March 4, 2010

Briefcase

— Northeast Bancorp reports strong quarterly income

Lewiston-based Northeast Bancorp, the parent company of Northeast Bank, reports that it recorded $496,000 in net income for the quarter ending Sept. 30, a 619 percent increase over the same period last year.

The bank had $69,000 in net earnings for the third quarter in 2008.

The bank attributed the strong performance to growth in net income margin, gains on the sales of loans, and revenue growth from the insurance and investment brokerage divisions.

Common stockholders' diluted shares rose to 19 cents, from 3 cents during the same period in 2008.

Average price of heating oil holding steady for state

The average price of heating oil in Maine is holding steady at $2.38 per gallon.

The results of the latest weekly price survey were reported Monday by the state Office of Energy Independence and Security. Actual prices ranged from a low of $2.07 in southwestern Maine to a high of $2.65 in the eastern part of the state.

New York Times to reduce newsroom by 100 positions

The New York Times said Monday it will cut 100 newsroom jobs and an unspecified number elsewhere amid industrywide declines in advertising revenue.

The Times will offer voluntary buyouts at first but will resort to layoffs if it cannot meet the targets. ''I hope that won't happen, but it might,'' Executive Editor Bill Keller wrote in a memo to staff.

Even with the latest cuts, amounting to 8 percent of the newsroom staff, the Times has the largest newsgathering staff of any U.S. newspaper. The cuts would leave the newsroom with about 1,150 reporters and editors.

Homebuilders' optimism fades along with tax credit

Homebuilders are growing less optimistic about their fortunes as a temporary tax credit for first-time homebuyers that boosted home sales this year nears its end.

The National Association of Home Builders said Monday this month's housing market index, which tracks industry confidence, slipped by one point to 18, the first dip since June when the reading fell to 15.

-- From staff and news services

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