Tablet Business

Biz briefs: Rosy income report fuels Cash America stock price

Income report fuels

Cash America stock

Shares of Cash America (ticker: CSH) moved up $2.72, or more than 6 percent, to $45.95 after the pawn shop operator said its second-quarter net income, excluding charges to paying down debts, increased by 21 percent to $30.4 million, or $1.04 a share. That exceeded the company’s published guidance of 85 cents to 95 cents. Revenue increased to $455.1 million from $410.4 million a year ago. CEO Daniel Feehan attributed the gains to lower loan loss rates on unsecured consumer loans and renewed demand in its pawn shops. — Steve Kaskovich

Farm bank donates

$10B in ‘seed’ money

A bank that serves farmers and agribusiness is donating $10 billion to spur private investment in rural America. Colorado-based CoBank is part of a network of banks that provides financing to agribusiness and rural areas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hopes private investors will follow with additional dollars for the fund, which will be managed by private partners. The Agriculture Department will help identify needed projects such as rural healthcare and educational facilities. — The Associated Press

Breitburn Energy to buy Houston’s QR Energy

Breitburn Energy is buying QR Energy LP in a deal worth about $1.46 billion. QR unit holders will receive approximately 72 million common units of Breitburn Energy Partners LP, or 0.9856 of a Breitburn unit, for each unit of QR Energy that they own. The consideration to be received by QR unit holders is valued at $22.48 per unit, a 19 percent premium to Wednesday’s closing price of $18.87. Shares of Houston’s QR Energy rose more than 8 percent before the opening bell Thursday. — The Associated Press

Sales of new homes fall sharply in June

Sales of new U.S. homes plunged in June, a sign that real estate continues to be a weak spot in the economy. New home sales fell 8.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 406,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The report also revised down the May sales rate to 442,000 from 504,000. Buying of new homes fell 20 percent in the Northeast, followed by less extreme declines in the Midwest, South and West. The modest sales caused the inventory of new homes on the market to increase to 5.8 months, the highest since October 2011. — The Associated Press