Gains in home prices slowed in February from a year ago

Year-over-year gains in home prices in large U.S. cities slowed in February, another sign the market cooled before the spring home buying season kicked off, according to a closely watched index.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 large U.S. metropolitan areas, released Tuesday, was flat from January’s level. The gauge was up 12.9 percent from February 2013, the slowest 12-month increase since August. Only five cities saw year-over-year price gains quicken.

Thirteen cities saw prices fall in February from January’s level.

Twitter beats expectations as ad revenue increases

Twitter booked a net loss in the first quarter because of stock compensation costs, but its results surpassed Wall Street’s expectations thanks to a sharp increase in advertising revenue.

Investors were looking for stronger user growth, however, and company’s stock declined sharply in after-hours trading.

Twitter Inc. said Tuesday that it had a loss of $132.4 million, or 23 cents per share, in the January-March quarter. That compares with a loss of $27 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago when Twitter was still privately held. Adjusted earnings were $183,000, or roughly break even on a per share basis.

Revenue more than doubled to $250 million from $114 million. Twitter’s advertising revenue was $226 million, about 80 percent of which came from mobile advertising.

Express Scripts earnings fell 12 percent in first quarter

Express Scripts says its first-quarter earnings fell 12 percent, as the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager posted lower revenue.

The company scaled back its 2014 earnings-per-share guidance to between $4.82 and $4.94 based on delays in several customer implementation plans, among other reasons.

The St. Louis company earned $328 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months that ended March 31. That was down from $373 million, or 45 cents per share, in last year’s quarter. Adjusted profit was 99 cents per share. Revenue fell 8.8 percent to $23.69 billion.

Marriott International’s net income rises 26 percent

A recovering economy and demand for hotel rooms helped lift Marriott International Inc.’s first-quarter net income 26 percent.

More people stayed in the company’s hotels and paid 3.2 percent more per night.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company earned $172 million, or 57 cents per share, beating the 51 cents expected by Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet. That’s up from $136 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same period last year.

—From news service reports