Top News & Analysis Houston

  • Net income rose to $31.3 million, or $1.32 per share, matching the forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet. A year earlier, the company earned $21.5 million, or 91 cents per share. The shares fell $3.19, or 5.2 percent, to $58.65 in midday trading.

  • HOUSTON-- Engineering company and contractor KBR Inc. said Wednesday that it lost money in the third quarter as it wrote down the value of a 2010 acquisition. KBR bought Chicago- based Roberts& Schaefer in December 2010 for $280 million.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- An embattled $3 billion cancer-fighting fund in Texas will recover from a controversy that led two Nobel laureates and others to resign over allegations that politics trumped science in spending decisions, state officials told stakeholders Wednesday.

  • Oct 24- Marathon Oil Corp said on Wednesday it is in negotiations to sell a portion of its 20 percent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Canada as part of a strategy to shed less profitable assets. No sale of the non-operated Athabasca interest can be assured, Houston- based Marathon said.

  • Oct 24- Marathon Oil Corp said on Wednesday it is in negotiations to sell a portion of its 20 percent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Canada as part of a strategy to shed less profitable assets. No sale of the non-operated Athabasca interest can be assured, Houston- based Marathon said.

  • HOUSTON-- Two Texas pilots who were arrested in Panama on suspicion of money laundering headed home for good Wednesday after authorities decided there is no case against them, their employer said. Carl Moody and Kenneth Chonoski were arrested after landing in Panama in May last year.

  • Oct 23- A federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated a $9.2 million securities arbitration ruling against Morgan Keegan& Co stemming from a group of bond funds that became the subject of a civil fraud action by regulators.

  • Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and ex-state demographer of Texas, said studies are nearly unanimous in concluding that improved education is the key to bolstering earning power _ and thus could reverse the trend.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- A fourth Texas high-tech startup that received taxpayer dollars through Gov.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- Oil giant BP has asked a federal judge to disregard objections from a fraction of claimants and give final approval to a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over economic damages from the Gulf oil spill.

  • IMPERIAL, Pa.-- Southwest Airlines Co. is launching daily, nonstop service from Pittsburgh International Airport to Houston starting April 14. The flight will leave Pittsburgh at 11:50 a.m. weekdays and arrive at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport at 2 p.m. The flight will follow a similar schedule on Sunday but will leave Pittsburgh at 9:15 a.m. on Saturdays.

  • GENERAL ESCOBEDO, Mexico-- Even before the tour bus comes to a stop, the women rise from their seats and wait in the aisle to exit. "The goal is to come to look for them," said Virginia Olcot, 42, of Chimaltenango, Guatemala, who last heard from her husband in September 2009 when he arrived at the U.S. border in Sonora. "

  • WICHITA, Kan.-- When Candida L. Gutierrez's identity was stolen, the thief didn't limit herself to opening fraudulent credit and bank accounts. The scheme has been linked to illegal immigrants who use stolen Social Security numbers to get paid at their jobs, and authorities fear the problem could soon grow to ensnare more unsuspecting Americans.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each.

  • HOUSTON-- Copano Energy priced a public offering of 6 million common units at $32.13 apiece. Copano Energy LLC said Friday that it is giving the underwriters a 30- day option to buy up to an additional 900,000 units. Shares of Houston- based Copano Energy LLC dropped $1.28, or 3.8 percent, to $32.08 in morning trading.

  • HOUSTON-- KMG Chemicals Inc. said Thursday that its chairman, company founder David Hatcher, will retire in December and be replaced by another member of the company's board. KMG Chemicals shares fell 12 cents to $17.98 in morning trading Friday. They have traded in a 52- week range of $12.69 almost a year ago to $19.72 in early July.

  • NEW YORK-- Earlier this month, NBA rookie Royce White disclosed that he is afraid to fly and said he expects to travel by bus to play in at least some of the basketball games for his team, the Houston Rockets.

  • HOUSTON-- Schlumberger's exposure to global markets separated it from the pack as the world's biggest oilfield service company posted a 10 percent jump in net income during the third quarter.

  • HOUSTON-- Weak activity in North America and the falling number of operating rigs in the worldwide drove third-quarter net income down by 61 percent at Baker Hughes. "Activity was less than planned in several key geomarkets for Baker Hughes, resulting in an unfavorable mix," said CEO Martin Craighead. "

  • HOUSTON-- Robbins& Myers saw its net income fall 9 percent in the fourth quarter, partly due to the costs from its $2.5 billion sale to National Oilwell Varco. Analysts expected Robbins& Myers to report net income of 98 cents per share and $276.2 million in revenue.