Business

Business news from Charlotte and the Carolinas. For more business news, listen to Marketplace every weekday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Bank of America sign
Jennifer Lang / WFAE

Higher interest rates are helping boost financial results at Bank of America. The bank says profits rose 40 percent in the first three months of the year, compared with a year ago. B of A also saw growth in all its major businesses.

Wells Fargo sign at a bank branch
Flickr / Mike Mozart

An independent report’s findings have spurred Wells Fargo to claw back an additional $75 million in compensation from two executives over the banks’ use of fake customer accounts. But the investigation also shows the scandal goes much deeper and has gone on for far longer than previously known.

Jesus Pina assembles a tiramisu cake at Las Delicias Bakery on Central Avenue in Charlotte. Business there is down since President Trump's January immigration orders.
David Boraks / WFAE

Business leaders in the region's immigrant communities say President Trump's tougher line on immigration is having a chilling effect on businesses and the broader economy. Fear and uncertainty are keeping some shoppers home and threatening to dampen investment in immigrant businesses - one of the fastest growing parts of the economy.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan spoke at a Charlotte World Affairs Council lunch Wednesday at the Hilton.
David Boraks / WFAE

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan sees a lot of optimism over the U.S. economy following the election of President Donald Trump. But at a Charlotte World Affairs Council lunch Wednesday, he said North Carolina continues to lose out because of House Bill 2, the 2016 law that limits protections for LGBT people.

Corning will expand its optical fiber plant in Midland, in Cabarrus County.
Corning Inc.

Corning Inc. says strong demand for optical fiber and cable is bringing another expansion in North Carolina. The company said Monday it will spend $176 million in Catawba and Cabarrus counties and create 410 jobs over the next two years.   

Manufacturers are waiting to see if President Donald Trump follows through on threats to slap new import fees on U.S. companies with factories in Mexico. That includes Charlotte-based Nucor, the largest U.S. steelmaker, which says it’s moving ahead with a plant in central Mexico.  

In Charlotte, It's Especially Tough To Climb The Economic Ladder

Dec 23, 2016
Reema Khrais / Marketplace

 

Eastway Drive  winds through Charlotte, N.C. for miles. At one end, the road is dotted with modest apartments, laundromats, and small retail complexes. 

The eastern part of the city is mixed-income, but with pockets of deep poverty, explained Brenda Tindal, a historian with the Levine Museum of the New South. The Grier Heights neighborhood, for example, has a median income of less than $17,000. 

Mergent Inc., a small financial information company based in Fort Mill, is being sold to the London Stock Exchange.

Terms of the deal announced Monday weren't disclosed. It means a payoff for the private company's lead investor, Carousel Capital of Charlotte.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf To Retire

Oct 12, 2016
Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

(Charlotte Observer)

Embattled Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf is stepping down from the bank he has led for nearly a decade, following intense scrutiny over a fake accounts scandal that erupted last month.

diners at Essex Charlotte
David Boraks / WFAE

Businesses around Charlotte saw sales drop during last week's protests over the shooting death of Keith Scott. But now that a curfew has been lifted and the weekend is approaching, they're hoping for a rebound.

Violence during the first night of protests uptown last Wednesday left some hotels, stores and restaurants, including those around the EpiCentre, with broken windows and other physical damage.

But the week of protests also scared away customers, causing financial damage that most are still recovering from.  

Corning Inc. says growing demand for optical fiber in communications networks is behind plans for a $30 million expansion of its optical cable plant in Hickory. The company also announced a similar sized expansion of another plant in Winston-Salem.

Passengers leave an Allegiant Air jet at Concord Regional Airport.
Mark Rumsey / WFAE

Allegiant Air will add non-stop service from Concord Regional Airport to New Orleans this fall. It will be the discount carrier's first destination outside Florida from the airport east of Charlotte.  

exim.gov

The main purpose of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is simple – provide loans to foreign entities, so they can buy American-made goods.  These loans, in essence, are a way to make American exports more affordable and more competitive.  Since 1945, the bank has operated as an independent agency, created and funded by Congress.

NC Ports Authority

Charlotte will get its first direct intermodal rail connection to the port of Wilmington this fall, when CSX begins the Queen City Express. The service announced this week puts Wilmington in competition with Charleston and other ports that serve Charlotte.

