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Business news in brief

In the Region

Vishay raises Q4 revenue projection

With demand strong for its semiconductors, Vishay Intertechnology Inc. today boosted its forecast for fourth-

quarter revenue by about 9 percent. Shares of Vishay closed up $1.03, or 13.7 percent, at $8.57. The Malvern company said it now sees revenue for the quarter of $580 million to $600 million. Its previous forecast, issued late in October, was for a range of $530 million to $570 million. In last year's fourth quarter, the company posted revenue of $575 million. Vishay said its production capacity is still constrained. Its products are used in the industrial, computing, automotive, telecommunications and other markets. - Inquirer Staff

Slight drop in default rate at Advanta

Defaults on Advanta Corp.'s credit cards fell in November to 34.36 percent from 34.99 percent in October, Bloomberg News reported. The report was based on a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Advanta. It said loans at least 30 days overdue, a signal of future losses, fell to 10.94 percent on an annualized basis, from 11.67 percent the prior month. Advanta, Spring House, is a credit-card lender to small businesses. In May, it stopped allowing customers to use their cards in order to cut losses and preserve capital. The company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 8. - Inquirer Staff

City gets delinquency judgments

The City of Philadelphia said it obtained tax delinquency judgments against 69 businesses, which together owe $5.7 million. The latest judgments, by Common Pleas Court, bring the total on which the city has obtained judgments for not paying business taxes to 246 companies that owe a combined $53 million. The taxes include the business privilege tax, wage tax and net profits tax. The city began publishing the names of delinquent businesses in November 2008, and the latest list was the fourth. Mayor Nutter's office said it had collected about $3 million from the earlier lists of unpaid business taxes. -Paul Schweizer

Teva buys stake in cancer drug

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. bought a stake in OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc., the companies said. The deal gives Teva rights to an experimental cancer therapy. Teva will pay $60 million in cash - $10 million for shares of OncoGenex stock at $37.38 each, an upfront payment of $20 million, and $30 million in development funding. OncoGenex, Bothell, Wash., could receive up to $370 million in additional payments, based on development and sales goals for the cancer drug. Teva, a maker of generic drugs, is based in Petah Tikva, Israel, and has U.S. headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County. - Inquirer Staff

Herley wins $1.4M contract

Herley Industries Inc., Lancaster, said it had received a contract order worth about $1.4 million to produce microwave modules for aircraft radar. The contract, from an international customer that was not identified, is for the F-16A/B Fighting Falcon jet. This will be the third microwave module, which is used as a replacement on the Falcon. Herley uses microwave technology to make products for the defense, aerospace and medical industries. - Inquirer Staff

DecisionOne buys unit

DecisionOne, Devon, said it had completed its acquisitions of the MVS division of Anacomp, a San Diego information technology and business services company. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but DecisionOne said the deal would increase its revenue by 10 percent. It also will bring 200 Anacomp employees and 750 customers. MVS provides technical support and maintenance in North America for original equipment manufacturer customers to some end-user customers. DecisionOne provides information technology maintenance and support. - Inquirer Staff


Sanofi-Aventis to buy Chattem

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA said it plans to buy U.S. health-care company Chattem Inc., maker of over-the-counter mainstays such as Gold Bond skin products, for $1.9 billion in cash. The deal also gives Sanofi-Aventis a distribution base for its popular allergy drug Allegra, which is awaiting approval to switch from prescription-only to an over-the-counter version, and for future switches of other drugs approaching the end of their patents. - AP

Ford offers buyouts to workers

Ford Motor Co. says it is offering buyout and early retirement incentives to all of its 41,000 U.S. hourly workers to further reduce its factory workforce. Company spokesman Mark Truby would not say how many workers the company wants to leave but said Ford was working that out with the United Auto Workers union. Ford currently has about 600 blue-collar workers laid off but available for recall. The buyout offer includes $50,000 cash plus a $25,000 car voucher or $20,000 more in cash. The retirement package includes $40,000 cash for skilled trades and $20,000 for production workers. - AP

Obama touts contract savings

President Obama touted the federal government's efforts to become more efficient, highlighting a new report that shows billions of dollars in savings on contract costs. The report by the Office of Management and Budget shows that agencies have identified more than $19 billion in contract savings for fiscal year 2010, which began Oct. 1. Obama said that puts the government on track to meet its goal of saving $40 billion annually by fiscal year 2011. The administration has said the savings would come from terminating unnecessary contracts, ending an over-reliance on contractors, and reducing the use of high-risk contracts. Federal spending on contracts has doubled since 2002, reaching $540 billion last year. - AP

Rates rise on short-term T-bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in yesterday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.070 percent, up from 0.040 percent last week. An additional $31 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.170 percent, up from 0.160 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the Treasury bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.23 while a six-month bill sold for $9,991.41. - AP