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The Baltimore Sun

Balto. County Savings parent reports profit

BCSB Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Baltimore County Savings Bank, reported yesterday a profit of $461,000, or 16 cents per share, for the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $307,000, or 11 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company attributed the quarterly profit to increases in net interest income and noninterest income. The earnings were partially offset by $360,000 in loan loss provisions in the quarter due to the declining real estate market. The most recent earnings were the fourth consecutive quarter of profit for the bank, which restructured its balance sheet, converted into a fully publicly traded company and met requirements to no longer be under the scrutiny of the Office of Thrift Supervision. For the year ending Sept. 30, the company reported a profit of $894,000, or 30 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.9 million, or 95 cents per share, in the previous year.

Hanah Cho

Pratt St. restaurant, brewery changes hands

The Wharf Rat, a restaurant and brewery at 206 W. Pratt St., has new owners. Donald Kelly, who has operated bars in Connecticut, and Justin Dvorkin, a brewer at Fordham Brewing Co., bought the business from Bill Oliver on Tuesday. The price was not disclosed. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Kelly said he and his partner do not anticipate making substantial changes to the restaurant and brewing operation. "We like the concept; we bought it for the brewery," said Kelly. Steve Jones, the current Wharf Rat brewer, will continue making the establishment's line of beers, called Oliver ales, Kelly said. In 1992 Oliver and his wife, Carole, took over the iron-front building on Pratt Street , then called P.J. Cricketts restaurant. They renamed it, added a brewery and began making ales in January 1993. Oliver, 68, retains ownership of the Fells Point pub also named The Wharf Rat.

Rob Kasper

Comcast to increase Internet speed

PHILADELPHIA : Comcast Corp. said yesterday that it will begin rolling out faster Internet speeds over the next few weeks in selected markets to homes and businesses. The nation's largest cable operator and residential Internet service provider will offer speeds up to 50 megabits per second, which enables users to download a high-definition movie in 16 minutes and a standard definition movie in 5 minutes. Most Comcast customers will double their speeds for free. The service will be available in parts of New England, including the Boston area and southern New Hampshire, as well as in portions of Philadelphia, New Jersey and the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Over the next few months, Comcast expects to roll it out to over 10 major markets. "This is allowing our customers to enjoy the things they do on the Internet at a much faster speed," Mitch Bowling, Comcast's senior vice president and general manager of online services, said in an interview. Subscribers can now download movies and upload photos quicker, Bowling said. Subscribers with the fastest service, Extreme 50, will be able to download a high-definition movie in about 16 minutes, compared with 67 minutes using the new standard high-speed connection, Comcast said.

Associated Press

Northrop Grumman 3Q profit rises 4.7%

LOS ANGELES : Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. says its third-quarter profit rose 4.7 percent, led by higher sales in its electronics business. The company says it is raising its 2008 earnings forecast. The company says net income rose to $512 million, or $1.51 per share in the quarter, up from $489 million, or $1.41 per share. Northrop, which makes military aircraft, defense electronics and amphibious assault ships, says its revenue rose more than 6 percent to $8.38 billion on stronger demand for its electronics and aerospace products.

Associated Press

iPhone sales whittle away at AT&T; profit

NEW YORK : AT&T; Inc.'s earnings rose 5.5 percent in the third quarter, but missed analyst expectations because of strong sales of iPhones, which the carrier subsidizes. The country's largest telecommunications company said yesterday that it earned $3.23 billion, or 55 cents per share, in the July-September period, up from $3.06 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding $1.1 billion in merger-related costs, the Dallas-based company earned 67 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting 71 cents per share. AT&T;'s earnings took a hit of $900 million, or 10 cents per share, in subsidies for the 2.4 million iPhones it sold, and 2 cents per share in hurricane damage. Revenue rose 4 percent to $31.3 billion, matching analysts' estimates. The figure for iPhone subsidies was considerably higher than the company had forecast. Before the second model of Apple Inc.'s handset, the iPhone 3G, went on sale July 11, AT&T; predicted that the subsidies would cost it 10 cents to 12 cents per share this year, and the same amount next year. It apparently reached the lower bound of that range in one quarter. The iPhone subsidy works out to about $375 per unit. The final price in stores is $199 or $299 depending on the model. AT&T; says the subsidy will pay off in the end, because iPhone owners are voracious consumers of data services and pay 60 percent more month in service fees than owners of other phones.

Associated Press

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