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Top News & Analysis Houston

  • HOUSTON-- Noble Energy, while wresting with falling natural gas prices and a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, topped Wall Street expectations for the third quarter. The Houston energy producer said Thursday that its net income totaled $221 million, or $1.23 per share, in the July-through-September quarter.

  • HOUSTON-- Linn Energy LLC posted a $430 million loss for the third quarter on Thursday because of losses from commodity derivatives intended to reduce fluctuations in cash flow. The company said that without the hedging losses, it would have earned $89.8 million, or 45 cents per share.

  • SPRING, Texas-- Investigators say a man suspected of trying to steal copper wire has been found dead at an electrical substation near Houston. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office on Thursday said investigators believe 37- year-old Harold Gene Schneider was electrocuted in the theft process.

  • HOUSTON-- Oil and natural gas driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income fell almost 38 percent as demand fell for drilling rigs in the U.S. The company earned $50.8 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

  • HOUSTON-- National Oilwell Varco Inc. said Thursday that third-quarter profit rose 14 percent, and it predicted strong fourth-quarter demand for drilling rigs used in deep water. Net income was $612 million, or $1.43 per share, compared with $532 million, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier.

  • PORTLAND, Ore.-- Precision Castparts Corp. said Thursday its fiscal second-quarter net income rose 13 percent on demand for commercial airplane parts and the benefit of recent acquisitions. The company earned $332.7 million, or $2.29 per share, compared with $294.7 million, or $2.07 per share, a year earlier.

  • The latest numbers show that young adults 25-29 are the primary out-of-state movers; they had the biggest gain in 13 years as they struck out on their own to test the job market in urban, high-tech meccas such as Washington, D.C.; Denver; Portland, Ore.; Seattle; and Austin, Texas.

  • CHICAGO-- People who collapse from cardiac arrest in poor black neighborhoods are half as likely to get CPR from family members at home or bystanders on the street as those in better-off white neighborhoods, according to a study that found the reasons go beyond race. The findings suggest a big need for more knowledge and training, the researchers said.

  • HOUSTON-- Two Texas pilots who were released after being arrested in Panama on suspicion of money laundering arrived home Wednesday in Houston. American Jet International pilots Carl Moody and Kenneth Chonoski were greeted at George Bush Intercontinental Airport by a crowd of family, friends and co-workers that included company CEO Roger Woolsey and U.S.

  • HOUSTON-- Retail gasoline prices have taken a tumble this week across Texas. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the statewide average price fell 12 cents to settle at $3.39 per gallon. The association survey found El Paso has the most expensive gasoline in Texas at $3.49 per gallon.

  • 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.