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Business news in brief

In the Region

Toll Bros. settles claims

Toll Bros. Inc. officials agreed to a $16.2 million settlement of claims that they misled shareholders about the Horsham company's prospects while selling stock worth about $615 million, according to court filings. The accord resolves investor claims that executives of the U.S. luxury-home builder wrongfully issued bullish forecasts in the face of falling demand in fiscal 2006 and 2007, according to a filing in Delaware Chancery Court. Investors also alleged in a 2008 complaint that directors, including co-founders Bruce E. Toll and Robert I. Toll, sold shares at inflated prices because of the forecasts. Insurers will pay $9.8 million of the settlement; the remaining $6.4 million will be paid personally by individual defendants. - Bloomberg News

Harleysville Savings to delist

Harleysville Savings Financial Corp. said it would delist its common stock from the Nasdaq and no longer report financials to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Montgomery County company said its decision came in the wake of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which permits bank holding companies to deregister if they have fewer than 1,200 stockholders. Shares of Harleysville Savings would stop trading on the Nasdaq on Dec. 27. On Friday, shares closed unchanged at $16.52. - Inquirer staff

Verizon pension shift goes on

Verizon Communications Inc. pension-plan beneficiaries lost a bid to block the phone company's transfer of $7.5 billion in plan obligations to Prudential Insurance Co. of America. U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater in Dallas denied Friday a request by two retirees who worked for a Verizon predecessor to issue an order stopping the deal, saying they failed to show a "substantial likelihood of success on the merits" of their case. Verizon said Oct. 17 it planned to shift about one-fourth of its pension obligations - involving about 41,000 beneficiaries - to Prudential to remove risk from its balance sheet. - Bloomberg News

American pilots OK contract

Pilots at American Airlines approved a new labor contract, which could clear the way for consideration of a merger with US Airways. The pilots' union announced Friday that 74 percent of its members voted to ratify the contract. Pilots rejected a similar offer in August, but union leaders lobbied hard for passage the second time. Pilots will get raises and will own 13.5 percent of American's parent, AMR Corp., after it emerges from bankruptcy protection. - AP