Charlotte is one of 10 U.S. cities that could get nonstop flights to Havana, Cuba, under tentative plans announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Corning Inc.

Updated 11:20pm
Corning Optical Communications has picked a site off I-485 in northwest Charlotte for its new $38 million headquarters, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Bank of America

Bank of America expects to cut several thousand jobs nationwide in its consumer banking division over the next few years as customers shift their banking away from branches to mobile phones and computers.

Daimler Trucks North America

Commercial truck maker Freightliner has announced it will cut some 800 jobs at two facilities in Gaston County. 

David Boraks / WFAE

DUNCAN McFADYEN: North Carolina's Division of Motor Vehicles ruled last week that Tesla can't sell its electric cars at a store in Charlotte. That has a lot of people scratching their heads - why not? WFAE's David Boraks is with me now to talk about it.

David Boraks / WFAE

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has denied Tesla Motors' application to sell its electric cars at a new store near Charlotte. 

bank of america sign
MoneyBlogNewz / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/by-2.0/

A federal appeals court on Monday overturned a $1.27 billion fine against Bank of America over loans by mortgage giant Countrywide Financial, which B of A acquired in 2008.

The appeals court said in a 30 page opinion that prosecutors failed to prove that Countrywide committed fraud when it made loans through its "Hustle" mortgage program.

Bank of America is reporting higher fourth quarter profits than the same period a year ago. The bank says its  profit was $3.01 billion, or 28 cents per share, for the three month period ending in December. That’s nearly 10 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts’ expectations of 27 cents a share on average. Bank of America says the increased earnings were spurred by lower expenses and continued improvement in its consumer banking division. The bank’s revenue in the quarter was $19.53 billion compared with $18.73 billion the year before.

Howard Levine To Step Down As Family Dollar CEO

Jan 8, 2016
T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer File Photo

Charlotte Observer

Howard Levine is stepping down as chief executive officer of Matthews-based Family Dollar on Jan. 15, the company announced Friday.

Levine’s departure follows Virginia-based Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar last summer. At the time, the company had said Levine would remain with the company for two years to assist with the integration, reporting to Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE News


This year is shaping up to be a good one for America’s Christmas tree farmers. A report published this week by the American Christmas Tree Association estimates nearly 22.6 million Christmas trees will be bought, strapped to a car roof, brought home, and decorated this holiday season. That’s a million more trees than were sold in 2011, and it’s welcome relief for the Christmas tree industry, which is still recovering from the recession.

Corning Optical Communications plans to move its headquarters from Hickory to a new $38.7 million office building Charlotte in 2018. A spokeswoman said the company is looking at sites off I-485 northwest of Charlotte, and hopes to announce the location by April 1.

Duke Energy's Profit Down 27 Percent Through September

Nov 5, 2015
Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy's latest earnings report shows profits declined 27 percent from the same period a year ago. The Charlotte-based company's net income was $932 million through the end of September, which missed analyst expectations.

Weak results internationally and legal settlements in the U.S. hurt Duke Energy's bottom line. The settlements in the quarter were related to a coal plant in Indiana and cleaning up coal ash in North Carolina.

US Airways

Friday at 12:05 p.m., a flight from Philadelphia will land at Charlotte Douglas Airport. This is not normally news, or history. But this flight will be both.

If you happen to be in the terminal around that scheduled landing time make sure to stop by gate D-13 and look for US Airways flight 1939. It will be on the ground for two hours and then it’s off to Phoenix. When it takes off it will mark the end of an airline.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo both reported strong third-quarter profits Wednesday. 


Shareholders Vote To Keep Moynihan As Chairman

Sep 22, 2015
Brian Moynihan
Bank of America

Bank of America shareholders have voted to allow Brian Moynihan to continue as both board chairman and chief executive officer. Shareholders voted to separate the two roles in 2009. Then last year, BofA’s board reversed that decision and named Moynihan chairman in addition to CEO. The move sparked controversy and protests by some shareholders.

Brian Moynihan
Bank of America

Bank of America shareholders will vote Tuesday on whether chief executive Brian Moynihan should continue to also serve as the company’s chairman.   The issue has been brewing for several years. 

Shareholders voted back in 2009 to separate the CEO and chairman roles.   But in a controversial move last year, the Bank of America board changed the company’s by-laws to allow one person to hold both titles.   

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