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Roundup: Moody's upgrades Airport Authority debt; Mylan wins patent infringement case; more

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Moody's upgrades Airport Authority debt

Moody's Investor Services this week upgraded its credit rating for the Allegheny County Airport Authority's $375.4 million in outstanding debt. In a report issued Sunday, Moody's boosted the authority's rating to A3 from Baa1. Moody's said reasons for the upgrade included a natural-gas drilling deal with Cecil-based Consol Energy Inc. that provided a $46.3 million upfront payment in February and is projected to generate $500 million in years to come. Moody's cautioned that gas revenue is “inherently volatile,” and said the authority's cost per passenger remains high at $14.24. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the authority “has acted in a fiscally responsible fashion to ensure the long-term success for one of our region's most important assets.”

Butler Health posts 9-month profit

Butler Health System earned $788,000 in the nine months ended March 31, more than doubling its net income from the same period last year thanks to gains from investments. The nonprofit health system, which owns Butler Memorial Hospital, reported a loss from operations of $37,800 as higher expenses took a bigger bite of revenue. Revenue was $187.1 million, up from $180.3 million. Expenses were $187.2 million, up from $180.4 million. The system was able to increase revenue with the acquisition of physician practices and investment in urgent care centers, which brought in additional patients. But the investments led to higher expenses and the operating loss.

Mylan wins patent infringement case

Mylan Inc. said it won a federal appeal validating patents related to Perforomist, a drug used to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Cecil-based Mylan had appealed a U.S. District Court decision last year that five of seven Perforomist patents had not been infringed upon by Brovana, a similar drug made by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. In that decision, the court said two patents were valid, and the two companies struck a confidential settlement calling for Sunovion to pay licensing fees to Mylan. Mylan subsidiary Dey Pharma, which is now called Mylan Specialty, originally brought the suit against a Sunovion predecessor company in 2007 seeking to block the sale of Brovana.

Net Health acquires Integritas

Net Health Systems Inc., a Strip District-based company that makes electronic medical record software, acquired Integritas Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Net Health, which makes software for facilities that specialize in wound care, said the purchase of Integritas will give it access to the urgent care and occupational health software markets. Privately held Net Health employs 82 people and will add 28 from Integritas, which was based in California but has an office in Altoona where most of its employees work. The Altoona office will remain open.

Best Buy reports 1Q loss on restructuring

Best Buy Co. on Tuesday reported a loss for its fiscal first quarter as it sold its stake in Best Buy Europe and works on a turnaround plan that includes cutting costs and closing some stores. Its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations, as cost cuts helped offset tough pricing competition during the quarter. But shares fell 5 percent in midday trading.

The company has been working on a turnaround plan as it faces increased competition from online retailers and discount stores. The plan includes closing stores, cutting costs and investing in training for its employees. In April, it also said it would sell its 50 percent stake in its European joint venture to streamline its business and strengthen its balance sheet.

Poll: Teens migrating to Twitter

Twitter is booming as a social media destination for teenagers who complain about too many adults and too much drama on Facebook, according to a new study published Tuesday about online behavior. It said teens are sharing more personal information about themselves even as they try to protect their online reputations.Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner. In the poll, 94 percent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook — flat from the previous year. Twenty-six percent of teen social media users were on Twitter. That's more than double the figure in 2011 of 12 percent.

Microsoft touts Xbox One as all-in-1 entertainment

Microsoft thinks it has the one. The company introduced the Xbox One, an entertainment console that promises to be the one system households will need for games, television, movies and other entertainment. It will go on sale later this year, for an undisclosed price.

For the past two years, Microsoft has led the gaming industry in console sales with the Xbox 360. But it's been eight years since that machine came out, and Microsoft is the last of the three major console makers to release a new system.

— From staff, wire reports

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