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  • Spark Energy reports 4Q loss Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 4:48 PM ET

    HOUSTON _ Spark Energy Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $11.4 million in its fourth quarter. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 80 cents per share. Spark Energy shares have climbed 3 percent since the beginning of the year.

  • Joplin sues former master developer for fraud Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 8:31 AM ET

    JOPLIN, Mo.— The city of Joplin has sued a Texas- based company that it hired to help in recovery efforts from the devastating 2011 tornado, accusing it of fraud and seeking at least $1.5 million in damages. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court against Wallace Bajjali Development Partners and the company's two partners, one of whom filed...

  • Census: Florida city tops list of fastest-growing areas Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:08 AM ET

    New figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed Florida was home to six of the nation's 20 fastest-growing metro areas from July 1, 2013, to July 1, 2014. The Villages retirement community located northwest of Orlando was the nation's fastest-growing metro area last year with a 5.4 percent increase that raised the population to 114,000...

  • WASHINGTON— The world's largest oil services company, Schlumberger Ltd., has agreed to a penalty of more than $232 million and one of its subsidiaries will plead guilty to trade sanctions violations, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The criminal case against Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. resolves a yearslong investigation into...

  • Mexico says arson at US company linked to extortion Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 2:40 PM ET

    MEXICO CITY— An arson attack on a subsidiary of a U.S. energy-services firm was part of an extortion attempt, prosecutors in southern Mexico said Wednesday. The attorney general in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco, Fernando Valenzuela, said five attackers forced their way into the company's yard and burned three trucks. The company whose compound was attacked was...

  • Cruz eyes insurance via Obamacare, a law he vows to scrap Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 8:55 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz could soon be buying his family's health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act he has vowed to dismantle. Cruz, whose Senate filibuster against the law he derides as "Obamacare" led to a partial government shutdown in 2013, is looking for health insurance because his wife, Heidi Cruz, took an unpaid leave...

  • Francesca's Holdings tops Street 4Q forecasts Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | 7:54 AM ET

    HOUSTON _ Francesca's Holdings Corp. on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $6 million. Nine analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $103.8 million. For the current quarter ending in April, Francesca's Holdings said it expects revenue in the range of $93 million to $96 million.

  • Ted Cruz could soon be buying his family's health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, a law the Republican presidential candidate has vowed to repeal should he win the White House. Cruz formally launched his presidential campaign on Monday, and his wife, Heidi Cruz, began an unpaid leave of absence from her job as a managing director in the Houston...

  • HOUSTON, March 24- Despite a 50 percent slide in crude prices since last summer, U.S. shale oil producers are enjoying remarkably easy access to capital markets and this will allow them to avoid getting squeezed when banks reset their loans in April. "Because the capital markets are so good companies that are more worried about their borrowing base are able to......

  • *Schlumberger sees higher oil prices in second half of 2015. NEW YORK, March 23- U.S. crude futures settled more than 1 percent higher on Monday, boosted by a falling dollar that outweighed pressure on prices from a global supply glut. Oil prices were pressured as Saudi Arabia has stood firm on its decision to maintain production levels, saying it would consider...

  • *Schlumberger sees higher oil prices in second half of 2015. NEW YORK, March 23- Brent crude oil prices slipped towards $55 in the last hour of trading after an announcement from Saudi Arabia that its daily oil production neared record highs outweighed a weakened dollar. Saudi Arabia has stood firm on its decision to maintain production levels, saying it would...

  • *Schlumberger sees higher oil prices in second half of 2015. NEW YORK, March 23- U.S. crude oil climbed above $47 a barrel on Monday as a declining dollar offset global oversupply concerns stemming from an announcement by Saudi Arabia that it was pumping around 10 million barrels per day, near a record high. Houston- based Schlumberger Ltd, the world's top oilfield...

  • US home sales rebound slightly in February Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 10:01 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Slightly more Americans bought homes in February, but tight inventories, affordability problems and nasty winter weather point to sluggish sales in the coming few months. Sales of existing homes rose 1.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, a slight rebound after plunging in January yet still underperforming...

  • Luby's reports 2Q loss Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 8:12 AM ET

    HOUSTON _ Luby's Inc. on Monday reported a loss of $1.4 million in its fiscal second quarter. On a per-share basis, the Houston- based company said it had a loss of 5 cents. This story was generated by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research.

  • Ahead of the Bell: US home sales Monday, 23 Mar 2015 | 6:23 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The National Association of Realtors reports on February sales of existing homes Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern. Housing starts plunged 17 percent in February, the Commerce Department reported last week. Buyer traffic also slipped last month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index.

  • HOUSTON, March 23- Would be wildcatters and investors hoping to strike it rich in oil can now turn to crowdsourcing, a way to raise money more synonymous with aspiring filmmakers than roustabouts in West Texas. Now, at least two small Texas firms are testing the concept in the oil and gas industry. Its system, like that of another Texas- based startup, CrudeFunders, is...

  • HOUSTON— Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. tumbled by 56 this week to 1,069 amid slumping oil prices. Houston- based Baker Hughes said Friday 825 rigs were seeking oil and 242 exploring for natural gas. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost 36 rigs and Louisiana 18. New...

  • Mattress Firm misses 4Q profit forecasts Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 4:18 PM ET

    HOUSTON _ Mattress Firm Holding Corp. on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $6.6 million. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 47 cents per share. Mattress Firm expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.70 per share, with revenue in the range of $2.47 billion to $2.52...

  • SCRANTON, Pa.— The companies backing a 124- mile pipeline designed to ferry cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas to New York and New England can build across seven northeastern Pennsylvania properties whose owners had not agreed to it, a judge ruled. The lead partners in the Constitution Pipeline are Tulsa, Oklahoma- based Williams Partners LP and Houston- based...

  • Canadian oil sands woes reach far-flung eastern shores Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 1:00 AM ET

    Cape Breton is another example how the 60 percent slide in oil prices since last June has rippled far and wide, affecting property markets in Alberta and North Dakota, helicopter sales in Houston, the Canadian dollar and national interest rates. Many young workers head to Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, lured by big paychecks awaiting at oil sands projects...