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Shareholder sues over Lubrizol deal

OMAHA, Neb. – A shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging that Warren Buffett and the company’s board hurt investors by failing to act swiftly when they found out about stock trades that outgoing executive David Sokol made ahead of Berkshire’s $9 billion takeover of chemical company Lubrizol.

Shareholder Mason Kirby filed the lawsuit in Delaware this week seeking to recover any improper gains that Sokol made on the 96,000 Lubrizol shares that he bought in January shortly before pitching the company to Buffett as an acquisition target.

Buffett did not immediately respond to a message Tuesday.

Buffett disclosed the trades last month as he announced Sokol’s surprise resignation, but denied that the executive’s departure was linked to the Lubrizol deal. Both Buffett and Sokol have said they do not believe that Sokol’s Lubrizol trades were illegal.

Associated Press

Solar panels to power 787 assembly plant

North Charleston, S.C. – Boeing Co. announced Tuesday that the roof of its new 787 jet assembly plant will be covered with solar panels and its South Carolina operation will be powered entirely with renewable energy.

South Carolina Electric & Gas will install and maintain the thin panels that will cover the space of about eight football fields atop the massive assembly building.

The panels will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site – enough to power about 250 homes.

It will be the largest solar installation by generating capacity in the Southeast and the sixth-largest in the nation, the company said.

Associated Press

Seagate will purchase hard drive business

Seagate Technology PLC has agreed to buy Samsung Electronics Co.’s hard drive business for $1.38 billion in cash and stock. Samsung will also own 9.6 percent of Seagate’s shares and control about 40 percent of the market.

Just last month, Seagate rival Western Digital Corp. agreed to buy Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion, giving it about half the hard drive market.

Associated Press

Sprint, Clearwire settle dispute

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sprint Nextel Corp. has agreed to pay wireless broadband provider Clearwire Corp. more than $1 billion through 2012 for wireless wholesale services, settling a dispute that has cut into its revenue.

Sprint, which owns most of Clearwire, is also its largest customer.

Associated Press

IBM quarterly report shows strength

NEW YORK – IBM Corp. on Tuesday reported stronger-than-expected net income and revenue for the first quarter, helped by the weak dollar and strong performance from its hardware division.

The computer and consulting-services company also raised its full-year forecast for operating earnings by 1 percent.

Net income rose 10 percent to $2.86 billion, or $2.31 per share.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $24.6 billion. Analysts expected $24.02 billion, IBM said.

Associated Press