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In brief: INB’s parent posts quarterly loss

Sat., Aug. 1, 2009

Northwest Bancorporation Inc. on Friday announced an $846,000 loss for the second quarter as a $1.8 million allowance for loan and lease options, coupled with higher FDIC premiums, offset an increase in revenue.

During the 2008 quarter, Northwest earned $498,000. Per share, the 2009 quarterly loss was 43 cents, compared with a 21-cent gain a year ago.

Northwest, the parent of Inland Northwest Bank, lost $1.1 million, or 57 cents per share, during the first half of 2009, compared with earnings of $938,000, or 39 cents per share, during the 2008 half.

Assets as of June 30 were $399.1 million, up 8.3 percent from one year ago. Deposits grew 10.5 percent year-over-year to $330.1 million. Loans increased 5.2 percent to $331.9 million.

Pay increases lowest on record

Washington – Employment compensation for U.S. workers has grown over the past 12 months by the lowest amount on record, reflecting the severe recession that has gripped the country.

The Labor Department said Friday that employment costs rose by 1.8 percent for the 12 months ending in June, the smallest annual gain on records that go back to 1982.

Companies, struggling to cope during the current hard times, have been laying off workers, trimming wage gains and holding down overtime to save costs.

Oil prices dip, a first since January

New York – Oil prices posted their first monthly decline since January with summer driving season petering out and petroleum stockpiles piling up.

Analysts said the flattening of oil prices in July could be a prelude to an extended drop.

Crude ended July 44 cents a barrel cheaper than the month before. The last time that happened was six months ago when a barrel of oil dropped by $2.92 during the month of January.

Shorter sentence for ex-Qwest boss

Denver – An appeals court has ordered a new, shorter sentence for ex-Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio, saying his six-year term for insider trading was too long.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the trial judge overstated the amount of Nacchio’s alleged financial gain.

Nacchio was convicted in 2007 of 19 counts of insider trading and acquitted on 23 counts. Prosecutors alleged he sold $52 million in Qwest Communications International stock based on nonpublic information that the Denver-based telecommunications company was at risk. A three-judge panel at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Friday agreed with Nacchio’s lawyers that the $52 million figure was too high.

The appeals court did not say exactly what Nacchio’s sentence or fine should be, sending those determinations back to a lower court.

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