Verizon reports strong gains in smartphones and tablets

Verizon added more than 1.4 million long-term wireless subscribers in the second quarter, with strong gains in both smartphones and tablets, the company said Thursday.

Verizon Communications Inc. CEO Lowell McAdam said the company’s wireless profit margins remain consistent with the past several quarters. Verizon is the nation’s largest wireless carrier. The second-quarter gains cited are for retail post-paid plans, which are the lucrative ones offered to good-credit customers and include those on two-year service contracts.

Shares of the New York-based company slid 13 cents in after-hours trading to $49.51. The stock had closed up 74 cents at $49.64.

FairPoint workers to take strike authorization vote

Unions representing nearly 2,000 employees of telecommunications firm FairPoint in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are set to vote on whether to authorize a strike.

Meetings about the strike vote are scheduled for Friday in South Burlington; Saturday in Bangor; and Sunday in Portland and Manchester.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council T-9 and Communications Workers of America Local 1400 began negotiating with management April 25. Contracts expire on Aug. 2.

The company says service to customers will continue if there is a strike.

Cupcake chain Crumbs says it may restructure business

Will cupcake chain Crumbs get new dough and rise again?

The New York company says it could restructure its business days after closing its stores.

“We’re pleased to be in talks with various interested parties that are allowing us to pursue all of our options for the business, which includes consideration of restructuring alternatives,” CEO and General Counsel Edward Slezak said in a statement.

As of March, Crumbs had 65 stores nationwide. It sold giant cupcakes topped with M&Ms and Girl Scout cookies and other variations on the sugary treat. It closed all of its remaining stores Monday, and said then it was considering options including a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.

2nd quarter profit drops at Progressive Insurance

Progressive Corp., the fourth- largest U.S. car insurer, said second-quarter profit fell 9.6 percent as investment gains narrowed.

Net income dropped to $293.4 million, or 49 cents a share, from $324.6 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based company said Thursday in a statement..

Innovations that helped Progressive in the past, such as allowing clients to do more business through smartphones, are no longer drawing as many policyholders, according to Paul Newsome, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners.

—From news service reports