Falling gas prices remain above national average

Gas prices in Maine continue to tumble, yet still remain above the national average.

Price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that average retail gasoline prices fell more than 4 cents in the past week to an average of $3.80 per gallon.

It’s the fourth consecutive week of lower prices.

The Maine price is still 7 cents above the national average.

Prices in Maine are now nearly 19 cents lower per gallon than a month ago and more than 17 cents lower per gallon than on the same day one year ago.

First Defense sales boost ImmuCell quarterly profit

Portland-based ImmuCell Corp., which diagnoses and prevents diseases in cows, posted a quarterly profit for the first time in four years with a jump in sales of its lead product, First Defense.

First Defense reduces deaths in calves by preventing intestinal infections.

ImmuCell said net income for the first quarter of 2012 totaled $155,000, or 5 cents a share, compared with a loss of $23,000, or 1 cent a share, in the same quarter of 2011. Total product sales totaled $1.7 million, up from $1.6 million a year ago.

Sales of First Defense rose 13 percent, driven by increased investment in marketing and sales efforts, the company said.

“Based primarily on increased gross margin from sales of First Defense and the anticipated reduction in product development expenditures, we returned to profitable operations for the first time since the first quarter of 2008,” said ImmuCell President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Brigham.