Latest Pennsylvania business


Consol misses 4Q profit forecasts

CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Consol Energy has reported fourth-quarter profit of $30.4 million.

On a per-share basis, the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company says it had profit of 13 cents. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 11 cents per share.

The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The natural gas company posted revenue of $761.9 million in the period.

For the year, the company reported a loss of $374.9 million, or $1.64 per share, swinging to a loss in the period. Revenue was reported as $3.11 billion.

Consol shares have declined 15 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has declined slightly more than 7 percent. The stock has declined 77 percent over the last 12 months.


Hershey 4Q results mixed, demand softens in China

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Hershey's fourth-quarter profit beat analysts' estimates, but its revenue fell short of Wall Street expectations due to soft demand in China.

The chocolate bar and candy maker earned $213.4 million, or 98 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. A year earlier the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company earned $202.5 million, or 91 cents per share.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, came to $1.08 per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.05 per share.

Revenue dropped to $1.91 billion from $2.01 billion as sales fell in China. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected higher revenue of $1.97 billion.


ECONOMY: Major business and economic events scheduled for Friday:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Commerce Department releases fourth-quarter gross domestic product, 8:30 a.m.

Commerce Department releases international trade data for December, 8:30 a.m.

AbbVie Inc. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens.

American Airlines Group Inc. reports quarterly financial results before the market opens.


Computer expert gets no jail time in extensive spamming case

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Florida computer expert who helped send millions of spam messages to people to help computer marketers collect email addresses and phone numbers has been sentenced to two years' probation.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh sentenced Naveed Ahmed on Thursday. The Tampa resident pleaded guilty in August.

The light sentence came as a surprise, as federal guidelines call for at least two years in prison.

Prosecutors say Ahmed and two others earned $2,000 to $3,000 weekly by violating a law designed to protect people from receiving unsolicited email or text messages.

Ahmed is one of 12 people federally prosecuted for marketing their skills on, a cybercriminal marketplace disabled by the FBI last summer. Seventy people in the U.S. and 19 other countries were targeted in that takedown.


Deal struck to save historic ocean liner SS United States

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A historic and speed record-breaking ocean liner that once hosted royalty and presidents has escaped the scrap heap and will undergo a rebirth.

Supporters of the SS United States announced Thursday they have an option agreement with a redevelopment partner. A spokesman for the ship's conservancy group says details won't be released until a news conference Feb. 4 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York.

The defunct, rusty hulk was stripped of its interior years ago and has been moored in Philadelphia for nearly two decades.

The onetime luxury vessel is larger than the Titanic and still holds the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing.

Preservationists feared running out of money before a ship-saving deal was reached. Last fall, they received a lifeline — $600,000 in donations — to keep it afloat while negotiations continued.


Councilman sparks outcry with musician, DJ registry proposal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia city councilman is hearing boos for a proposal that would seemingly give police the authority to approve which bands, rappers and DJs can perform in certain venues.

The bill proposed by Councilman Mark Squilla (SKWIL'-ah) last week would require venues accommodating 50 people or more to collect the contact information for all performers. They would be required to give the information to police, if asked. Police would then decide whether they get a license to perform.

Squilla says the bill isn't intended to restrict artistic expression but to address public safety and quality-of-life issues.

After an outcry by musicians and fans on social media, the councilman says he'll consider amendments.

An American Civil Liberties Union official tells the Philadelphia Inquirer: "When police make lists, Americans get nervous."


Coldplay sets US stadium concert tour

NEW YORK (AP) — After its upcoming Super Bowl halftime show, Coldplay expects to be accustomed to big stages.

The British rockers said Thursday they would be performing seven stadium gigs in the United States this summer, touring in support of their album, "A Head Full of Dreams." Since the announcement called them the first U.S. shows, it is expected there will be more.

All of those announced so far are on Saturday nights, starting July 16 at MetLife Stadium in the New York City metropolitan region.

Coldplay is also scheduled to play Soldier Field in Chicago; Gillette Stadium outside Boston; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; the Rose Bowl in the Los Angeles area; AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; and Levi's Stadium in the San Francisco market.