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Roundup: Atlas Resource Partners filing for bankruptcy protection; Home sales are up in W. PA. but prices stall; more

| Monday, July 25, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

Atlas Resource Partners to file for protection

Natural gas producer Atlas Resource Partners said Monday it will file for bankruptcy protection this week as part of a restructuring agreement it reached with creditors.

The Findlay-based company has struggled with low gas prices and had reduced production over the past year. This month it said it would be late on a $13.7 million interest payment on some of its debt.

The agreement reached with creditors will give them 90 percent of common equity in a restructured company to be called Titan Energy in exchange for wiping out $980 million in debt and interest. Atlas said it plans to file for Chapter 11 on Wednesday.

The company operated 218 shale gas wells in Pennsylvania as of May — the most current information available from the state. Atlas said the restructuring would not effect production or payments to vendors, employees or land owners.

Home sales are up in W.Pa., but prices stall

More homes have been sold in Western Pennsylvania this year, but the prices they are fetching barely budged, according to West Penn Multi-List data released Monday.

The number of closed sales in the 17-county region is up 5.8 percent through the first six months of the year and new listings have increased 3.32 percent. However, the average sales price is up by less than one-half of a percentage point, to $187,345 compared with $186,766 through the first half of 2015.

West Penn President Ron Croushore said low interest rates were creating “favorable market conditions” and that he was optimistic for the second half of the year.

Wabtec profit dips

Wabtec Corp. posted an 11 percent drop in second-quarter earnings on falling sales from its freight business.

The Wilmerding-based rail products company said Monday that net income for the quarter that ended June 30 was $90.5 million, or $1 per share, compared with $101.5 million, or $1.04 per share, during the same period a year ago.

Higher sales in its transit division were more than offset by a drop in freight business. Overall net sales declined 14.6 percent to $723.6 million, from $847 million a year ago. Operating expenses fell 7 percent to $104.1 million, from $111.9 million in the second quarter of 2015. The company expects full-year revenues to be down 10 percent and earnings per share are expected to be $4 to $4.20.

AMC submits final $1.2B bid for Carmike

AMC Theatres is making its final bid for Carmike Cinemas Inc., offering to buy the movie theater operator in an approximately $1.2 billion deal including debt.

Both companies' boards have approved the transaction, which is expected to close by year's end. It still needs approval from Carmike's shareholders.

LVMH selling DKNY, Donna Karan brands

French luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is selling its Donna Karan and DKNY clothing brands to U.S. group G-III Apparel in a $650 million deal.

It's a rare sale for LVMH, owner of such brands as Christian Dior, Kenzo and Sephora and a leader in the luxury world. G-III owns brands such as Bass shoes and Vilebrequin clothing.

Ericsson CEO quits as competition toughens

Hans Vestberg has stepped down as CEO and president of telecoms company Ericsson as the company struggles to improve earnings amid tightening competition.

The Swedish wireless equipment maker says that Vestberg will be temporarily replaced by CFO Jan Frykhammer until a replacement is found. Vestberg had been CEO for more than six years.

Last week, Ericsson reported a slide in sales and profits as it continued to struggle to improve profitability.

— Staff, wire reports

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