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Business briefs: Citi cuts earnings due to regulatory probes

From Staff And Wire Reports

NEW YORK – Citigroup has slashed its third-quarter earnings by $600 million, saying that recent investigations by regulators have altered the results it reported earlier this month.

The New York-based bank on Thursday adjusted its quarterly net income to $2.8 billion from a previously reported $3.4 billion, citing legal expenses.

The bank’s operating expenses rose from $12.36 billion to about $13 billion.

Citi previously reported third-quarter net income of $3.44 billion, or $1.07 per share, on Oct. 14. The results exceeded Wall Street estimates, with analysts calling for $1.12 per share, according to Zacks.

In a quarterly regulatory filing Thursday, Citi outlined a bevy of pending legal matters, investigations and inquiries that the company is facing.

Williams-Sonoma fined for faulty shades

NEW YORK – Williams-Sonoma Inc. has agreed to pay a $700,000 fine after the government accused the home goods retailer of taking too long to report that its window shades posed a strangulation hazard to children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Williams-Sonoma knew in 2007 that kids were getting entangled in shades sold by its Pottery Barn Kids stores, but didn’t report it until a year later. Companies are supposed to report possible product defaults within 24 hours, the CPSC says.

Williams-Sonoma and the CPSC recalled about 85,000 of the window shades in 2009. The CPSC says seven customers reported children becoming entangled. No injuries were reported.

By paying the fine, Williams-Sonoma is not admitting or denying CPSC’s charges. The San Francisco company did not respond to a request for comment.

Utrip puts Spokane on destination list

Seattle travel-advisory company Utrip has added Spokane to its online directory of city destinations.

The free service, also available through, provides suggestions for travelers to experience a city.

Utrip, started in Seattle by former Spokane resident Gilad Berenstein, provides suggestions for a number of cities in the U.S. and worldwide.

Travelers can use either an app or the Utrip website. The site suggests a personalized itinerary that caters to different interests, timelines and budgets.

Utrip incorporates comments and suggestions provided by regular travelers and local experts, the Utrip website said.

Vandervert sues CarMax over payment

Vandervert Construction Inc. has filed a lawsuit in Spokane County claiming national car dealer CarMax hasn’t paid for more than $749,000 of work done on its new Spokane Valley dealership.

The suit said the two companies agreed in 2013 that the construction work would come to about $6.9 million. Over time the project grew to more than $7.1 million because of additional electrical work and ground remediation after unforeseen problems arose with contaminated soil.

Vandervert received partial payment but now says CarMax officials have not paid the balance for the work done on the dealership.

CarMax, with 128 locations as of January, is based in Richmond, Virginia.

It opened the 44,000-square-foot Spokane Valley site in May. It is the company’s first dealership in the Pacific Northwest.

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