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Business news in brief

In the Region

A vote to double US Airways shares

Shareholders of US Airways Group Inc. approved doubling the number of common shares to 400 million at the company's stockholder meeting in New York yesterday. Philadelphia's dominant airline said being able to issue more shares would offer flexibility for acquisitions, increased capital, paying dividends in stock, and effecting stock splits, and other general corporate purposes. Chief executive officer Doug Parker said the industry needed to further consolidate to thrive and return to profitability. - Linda Loyd

A.C. casino revenue down in May

The economy and the expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania continue to affect Atlantic City's casinos. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission reported that revenue for the seaside resort's gambling halls fell 15.4 percent last month compared with a year earlier. The casinos reported $351.3 million in total gambling revenue, down from $415.4 million in May 2008. - Suzette Parmley

FDA panel OKs drug for teens

Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration say a powerful psychiatric drug from AstraZeneca P.L.C., which has U.S. headquarters near Wilmington, is safe and effective in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adolescents. The FDA's panel of experts voted overwhelmingly that Seroquel is useful for treating those illnesses in patients ages 13 to 17. The FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, though it usually does. - AP

2 investor candidates elected

Pennant Capital Management L.L.C., the largest investor in PHH Corp. and which has been pushing for changes at the Mount Laurel company, scored a victory at the company's annual meeting. Shareholders elected Pennant's two candidates for the board of PHH, which operates mortgage-lending and fleet-leasing businesses, PHH and Pennant said, based on anticipated results. PHH's defeated candidates were A.B. Krongard, PHH's nonexecutive chairman, and Terence W. Edwards, PHH's president and chief executive officer. Outside director James O. Egan ran unopposed and was reelected. Pennant's candidates were former Freddie Mac executive Gregory J. Parseghian and former Dun & Bradstreet Corp. chairman Allan Z. Loren. - Harold Brubaker

Telford site to close, idling 46

Keystone Findings Inc. says it will close its operations in Telford, Bucks County, and lay off 46 employees after having sold its assets to Richmond, Va., jewelry-maker Hoover & Strong Inc. Keystone, which made jewelry settings, said in a notice to the state that it expected layoffs to begin this week and to be completed June 22. Keystone's WARN notice said that none of the employees, who were not unionized, would have bumping rights. - Roslyn Rudolph

Company settles EEOC suit

A Scranton-area glass firm has agreed to pay $1.45 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against 11 women when it reorganized its factory in 2004. Schott North America Inc., Elmsford, N.Y., did not admit wrongdoing. In 2004, it created a job category, "melting-line operator," by combining two departments, one employing mainly men, the other mainly women. The suit, filed in 2006 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Philadelphia, said the skill qualifications used to choose melting-line operators was biased in favor of men, leading to a disproportionate job loss among qualified female employees. - Jane M. Von Bergen

Dollar Financial to settle suit

Dollar Financial Corp., Berwyn, said it intended to settle a class-action lawsuit brought against its Canadian subsidiary, National Money Mart Co. National Money Mart customers had said they were charged fees in excess of the statutory limit for payday loans made to them since 1997. Under the agreement, which admits no wrongdoing and needs court approval, payments of $24.9 million will be made to plaintiffs. National Money Mart also would forgive $38.8 million of defaulted indebtedness of class members and restore them to good standing. About $27.1 million more in transaction credits would be provided to the group for use on future transactions on most National Money Mart products. - Diane Mastrull


Citigroup starts exchange offers

Citigroup Inc. has launched public-exchange offers that will effectively give the government a 34 percent stake in the troubled bank. Citigroup expects to convert into common stock a total of $58 billion of preferred stock and trust-preferred securities, assuming full participation in the swaps. Citigroup said in February that it wanted to offer investors the option of changing preferred stock into common stock as a way to boost its capital reserves. - AP

Foreclosure filings up nationally

Foreclosure filings rose 18 percent from April amid growing joblessness, RealtyTrac Inc. reported. California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona account for 77 percent of filings nationally. Pennsylvania and New Jersey filings dropped from April. Pennsylvania, No. 32 on the list of 50 states, had a 13.33 percent drop, to one filing for every 1,252 homes; No. 24 New Jersey reported a 12.44 percent decline, or one in every 794 houses. - Alan J. Heavens

Study: Clean energy good for jobs

A report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that the clean-energy economy is good not only for the environment, but also for the paychecks of many Americans. Pew found that green jobs grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, while traditional jobs grew 3.7 percent. It said Pennsylvania had nearly 39,000 jobs in that sector in 2007. New Jersey had more than 25,000. - Diane Mastrull

Times Co. to take bids to sell Globe

The New York Times Co. appears interested in getting rid of the Boston Globe, hiring investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage a potential sale of a newspaper that has plummeted in value since its purchase in 1993, the Globe reported. - AP

Yields mixed on money funds

The average seven-day yield on taxable money market funds was 0.15 percent this week, unchanged from last week, according to iMoneyNet Inc. The average yield on tax-free funds was 0.18 percent this week, down from 0.23 percent last week. - Rhonda Dickey