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Business news in brief

In the Region

Sentencing set in bone-cement case

Former Synthes Inc. executive Richard Bohner, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for his role in illegally promoting and testing bone cement, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia. The sentencing was rescheduled from Nov. 21, when three codefendants were given prison terms. Michael Huggins and Thomas Higgins got nine months and John Walsh got five months for their involvement in the testing of the bone cement used by doctors in spinal surgeries, during which three people died on the operating table. Read more at - David Sell

CDI to cut 200 in reorganization

CDI Corp., Philadelphia, said it would cut staff by about 200 as part of a reorganization of its far-flung operations. The provider of contract technical staffing had 1,000 employees. The company will take a charge of $8 million to $9 million in the fourth quarter for employee severance and other costs. Under the reorganization, CDI will report its revenue and profits geographically and by service lines. Shares fell about 1.2 percent, to $12.84. - Mike Armstrong

PHH rebuffed in bond market

Home lender PHH Corp., of Mount Laurel, is being rebuffed in the bond market as housing prices resume their decline and new lawsuits against mortgage servicers deter investors. PHH sold $100 million of 9.25 percent bonds due March 2016 in an add-on to an August 2010 issue after canceling a $250 million seven-year note offering Dec. 2. Yields on PHH's outstanding 7.125 percent debt due March 2013 rose to 7.77 percent, the highest since August 2010, exceeding the 6.94 percent average on all bonds rated BB, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. - Bloomberg News

Cephalon's Fentora patent upheld

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s Frazer-based Cephalon unit won a federal appeals court decision that prevents Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. from selling a generic copy of the painkiller Fentora until 2019. The court upheld the validity of a Cephalon patent on Fentora and backed a lower-court ruling that Watson infringed the patent. The drug generated $81 million in U.S. sales in the first half, Cephalon said in August. - Bloomberg News

Russian firm may raise CEDC stake

Polish vodka purveyor Central European Distribution Corp., based in Mount Laurel, said competitor Russian Standard Corp., which already holds 9.9 percent of its outstanding shares, has proposed acquiring an additional 19.9 percent in exchange for assets of Roust Inc., a Russian spirits importer. The moves are aimed at restructuring CEDC debt. CEDC shares jumped 18.2 percent to $6.04. - Reid Kanaley

Pa. high court to hear Prempro case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments by Pfizer Inc.'s Wyeth unit that a judge erred earlier this year in allowing a Philadelphia jury to award $8.6 million in punitive damages to Mary Daniel, a former bank manager from Arkansas who alleged the drugmaker's Prempro menopause pills caused her breast cancer. Jurors also awarded Daniel $1.6 million in compensatory damages. - Bloomberg News

Hershey buys Canadian candy-maker

Hershey Co., the Pennsylvania chocolatier, said it bought Brookside Foods Ltd., a privately held confectionery company in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Term of the deal were not disclosed. Hershey said Brookside has net sales of $85 million Canadian dollars. - Reid Kanaley


Exxon predicts surge in hybrids

Exxon Mobile Corp. said in its annual energy outlook that the use of hybrids - vehicles that rely on both gas and electricity - and other gains in fuel efficiency will keep energy demand in check in the United States and other major industrialized countries for years. Exxon predicts that energy demand will remain flat through 2040 in developed nations. However, Exxon said, energy demand within developing nations, including China, is expected to rise nearly 60 percent from 2010 to 2040. - AP

FDA finds lax control at J&J supplier

Federal inspectors say the manufacturer for Johnson & Johnson's cancer drug Doxil hasn't been maintaining equipment or promptly investigating defective product batches and other serious problems at its Bedford, Ohio, factory. The latest Food and Drug Administration inspection report details lax quality control, failure to follow standard procedures, and even lack of follow-up about a container of urine found in the Ben Venue Laboratories Inc. facility, which makes sterile medicines. The company did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Doxil is one of 251 medications reported unavailable or in short supply this year. - AP

Twitter getting a new look, new digs

Twitter on Thursday unveiled an ambitious new design intended to draw new users, keep them on the social network longer, and attract more advertisers. Twitter now has 100 million users worldwide, according to figures

from the company, and half are active every day. By comparison, Facebook has 800 million users. The retooling, company officials said, will make Twitter easier to grasp, faster, and more accessible. It began rolling out Thursday in applications for Android and Apple phones, and to a limited number of Web users. Twitter made the announcement at its would-be new headquarters: a 215,000-square-foot space in an Art Deco-era building in downtown San Francisco. Twitter, which employs 700 people in a smaller office, said the new space would be able to hold thousands of people. - N.Y. Times News Service

Household wealth in U.S. falls again

Household wealth in the United States fell from July through September for a second straight quarter as the European debt crisis depressed stocks and home values decreased. Net worth for households and nonprofit groups decreased by $2.45 trillion, to $57.4 trillion, the Federal Reserve said. - Bloomberg News

Mortgage rates still near record low

Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year home loan ticked down to 3.99 percent from 4 percent the previous week. It dropped to a record low of 3.94 nine weeks ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage edged down to 3.27 percent from 3.30 percent. Nine weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent. - AP