Forbes lists Wright Express among top small businesses

For the third consecutive year, South Portland-based Wright Express Corp. has been named one of America’s top small businesses by Forbes magazine.

The company was No. 72 on the list, which included 100 publicly traded businesses with annual revenue between $5 million and $1 billion. Rankings were based on earnings growth, sales, return on equity and stock performance.

On Thursday, Wright Express reported $20.6 million in profit and revenue of $100.2 million for the third quarter of this year. In 2009, the company reported third-quarter profit of $23.4 million and revenue of $85.8 million.

Wright Express processes automotive fleet fuel purchase transactions and helping customers capture and analyze detailed fuel and maintenance information.

 

Stocks struggle to a gain despite good jobs report

Stocks struggled to end barely higher Friday after a blowout report on job creation failed to extend a powerful rally this week driven by the Federal Reserve’s latest plan to pump up the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average waffled between gains and losses for much of the day before ending with a gain of just 9 points. Earlier in the week, the Dow reached its highest level since September 2008 over enthusiasm about the Fed’s $600 billion bond-buying program.

Stocks rapidly lost momentum Friday, despite a report from the Labor Department showing that employers added 151,000 jobs last month, the first gain since May and far more than analysts had anticipated.

 

Four more banks shut down, bringing year’s total to 143

Regulators have shut down four banks, bringing the total of 2010 failures to 143. That tops the 140 shuttered last year and is the most in a year since the savings-and-loan crisis two decades ago.

On Friday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over K Bank, based in Randallstown, Md., and Pierce Commercial Bank, based in Tacoma, Wash. The FDIC also seized two California banks: Western Commercial Bank in Woodland Hills and First Vietnamese American Bank in Westminster.

 

AIG reports $2.4 billion loss due to restructuring charges

American International Group Inc., one of the largest recipients of government aid during the financial crisis, reported a $2.4 billion loss due to restructuring charges Friday as the sprawling insurance company made more strides toward trimming down its balance sheet and returning taxpayer-funded bailout money.

The moves by New York-based AIG, which is still 80 percent owned by the government, will likely result in an upgrade to the company’s credit ratings, setting the stage for the government to take the steps necessary to start selling its stake.

AIG still owes about $100 billion from the bailout package it received two years ago at the peak of the 2008 credit crisis.

 

Fannie Mae seeks more aid after third-quarter loss

Government-controlled mortgage buyer Fannie Mae is asking for $2.5 billion more in federal aid after posting a narrower loss in the third quarter.

Fannie Mae said Friday that the market disarray and suspension of foreclosures due to big lenders’ problems with flawed documents likely will have a negative impact on the delinquency rates of its loans, its expenses and foreclosure timelines.

Fannie Mae said Friday it lost $3.46 billion, or 61 cents a share, in the July-September quarter. That takes into account $2.1 billion in dividend payments to the Treasury Department. It compares with a loss of $19.8 billion, or $3.47 a share, in the third quarter of 2009.

The government rescued Washington-based Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac about two years ago and it estimates that will cost taxpayers up to $259 billion. That’s nearly twice the $133.4 billion Fannie and Freddie are in line to receive from taxpayers so far.