Hyundai, Kia reach settlement with states
South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will pay $41.2 million to 33 states and the District of Columbia to settle an investigation into their fuel economy ratings. The fine is the latest in the ongoing fallout from misstated mileage numbers on more than 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S. In 2012, Hyundai and Kia restated the mileage on one-quarter of their 2011-2013 model-year vehicles after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency questioned their mileage numbers. The companies deny they violated the law, and instead cite lack of clarity in EPA test procedures.
More sign contracts to buy in September
The National Association of Realtors said that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 1.5 percent last month to 110. Pending sales rose in the South and West in September, while slumping in the colder parts of the country: the Northeast and Midwest. Pending-sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed. Sales of existing homes have improved for much of this year. Completed sales rose 3.2 percent between August and September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, the Realtors said last week.
Gannett posts loss; Tronc deal endangered
USA Today publisher Gannett, suffering from the ongoing print-ad declines that have hurt the broader newspaper industry, is cutting jobs as it reported a loss in its latest quarter. The company said it is cutting 2 percent of its staff. McLean, Va.-based Gannett posted a third-quarter loss of $24.2 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a profit of $39.2 million a year ago. Gannett Co. shares tumbled 17 percent to $8.21 in trading Thursday. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Gannett’s potential takeover of Tronc Inc. is in danger of falling through as banks financing the deal have backed out. Tronc’s shares fell 28 percent to $12.27 Thursday.