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Roundup: Survey shows stronger hiring; CHIP may get $8.5M; more

| Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Private job survey shows stronger hiring

A private survey shows U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that employers added 192,000 jobs in January. That is more than December's revised number of 185,000, which initially had been reported at 215,000. The ADP report is derived from actual payroll data and tracks total nonfarm private employment each month. The increase in hiring occurred after Congress and the Obama administration reached an agreement on Jan. 1 to avoid sharp tax increases and across-the-board government spending cuts. The ADP report showed that most of the gains were from businesses with 49 or fewer employers. This group of companies added 115,000 jobs in January. Medium businesses, those with 50 to 499 employees, added 79,000 jobs during the month while large businesses cut 2,000 employees.

Children's insurance program may get $8.5M in state money

The Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, in Pennsylvania would provide health coverage to more children in the state under expanded funding proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett. The program, which covers Pennsylvania children not eligible for Medical Assistance, is earmarked for $8.5 million in additional funding under Corbett's 2013-14 budget proposal. The money would be used for outreach programs to try to enroll more children, and to offer coverage to an extra 9,300 children. The program covers more than 188,000 kids in the state.

Toyota recalls over 1M vehicles for air bags, windshield wipers

Toyota is recalling 907,000 vehicles, mostly Corolla models, around the world for faulty air bags and 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars for defective wipers. Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Naoto Fuse said Wednesday there have been no accidents or injuries related to either of those defects, but the Japanese automaker received 46 reports of problems involving the air bags from North America and one from Japan. There were 25 reports of problems related to the windshield wipers. Recalled for air bags that can improperly inflate are 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S. as well as thousands of similar vehicles in Japan, Mexico and Canada, manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. About 141,000 vehicles in Canada are being recalled, according to Toyota.

Time Inc. to cut 500 employees, 6% of global workforce

Time Inc., the magazine unit of Time Warner Inc., said it is cutting 6 percent of its global staff of 8,000, or about 500 people. The cuts began on Wednesday and will affect domestic and international workers. In a memo to staff, Time CEO Laura Lang said the company must become leaner, more nimble, and operate on multiple platforms. She said operating more efficiently will create room for critical investments and new initiatives. The unit publishes magazines such as Fortune, InStyle, People, Real Simple, Sports Illustrated and Time.


• Network services company Black Box Corp. reported an $8.5 million profit for its October-December quarter, a year after reporting a $283.4 million loss. Cecil-based Black Box said the profit equals 52 cents a share, compared to a loss of $16.12 a share a year ago. The company's prior loss was tied to a divestiture and a $296 million after-tax impairment charge. Revenue for the quarter was $252.1 million, down almost 9 percent. For the current year, Black Box anticipates revenue of $990 million to $995 million, with per share-earnings of $2.50 to $2.55.

• S&T Bancorp Inc. of Indiana, Pa., said net income for the October-December period rose 2.1 percent to about $9.5 million, compared with $9.3 million a year earlier. Earnings per share dipped to 32 cents, versus 33 cents, because the bank issued more shares during the year. S&T announced it would convert the two former branches of Gateway Financial Group over the Feb. 9-10 weekend and reopen them as S&T branches the next day, Monday, Feb. 11. S&T acquired Gateway, whose branches are in McMurray and Cranberry Township, in August. S&T operates about 26 branches in Western Pennsylvania.

• Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. reported a profit of $1.1 million for the fourth quarter, down 75 percent from a year ago. The Bridgeville specialty steelmaker said earnings of 16 cents a share are in line with guidance, and factor in expenses amounting to 12 cents a share to ramp up a North Jackson, Ohio, plant that makes nickel alloy and stainless and low-alloy steels. A year ago, the company had a $4.26 million profit, or 59 cents a share. Revenue fell 34 percent to $34.5 million.

• AK Steel's fourth-quarter loss widened, stung by pension and tax charges and declining prices. The West Chester, Ohio-based company lost $230.4 million, or $1.89 per share, for the period. That compares with a loss of $193.9 million, or $1.76 per share, a year earlier. Revenue declined 6 percent to $1.42 billion from $1.51 billion. For the year, AK Steel Holding Corp. lost $1.03 billion, or $9.06 per share. In the prior year it lost $155.6 million, or $1.41 per share. Annual revenue fell 8 percent to $5.93 billion from $6.47 billion.

• Mastech Holdings Inc. said profit in the fourth quarter rose to $728,000, or 22 cents a share, from $253,000, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue totaled $26.4 million, up 11 percent. The Findlay-based staffing services provider said demand for staffing services was solid. For the year, Mastech earned $2.1 million, or 64 cents, up from $1.1 million, or 30 cents, in 2011. Revenue totaled $101.8 million, up 14 percent.

Other business news

• Printing and packaging technology company EFI said its productivity software division, managed from the Strip District, passed the $100 million revenue mark in 2012. Silicon Valley-based EFI said the division contributed significantly to record revenue for the year. The division employs 650, including 60 in Pittsburgh. It was formed when EFI acquired Printcafe Inc. in 2003. The group is the largest provider of business software systems for the printing and publishing industry, EFI said.

• U.S. Steel Corp. and specialty alloys maker Carpenter Technology Corp. of Wyomissing reached a deal to develop a “lightweighting” steel for use in automobiles. Carpenter said Wednesday its Temper Tough patented alloy for flat-roll applications initially was designed for aerospace uses but could help auto manufacturers meet tougher federal fuel standards. Downtown-based U.S. Steel will develop the grade. The companies did not disclose terms of the agreement.

— From staff and wire reports

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