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Business news in brief

In the Region

Uniqlo to open first Pa. store

Uniqlo, the Japanese apparel retailer, will open its first Pennsylvania store May 16 at the King of Prussia mall. Uniqlo also plans to open stores at 1608 Chestnut St. (Oct. 3) and Willow Grove Park (Oct. 10). Uniqlo, which opened its first store in 1984 in Hiroshima, has more than 1,300 stores in 16 countries. It has launched an aggressive expansion in the United States. - Chris Hepp

Polar vortex benefits UGI profit

For UGI Corp., there was a positive side to all that cold winter weather. The Valley Forge company on Wednesday reported a 28 percent increase in quarterly net income, thanks to wild natural gas prices during the polar vortex. UGI reported adjusted second-quarter net income of $222.1 million, or $1.90 per share, compared with $174.0 million, or $1.51 per share, a year ago. While its regulated utilities reported robust sales, the big driver was results from its midstream and marketing operations, which reported an 89 percent increase in revenue and a 172 percent increase in income, to $120.4 million. - Andrew Maykuth

WPCS shares fall 36%

Shares of WPCS International Inc., of Exton, fell 36 percent, or 29 cents, to close at 51 cents, after the company said it was put on notice by the Nasdaq Stock Market L.L.C. that it might be subject to delisting for "noncompliance with the requirement to solicit proxies and hold an annual meeting of stockholders." The company, which said it had delayed the meeting while it resolved "several rounds of comments" from the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it would request a hearing with Nasdaq to delay the suspension, and "intends to file the proxy statement for the annual meeting within the next week." WPCS is launching an Internet platform for trading the virtual bitcoin currency. Shares have traded in a 52-week range of 45 cents to $5.27. - Reid Kanaley

Quaker Chemical dividend up

Quaker Chemical Corp., of Conshohocken, raised its quarterly dividend by 5 cents - 20 percent - to 30 cents per share. The dividend is payable July 30 to shareholders of record July 17. CEO Michael F. Barry said the increase reflected the company's "strong cash flow generation" and confidence in future earnings power. Shares rose $1, or 1.3 percent, to $75.79. - Reid Kanaley

CD Diagnostics moves to Del.

CD Diagnostics Inc., which is developing "biomarkers" to track diseases in people, said it has shut its Wynnewood and Logan Township facilities and opened a 20,000-square-foot research, manufacturing, and office location at Brandywine Corporate Center 1, Claymont, Del., that will employ 170 by 2016. Delaware gave CD $500,000 from its Strategic Performance Fund for the facility on the condition it add the promised jobs, state economic development chief Alan Levin said in a statement. - Joseph N. DiStefano

Dividend increase at EnerSys

Reading-based industrial battery maker EnerSys raised its quarterly dividend 5 cents, or 40 percent, to 17.5 cents per share and forecast improved revenue and earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter that ended March 31. The dividend is payable June 27 to shareholders of record on June 13. The company also said it authorized a $70 million stock repurchase plan, effective through March 31, 2015. Shares fell 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $65.53. The company will report earnings May 29. - Reid Kanaley

Quarterly profit narrows at CDI

CDI Corp., the Philadelphia-based contract engineering and staffing company, reported first-quarter profits of $2 million, 10 cents a share, on revenues of $276.3 million. Revenues are up from last year's first quarter results of $269.5 million, but profits are down from $2.5 million, or 13 cents a share. First-quarter revenues were up in nearly all sectors of business except "other," which includes some government contracting. Revenues also were down in the company's Management Recruiters International division. - Jane M. Von Bergen


U.S.: Recalled cars OK to drive

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said there was no need for owners of recalled General Motors Co. cars to stop driving them. In a letter to senators, he said that government engineers have found that if owners follow GM's advice, there's little safety risk to driving the cars. GM is recalling 2.6 million cars worldwide to replace ignition switches that can suddenly slip out of the run position and shut off the engine. That can knock out power-assisted steering and cause crashes. GM says at least 13 people have died in crashes from the problem. GM is urging owners to remove everything other than automotive keys from their key chains, which Foxx says should sufficiently mitigate the risk until the switches are replaced. - AP

Ford announces share buyback

Ford Motor Co. said it will buy back up to about 116 million shares of company stock worth about $1.8 billion. The automaker said the buybacks will help offset potential dilution from convertible debt and stock-based compensation for employees. - AP

Tesla swings to quarterly loss

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors lost $49.8 million in the first quarter as it accelerated the development of its new crossover. Tesla's loss of 40 cents per share compared with a profit of 10 cents per share in the January-March period last year. Last year's first-quarter profit was the decade-old company's first profitable quarter. Revenue grew 10 percent to $620.5 million in the latest quarter. Tesla said it produced a record 7,535 Model S sedans during the period and delivered 6,457 to customers. - AP