copyright protections for publishers, creative artists, and manufacturers in a global marketplace in a case that has attracted the interest of Costco Wholesale Corp., eBay Inc., and Google Inc. The outcome has important implications for consumers and multibillion-dollar annual sales online and in discount stores. In arguments Monday, a book publisher faced off against a Thai graduate student in the United States who resold the publisher's copyrighted books on eBay after relatives first bought nearly identical but cheaper versions abroad. The court seemed to struggle with whether it matters where the books were produced and first sold. - AP

 

Chrysler profit up 80% over year ago

Chrysler Group L.L.C. nearly doubled its third-quarter profit as it continued to post big U.S. sales increases. The company said it made $381 million last quarter, up 80 percent from the $212 million it made a year earlier. The profit was due mainly to a 13 percent U.S. sales increase for the quarter. Chrysler gets three-quarters of its business from the United States. It sells few cars in Europe and is not being hurt by the poor economy there. Chrysler said second-quarter revenue increased 18 percent to $13.1 billion. - AP

 

Toyota shrugs off China sales plunge

Toyota Motor Corp. is shrugging off a sales plunge in China set off by a territorial dispute and said it is headed to a record year on the back of strong growth in the rest of Asia and the United States. Toyota's sales in China in the last couple of months have fallen to about half of what they were a year earlier. Initially, Toyota expected to sell one million vehicles in China this year. Executive vice president Yukitoshi Funo expressed confidence that overall global vehicle sales will hit a record, surpassing the record 9.37 million vehicles sold in 2007, because growth in other parts of the world will offset the losses in China. - AP

 

Google adds new Nexus devices

Google Inc. is adding a new Nexus smartphone and a larger version of the 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet that the company began selling in July under the Nexus brand. The Nexus 4 smartphone is being made by LG Electronics Inc. and features a minor update to Google's Android operating system. The larger Nexus tablet is being made by Samsung Electronics Co. and features a display screen that measures 10 inches diagonally, about the same size as Apple Inc.'s iPad. Google's announcement comes less than a week after Apple announced its iPad Mini. - AP

 

New Microsoft smartphone software

Microsoft Corp. unveiled a new version of its software for smartphones, redoubling an effort to regain market share lost to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Nokia Oyj's Lumia 920, featuring a 4.5-inch screen and an 8.7-megapixel camera, will run on Windows Phone 8. HTC Corp. will sell two devices - the Windows Phone 8X and the 8S - that sport a new design, better audio, and a wide-angle camera. - Bloomberg News