Business

In brief: Wells Fargo the most profitable bank in 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. – Wells Fargo & Co. posted a sturdy 10 percent gain in earnings for its fourth quarter and ended 2013 as the nation’s most profitable bank, topping the full-year profits of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the company reported Tuesday.

For the October-December fourth quarter, Wells Fargo posted $5.6 billion in profits, up 10 percent from the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter totaled $20.7 billion, down 5.5 percent from the year before.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo also posted profits of $21.9 billion in 2013, up 16 percent from 2012. For the full year, JPMorgan Chase reported a profit of $17.9 billion.

Wells Fargo managed rising profits despite a slump in its mortgage business, amid higher interest rates that cooled refinancing activity. Wells Fargo is the biggest U.S. mortgage lender.

Cholesterol drug Liptruzet recalled

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. – Drugmaker Merck & Co. is recalling a combination cholesterol drug, wiping out the entire U.S. stock, due to packaging defects that could reduce effectiveness.

The recall covers all four dosage strengths and every batch distributed since Liptruzet was launched last May.

Merck, the world’s third-biggest drugmaker, said some of the foil pouches holding the pills may allow air and moisture inside. Merck said there’s a remote chance that could decrease the drug’s effectiveness or otherwise change its properties, but that the recall is not due to any reports of patients being harmed.

The Whitehouse Station, N.J., company said patients can continue taking any Liptruzet they have and should consult a doctor before stopping therapy. Merck plans to get Liptruzet back on the market as soon as possible.

Fewer flights arrive on time in November

Airlines are falling behind when it comes to keeping flights on schedule, but fewer passengers are complaining to the government.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday that 83.5 percent of domestic flights arrived on time in November, down from 84.1 percent in October and 85.7 percent in November 2012.

Hawaiian Airlines is holding its customary spot at the top of the ratings, with a 94 percent on-time mark. Of the 16 reporting airlines, Frontier, ExpressJet and Southwest are in the bottom three spots.

Consumers are filing 23.6 percent fewer complaints about airlines than they were a year ago. The top complaint was about flight problems, including cancellations and delays.



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