Container cargo continues rebound in Baltimore

Container cargo at the port of Baltimore's public terminals in August was its second-highest amount ever for a single month, continuing a strong rebound, port officials said Tuesday.

In August, 57,510 TEUs, or 20-foot equivalent units, came across the city's docks. In July, container traffic had set a record with 63,740 TEUs. Container cargo was strong in June as well, with 57,277 TEUs. Before that, the record was 56,454 TEUs, set in July 2005 — before the economic downturn. A standard 40-foot shipping container contains 2 TEUs.

The trend shows that consumer demand is strengthening, with more cargo being exported and imported, Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a statement.

The Maryland Port Administration, which oversees the port's public terminals, had signed two long-term contracts in 2008 with leading container shipping companies, the Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Evergreen Marine Corp., which has helped boost cargo. The port generates about 16,700 direct jobs.

—Lorraine Mirabella

Intel beats earnings forecast

Intel Corp.'s net income leaped 59 percent in the most recent quarter, despite economic edginess that curbed PC appetite.

The technology industry bellwether's jump would have been higher if economic edginess had not curbed many consumers' appetite for new personal computers. Still, investors sent shares up slightly in extended trading.

As the world's biggest maker of microprocessors, the "brains" of PCs, Intel is a proxy for the overall PC market, which has stumbled in the last few months.

Intel said after the market closed Tuesday that it earned $2.96 billion, or 52 cents per share, compared with $1.86 billion, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts expected 50 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $11.10 billion. Analysts expected $10.99 billion.

Intel had already tamped down investors' expectations when it cut its third-quarter guidance in August.

—Associated Press

Pfizer strikes deal to buy rival Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that it would buy a company specializing in painkilling drugs in a $3.6 billion deal meant to shore up the portfolio of the world's largest drug company. The deal to buy King Pharmaceutical Inc. is Pfizer's largest since it bought rival Wyeth for $68 billion in 2009. Pfizer already has a large stake in the pain drug market with its drugs Lyrica and Celebrex, which combined for more than $5 billion in sales in 2009.

But now the company is betting that King's work on "abuse resistant" painkillers will pay off and help make up for the revenue it will lose when top sellers such as the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor no longer have patent protection in a few years.

—Associated Press

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