Chevron sees biggest rise in net income in a decade

Chevron Corp. reported its largest profit increase in at least a decade Friday after recovering economies around the world spurred increases in fuel demand.

First-quarter net income for the second-biggest U.S. energy company more than doubled to $4.55 billion, or $2.27 a share, from $1.84 billion, or 92 cents, a year earlier, Chevron said. Excluding severance costs, per-share profit was about $2.38, 43 cents higher than the average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chevron CEO John Watson boosted oil and natural-gas output by 4.5 percent with new wells from the Gulf of Mexico to Australia.

Revenue jumped 33 percent to $48.2 billion, Chevron said. Profit from oil and gas wells more than tripled to $4.72 billion as the prices the company was paid for crude and gas surged 97 percent and 28 percent, respectively.


D.R. Horton turns a profit, thanks to first-time buyers

D.R. Horton Inc. said Friday it turned a profit in the fiscal second quarter, as active first-time home buyers led to spikes in new orders and sales.

The home builder reported a 55 percent jump in new home orders and a 19 percent increase in completed sales. Builders have enjoyed a bump in sales this year as buyers scurry to grab expiring federal tax credits.

The government was offering an $8,000 credit for first-time buyers. Buyers needed a signed contract by Friday and must complete the transaction by the end of June.

The builder said it had a profit of $11.4 million, or 4 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31. A year earlier, it had a loss of $108.6 million, or 34 cents a share.

Revenue was $896.8 million, up 16 percent from $775.3 million.


Avon Products’ earnings drop 64 percent in quarter

A currency devaluation in Venezuela, costs related to a bribery investigation in China and restructuring charges drove Avon Products Inc.’s profit down 64 percent in the first quarter.

But consumers in many international markets spent more on Avon’s cosmetics and other products, and its revenue climbed 15 percent, the company said Friday.

Avon earned $42.5 million, or 10 cents per share, for the period that ended March 31, down from $117.3 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

But it earned 33 cents per share, excluding one-time costs like the devaluation of Venezuela’s bolivar and an internal restructuring that involved job cuts. Its revenue jumped to $2.49 billion.


Honda recalling Acura TSX to fix power steering hoses

Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 167,000 Acura TSX cars to fix power steering hoses that could deteriorate and cause a fire under the hood.

The recall, announced Friday, involves TSXs from the 2004-08 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on its website that high temperatures under the hood could cause the power steering hose to crack and leak power steering oil.

Honda spokesman Chris Naughton said the automaker had received one report of a minor fire connected to the issue. He said there have been no reports of accidents or injuries.


Five more bank closures put total at 62 this year

Regulators have shut down three banks in Puerto Rico and one each in Michigan and Missouri, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 62.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the banks: Westernbank Puerto Rico, based in Mayaguez, with about $11.9 billion in assets; R-G Premier Bank of Puerto Rico, based in Hato Rey, with around $5.9 billion in assets; and San Juan-based Eurobank, with $2.5 billion in assets.

The FDIC also seized CF Bancorp, based in Port Huron, Mich., with about $1.6 billion in assets; and Champion Bank, in Creve Coeur, Mo., with $187.3 million in assets.


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