Portland-based ImmuCell posts fourth-quarter loss

ImmuCell Corp., which develops and manufactures products that help prevent, diagnose and treat cattle diseases, posted a larger fourth-quarter loss amid higher expenses.

The Portland-based company said its fourth-quarter net loss totaled $17,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $1,000 a year ago.

At the same time, product sales increased 9 percent to $1.4 million.

For the full year, ImmuCell posted a profit of $90,000, 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $410,000, or 14 cents a share a year ago. Full-year product sales increased to $5.39 million from $5.11 million.

“Despite the ongoing economic hardships faced by our customers, we ended the year with strong product sales in the fourth quarter. Sales of our lead product, First Defense, increased by 16 percent and 5 percent during the fourth quarter and for the full year, respectively, over 2011 levels,” said ImmuCell President and CEO Michael Brigham.

“As projected, our bottom line performance improved from a loss in 2011 to a profit in 2012,” Brigham said.

Dow Jones closes down amid European worries

NEW YORK – Renewed worries about Europe overshadowed an encouraging U.S. jobs report Thursday, leaving major stock indexes roughly where they started.

Germany’s economy shrank more than expected late last year, and the slowdown in Europe’s largest economy deepened the region’s ongoing recession.

That’s a troubling sign for the United States, because sales to Europe have been a boon for American companies.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9.52 points to close at 13,973.39.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 1.05 to 1,521.38. The Nasdaq composite index rose 1.78 to 3,198.66.

Anheuser-Busch InBev changes terms of deal

NEW YORK – Anheuser-Busch InBev changed the terms of its proposed $20.1 billion acquisition of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo on Thursday in an attempt to push through a deal that federal regulators say will kill competition.

AB InBev is willing to sell Modelo’s Piedras Negras brewery and give perpetual rights for Corona and the Modelo brands in the United States to Constellation for $2.9 billion, the company said Thursday. The Mexican brewery, which currently makes Corona, Corona Light and Modelo Especial, will give Constellation total control over the production of Corona and Modelo sold in the United States.

Under previous terms of the complicated deal, Modelo would have sold its half of Crown Imports to wine maker Constellation Brands Inc. to address antitrust concerns. But InBev had the right to end its import agreement with Crown after every 10 years. In the new deal terms proposed, Constellation remains slated to buy the half of Crown it does not own for $1.85 billion, as well as the Modelo brewery and the brand rights.

Regulators are leery of the tie-up because AB InBev and Modelo control about 46 percent of annual U.S. sales.

— From news service reports