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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 shareholders Wednesday re-elected the bank’s board of directors at its annual meeting despite intense opposition from two shareholder advisory firms. The opposition stemmed from the bank’s decision last fall to also make CEO Brian Moynihan the bank’s chairman. Shareholders also affirmed the board’s decision to give a $13 million compensation package to Moynihan.

Shareholders re-elected Bank of America’s board of directors at today’s annual meeting despite intense opposition from two shareholder advisory firms. The opposition stemmed from the bank’s decision last fall to also make CEO Brian Moynihan the bank’s chairman. Many shareholders argued that should have been put up for a vote.

Shareholders also approved the board’s recent decision to drop Moynihan’s compensation package by a $1 million, to $13 million. All but $1.5 million of that is in company stock.

American Airlines Group

American Airlines announced their first quarter profits Friday. And they were a record $932 million. It’s great news for the airline and their stockholders and certainly noted by North Carolina lawmakers. 

Belk Exploring Possibility Of Selling Company

Apr 3, 2015
Belk

Charlotte may be losing another one of its iconic, homegrown retailers.

Belk, a third-generation department store chain that dates to the 1880s, confirmed Thursday that it has hired an investment bank to help it explore a possible sale or other “strategic alternatives.”

The 2014 bonuses for five of Duke Energy’s top executives were cut by 35 percent. This is response, the company says, to last year’s coal ash spill into the Dan River. 

Duke Energy saw earnings fall last year, and it expects lower earnings than analysts have projected next year. Still, many on the company’s earnings call Wednesday were upbeat.


Google

Google has announced it will hold a press conference in Charlotte Tuesday afternoon.

So, what’s the big deal?

WFAE’s Tom Bullock is here to explain.

Courtesy of the North Carolina Film Office

The director of North Carolina’s film commission is in Park City, Utah, to attend the annual Sundance Film Festival. He’s there to convince directors, producers and executives to shoot their productions in North Carolina. But it’s a hard sell due to the state’s scaled back film incentives program. 

Chiquita Announcement Sent To Employees

Jan 14, 2015

On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Chiquita announced it would close it's Charlotte-based headquarters. Below is the email interim CEO Brian Kocher sent employees. 

Dear Associate,

We now embark on Chiquita’s next chapter. We wish to inform you of changes at the Company that will result from our transition towards a more simplified and streamlined business model appropriate for the competitive markets we serve, and from a publicly listed company to a private enterprise.

On Wednesday, January 14, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio sent an email to Mecklenburg County Commissioners telling them of Chiquita's decision to close the company's Charlotte-based headquarters. 

Duke Energy/Flickr

North Carolina utilities are paying less in taxes to due to the legislature’s tax overhaul last year. The NC Utilities Commission says companies no longer have to pass on those savings to customers but Duke Energy still plans to.

WASHINGTON Officials familiar with the deal say Bank of America has reached a record $17 billion settlement with federal and state authorities over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The officials say the bank will pay $10 billion in cash and provide consumer relief valued at $7 billion.

They spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal isn't scheduled to be announed until Thursday at the earliest.

The bank declined comment. 

Dollar General Starts Bidding War For Family Dollar

Aug 18, 2014
Jennifer Lang / WFAE

A bidding war is underway to buy Matthews-based retail discounter Family Dollar. A few weeks ago, Dollar Tree agreed to an $8.5 billion deal with Family Dollar.

On Monday, Dollar General CEO says his company is willing to pay $9.7 billion. Plus a $300 million break-up fee for Family Dollar to renege on its merger agreement. 


Courtesy of the Wilmington Film Commission

The curtain is poised to come crashing down on North Carolina’s film incentive.

Wednesday, the House Finance Committee adopted a plan which would slash the amount a production company could receive, from $20 million to five million.

Courtesy of EUE/Screen Gems

For the past seven years North Carolina has been aggressively trying to lure movie and television shows to film in the state. Their bait? Tax dollars.

Since the program began it has been hugely successful. But the film incentive program is controversial. In Raleigh there is a movement to change the program or let it sunset at the end of this year.

This week, we take a closer look at the incentives program and proposals to change it. This report looks at how the system works and how much money just one TV show spends in the state.

Postal Workers Fear Expansion Of Staples Pilot Program

Apr 24, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

About two dozen Postal Service employees protested uptown today because they fear more of their work will be outsourced to Staples.

The protest was in response to a comment made by the Postmaster General, in which he said he was so pleased with a pilot program with Staples that he would like to see a post office counter in all 1,500 Staples stores.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

Americans installed solar panels at their homes last year at a record pace, and backers of rooftop solar picture a not-too-distant future, where entire neighborhoods power themselves with the sun’s rays. For now, users and the industry rely on generous tax incentives and special agreements with electric utilities to reach affordability. Duke Energy wants to reduce how much it pays customers for the energy they produce. Rooftop solar advocates call it an attack on a burgeoning industry, while the utility says it is about cost.


Feds Seeking $2.1B From Bank Of America

Jan 30, 2014
Bank of America sign
Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The U.S. Attorney General’s office is seeking to more than double the fines Bank of America faces for fraudulent mortgages that helped lead to the financial crisis.

The federal government is asking for $2.1 billion in damages, the total amount it says Bank of America’s Countrywide unit received for its defective loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2007 and 2008. The new number is a substantial increase from the $863 million plaintiffs had sought, representing the amount they say Fannie and Freddie lost from the loans in 2007 and 2008.

NC Venture Capital Slow To Return Post-Recession

Jan 22, 2014
Ben Bradford / WFAE

Venture capital investment is best known for funding technology start-ups, including, once upon a time, Google and Facebook. The amount of venture capital funding is also an indication of how many start-ups or early stage companies a region is producing. The latest numbers in North Carolina show the state still has not recovered from the recession.


Family Dollar Profits Drop As Core Customer Struggles

Jan 21, 2014
WFAE

Matthews-based discount chain Family Dollar started to report record profits about 5 years ago when the country was in a recession.

And now as the economy is recovering, the company seems to be having a bit of trouble holding on to customers it gained during the leaner times. 

But Family Dollar's recent decrease in profits is a little more complicated than that.

In a conference call this month, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine told investors an economic recovery is underway:

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