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Roundup: ExOne set for stock offering; Wabtec buys English firm; more

| Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

ExOne set to pull trigger on stock offering

ExOne Co., a North Huntingdon-based company engaged in a cutting-edge manufacturing technique called “3-D printing,” will offer about 5 million of its first shares to the public for between $14 and $16 each, according to a securities filing. The shares, totaling about $75 million, are expected to be offered for sale next week. 4. FBR Capital Markets is the lead underwriter. The company is applying to list its common stock on the Nasdaq market under the symbol “XONE.” ExOne makes the machines and related products for “additive manufacturing,” whereby thin layers of a material are deposited atop one another using a digital blueprint, producing an exacting component or product and using significantly less energy. ExOne, which employs 126 people at five locations, began in 2003 as part of Extrude Hone Corp., now part of Kennametal Inc.

IRS loses bid to delay ruling

The Internal Revenue Service lost a bid to delay a court ruling blocking its program to license tax preparers while an appeal of the decision is pending. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, while upholding his injunction against enforcement of the program's licensing requirements, modified it to make clear the agency isn't barred from testing preparers on a voluntary basis or keeping continuing education centers open while the agency tries of overturn his ruling at the Court of Appeals in Washington. Boasberg, ruling in a lawsuit brought by three tax preparers, threw out the program on Jan. 18, saying that the IRS overstepped its authority by relying on an 1884 law that allows it to regulate people presenting cases before the Treasury Department.

Wabtec buys generator parts maker

Wabtec Corp., Wilmerding, which makes parts for the rail industry, said on Friday that it has acquired Napier Turbochargers Ltd., which makes turbochargers for high-horsepower engines used for generators. Terms were not disclosed. Napier is based in Lincoln, England, has annual sales of about $55 million and employs about 150 people. Wabtec CEO Albert J. Neupaver said Napier is a good fit because of its engineering and technical abilities, its reputation for quality parts and services, and its good position in growing markets. Its large base of installed parts gives it an ongoing flow of revenue as it makes replacement parts and provides services. Wabtec, or Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp., employs about 8,600 people.

Newspapers, union reach deal

The parent company of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the last and largest of its 11 unions Thursday, a key step in the company's efforts to return to profitability. The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia said it had tentatively agreed to a two-year contract for its 550 members that includes a one-time 2.5 percent across-the-board wage cut but also commits the company to maintaining its current printing schedule for its two daily newspapers in 2013 and 2014. Most of the 10 other unions, whose contracts had expired in October, have ratified two-year agreements.

Autodesk acquires Uptown firm

Software maker Autodesk Inc. completed the acquisition of technology and a development team from Allpoint Systems LLC of Uptown. Terms weren't disclosed. Autodesk, of San Rafael, Calif., said the acquisition will help it to expand development of cloud-based reality capture software and other products. Reality capture means creating digital models of objects and spaces using photography, laser scanning and other technology. In 2008, Autodesk announced a $34 million purchase of Algor Inc. of O'Hara.


• FedFirst Financial Corp., Monessen, said net income in the fourth quarter jumped to $556,000, or 20 cents a share, from $55,000, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-ago period included much higher noninterest expenses, as well as a provision for loan losses. For the full year, net income jumped to a record $2.26 million, or 80 cents a share, from $859,000, or 30 cents a share. First Federal Savings Bank, Monessen, operates eight branches in the Pittsburgh area.

Other business news

Highmark Inc. introduced an interactive tool that helps large-group customers make decisions on coverage options under health care reform. The Highmark Health Care Reform Planner uses client-specific data to model options and costs as employers look ahead to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Highmark, the state's largest health insurer, developed the planner with technical support from SDLC Partners, a Monroeville-based information technology consulting company.

• Standard Bank, Monroeville, will kick off its centenary year with cake and refreshments for all visitors to its 10 branches on Feb. 19. The bank is giving $100 to each of its more than 100 employees for them to “fulfill at least one random act of kindness” for someone in need, said a bank statement.

• John D. Sims was named executive vice president, primary titanium operations and engineered alloys and products, for Allegheny Technologies Inc. The Downtown-based specialty metals producer also appointed Tucker S. Redford as president of ATI Wah Chang, reporting to Sims.

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