Delta Air Lines sold its Eagan data center for $37 million in a sale-lease-back arrangement with Digital Towerview LLC, according to a real estate value certificate filed Wednesday. The cash deal for the building at 1500 Towerview Road involves an eight-year lease for the Atlanta-based carrier. The transaction involves land and the building where the property is located. Delta and Digital could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

David Phelps

Jobless claims rise more than expected

The number of people applying for new jobless benefits rose more than expected in the most recent weekly report, which contained mixed data on an employment environment that has seen substantial gains in recent months. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits rose 16,000 to 357,000 in the week ended March 23, reaching the highest level since mid-February. Rising claims signal more layoffs, and initial claims have increased for two consecutive weeks.

BlackBerry ships a million Z10s, reports profit

BlackBerry Inc. reported a surprise operating profit for its fourth fiscal quarter Thursday, thanks to ongoing cost reductions and shipments of its new Z10 handset hitting the 1 million mark. On the negative side, the company lost about 3 million subscribers during the period. And it will spend big on marketing in the current quarter, when it will face fresh competition from the Galaxy S 4 from Samsung. It recorded a net loss of $646 million for the entire fiscal year. The annual loss, which tax benefits reduced from an operating loss of $1.2 billion, compared with $1.16 billion in net earnings a year earlier. In the latest quarter, which ended March 2, the company lost $18 million from operations.

U.S. economy grows slowly, corporate profits up

The U.S. economy’s performance in the fourth quarter was not quite as bad as it first appeared, it turns out. And corporate profits rose in 2012 to an all-time high. Growth in the final three months of last year was pushed up to 0.4 percent from 0.1 percent in the government’s third and final analysis of gross domestic product. While that is the slowest growth rate in almost two years, the latest figures suggest the U.S. continued to expand at a modest pace in the fourth quarter after stripping out the effects of inventories and a surprisingly large drop in government spending.

GM seeks to improve resale values

General Motors, seeking to boost its profit margins, says it can save as much as $200 million annually by improving resale values of its vehicles and further narrowing the gap with competitors who don’t have to spend as much to offer lease deals. The automaker’s so-called residual values rose to 44 percent last year from 36.5 percent in 2009, when the company went through bankruptcy reorganization, according ALG Inc., the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company that sets resale values. Higher residuals help automakers offer lower monthly lease payments because the cost is based upon the projected resale value when the contract ends.

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