In the Region
Boeing's earnings up
Faster airplane production is going straight to Boeing's bottom line. Third-quarter net income rose 12 percent as the company delivered planes to customers at a quicker pace. It has already speeded up the assembly of two of its planes - the 737 and 777 - and Wednesday announced plans to boost production of its new 787 Dreamliner, too. Boeing raised its profit guidance for the full year. Shares rose $5.29, or 4.3 percent, to $127.77 in afternoon trading. Profits from commercial planes rose 40 percent, offsetting a 19 percent profit drop in Boeing's defense division because of a sharp decline in deliveries of military planes. Boeing earned $1.16 billion, or $1.51 per share, for the quarter. That was up from about $1 billion, or $1.35 per share, a year earlier.
Home affordability in Phila.
The Philadelphia real estate market ranks 10th in home-price affordability among the 25 largest U.S. cities, according to an Interest.com study. The local median income of $60,105 is 1.3 percent less than needed to purchase a median-priced home in the area, the report says. That assumes spending 28 percent of monthly income on mortgage principal and interest payments, property taxes, and homeowner's insurance. "The simple fact is that the very small improvement Americans have seen in their paychecks hasn't kept pace with a jump in home prices and mortgage rates," said Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com. Atlanta boasts the most affordable market and San Francisco the least affordable, the study shows.
- Alison Burdo
Comcast exec appointed
Comcast Corp. executive Maggie McLean Sunniewick has been appointed to head the "Symphony" project that seeks to cross-promote TV shows, films, or other projects across the Comcast/NBCUniversal platform. Sunniewick had been vice president of programming for Comcast's cable division. She now reports to Steve Burke, head of NBCUniversal, and Neil Smit, head of the cable division. Her title is senior vice president of strategic integration. - Bob Fernandez
NBA team backs Comcast
The Houston Rockets basketball team has sided with Comcast Corp. in a bitter legal dispute over a regional sports network in the Houston area. Comcast filed a petition seeking to force the troubled Comcast SportsNet Houston, which it lent $100 million, into involuntary bankruptcy protection to salvage the business. The network is a partnership of Comcast, Major League Baseball's Astros, and the NBA's Rockets. A hearing in the federal bankruptcy court for southern Texas is scheduled for Monday. - Bob Fernandez
Bike groups merge
Two bicycling advocacy groups, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Cadence Cycling Foundation, have merged, the groups said Wednesday. The combined nonprofit will operate under the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia name, said coalition executive director Alex Doty, who will be the executive director of the combined organization. Cadence, founded in 2007 to boost cycling among poor urban youth, will continue to use its name for recruiting cycling teams in Philadelphia and Camden schools. Ryan Oelkers, the cofounder and executive director of Cadence, will become director of youth education of the combined organization. The bicycle coalition has a budget of about $1 million a year, compared with Cadence's annual budget of about $300,000. - Paul Nussbaum
PSE&G trims bills
Residential natural gas customers of New Jersey's Public Service Electric & Gas Co. will pay a lot less for heat for the next two months. PSE&G announced Wednesday it was providing a two-month bill credit that will cut the typical monthly bill by about a third in November and December. The utility is refunding about $115 million to its customers because it obtained a temporary surplus natural gas supply at reduced cost, said Karen A. Johnson, a PSE&G spokeswoman. A typical residential heating customer using 106 therms in November and 160 therms in December would see a $93.10 reduction in their two-month bill from $281.75 to $188.65.
- Andrew Maykuth
3 charged in alleged energy fraud
Federal authorities Wednesday charged three men who operated an Allentown energy brokerage with defrauding clients. U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced charges against Michael Mateja, 27, of North Andover, Mass.; Matthew Morgan, 39, of Schnecksville, Pa.; and Samuel Puleo, 26, of Fogelsville, Pa. Mateja and Puleo owned and operated Coastal Energy L.L.C., which negotiated electricity supply contracts for clients. Investigators allege they and Morgan altered energy supply contracts so that clients were overcharged. The three were charged with wire fraud and face sentences of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Mateja and Morgan were also charged with obstruction of justice.
- Andrew Maykuth