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Business news in brief

In the Region

Crozer operating loss mounts

Crozer-Keystone Health System, which announced the elimination of 250 positions in February, had a $20 million loss from operations in the three months ended March 31, a financial disclosure showed. The Delaware County health system attributed the layoffs to the fact that it lost $15.7 million from July 1 through Feb. 28. The loss for the first nine months of Crozer's fiscal year was double that, at $31.6 million. Operating revenues were down 3.6 percent in the nine-month period compared with the same period a year ago, while operating expenses were up 2.7 percent. This year's expenses included a $6 million restructuring charge related to the layoffs. - Harold Brubaker

Amazon to deliver on Sundays Inc. is expanding Sunday package delivery service to 15 more cities across the country, including Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Dallas. Amazon rolled out the service as part of a deal with the U.S. Postal Service in November in New York City and Los Angeles, just ahead of the holiday rush. At the time, it said it planned to extend it to other cities this year. Sunday delivery is available for no extra charge. If it is available in a customer's region, notice of the service will appear at checkout. - AP

Aramark profit improves

Aramark Holdings Corp.'s net income improved to $13 million in the quarter ended March 28, against a loss of $40 million in the comparable period a year ago. After adjusting for what the company called unusual expenses, net income was $75.24 million this year, up from $53.61 million a year ago. The year-ago quarter included, for example, $76.69 million in severance and other charges, the company said. Included in the most recent quarter, the second of its fiscal year, were $7 million in severance costs expenses related to start-up of a business service center in Nashville. Aramark, which provides food, uniform, and other services, said its revenue in the second quarter was $3.5 billion, up from $3.4 billion a year ago. - Harold Brubaker

Radian raises $258.5 million

Radian Group Inc., the Philadelphia mortgage insurer, raised $258.5 million in a sale of 17.8 million shares at $14.50 per share. Radian said Tuesday it was buying mortgage-industry outsourcing service provider Clayton Holdings for $305 million, including Clayton debt. Radian shares on the New York Stock Exchange fell 11 cents to close at $14.72. - Reid Kanaley


Fed to hold on to bonds

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed's bond holdings will likely remain at high levels for up to eight years after it starts raising short-term interest rates. Yellen made clear that the Fed's investment portfolio, now at a record $4.3 trillion, will decline only gradually. She said it could take five to eight years for the portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to return to the level of 2008, before the Fed began aggressively buying bonds. The bond purchases were intended to lower long-term borrowing rates to stimulate a weak economic recovery. The Fed has lowered its monthly purchases from $85 billion to $45 billion. - AP

Snapchat settles with FTC

Snapchat Inc. settled with the Federal Trade Commission over claims that its photo messages don't always disappear, in the latest hiccup for the fast-growing start-up. While the Los Angeles-based company has publicized and marketed how the annotated photos that its users send through its mobile application will "disappear forever" after a few seconds, there are several easy workarounds that Snapchat failed to address or let users know about, the FTC said. Snapchat also was not always alerting users when recipients took a screen shot of messages, and failed to secure a feature called "find friends," which had a flaw that led to a data breach, the FTC said. - Bloomberg News

Mortgage rates dip

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.21 percent from 4.29 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38 percent. Mortgage rates have risen almost a full percentage point since record lows of about a year ago. - AP

Fannie, Freddie earnings strong

Government-controlled mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac posted solid earnings for the January-March period as the U.S. housing market continued to recover. Gains over recent quarters have enabled the companies to fully repay their taxpayer aid after being rescued by the government in 2008. That was at the height of the financial crisis, when both veered toward collapse under the weight of losses on risky mortgages. Together the companies received taxpayer aid totaling $187 billion. - AP

Gap sales climb in April

Retailer Gap Inc. said its sales climbed in April and it forecast first-quarter results that were better than Wall Street had expected. Gap's shares rose in aftermarket trading. The company said sales at stores open at least a year, a key retail benchmark, rose 9 percent. The company said Old Navy did particularly well. For the quarter that ended in April, Gap expects net income of 56 to 57 cents per share on a sales gain of 1 percent, to $3.77 billion. It forecast that sales at stores open at least a year fell 1 percent. Gap reports its full first-quarter results on May 22. - AP