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Top News & Analysis Virginia

  • DETROIT-- Shares of used-car dealership chain Carmax Inc. could get a boost Friday from a Credit Suisse analyst's upgrade. CarMax's store base is rising from 110 to more than 300, one of the largest expansions in the retail business, Balter wrote.

  • ST. LOUIS-- Arch Coal Inc. said Friday that cost-control efforts helped boost its third-quarter results well above Wall Street expectations. Adjusted income was 20 cents per share, compared with a loss of 15 cents on revenue of $1.02 billion, according to FactSet.

  • United Bank's parent company says it earned $19.3 million, or 38 cents per share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30. The 2012 results include an accrual of $3.3 million pertaining to a settlement of claims stemming from class actions against United Bank Inc. of West Virginia, and a noncash, pretax impairment charge of $2.3 million on investment securities.

  • HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a major threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after lashing Cuba with heavy rains and tree-toppling winds and swirling through the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • RESTON, Va.-- VeriSign Inc., which registers domain names on the Internet, said Thursday that third-quarter profit rose 32 percent, topping expectations. VeriSign's shares lost 9 cents to $46.60 in regular trading, then dropped $7.10, or 15.2 percent, to $39.50 in after-hours trading after the earnings report and update on the registry agreement.

  • WASHINGTON-- All the spare parts appear to be coming together to create what forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," a monster combination of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow that could cause havoc along the East Coast just before Halloween next week. Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba on Thursday, continues to barrel north.

  • *Dominion to shut Kewaunee reactor in Wisconsin next year. The three plants Richmond, Virginia- based Dominion is looking to sell are the 1,536- megawatt Brayton Point coal, natural gas and oil-fired plant in Massachusetts; the 1,158- MW Kincaid coal plant in Illinois; and the company's 50 percent stake in the 1,424- MW Elwood gas plant in Illinois.

  • AUSTIN, Texas-- American Campus Communities Inc. said Thursday that it will buy 19 student housing properties across the country from Kanye Anderson Capital Advisors LP in a deal worth roughly $862.8 million. American Campus Communities, based in Austin, Texas, is a real estate investment trust with a portfolio of 169 properties across the country.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Shares of The Brink's Co. fell Thursday after the armored car company said its third-quarter net income plunged 56 percent, as revenue and operating earnings from its international business sank.

  • BOISE, Idaho-- Legal challenges facing an Idaho wind energy company are mounting, after a contractor building one of its projects in Minnesota went to court asking a judge to hand over control.

  • LYNCHBURG, Va.-- A former independent financial adviser faces up to 40 years in prison for a fraud scheme that cost clients nearly $1 million. Michael D. Leamnson pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Lynchburg, Va. to one count each of wire fraud and mail fraud. The 56- year-old Roanoke resident faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.

  • Altria Group Inc., the owner of the biggest U.S. cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, continues to focus its efforts on building its premium Marlboro brand which has been under pressure from competitors and lower-priced cigarette brands as consumers face economic challenges and unemployment remains high.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Dominion Resources says its third-quarter net income tumbled nearly 47 percent because of costs related to the permanent shutdown of one of its nuclear power stations and plant outages.

  • The new charge is for Floyd Lee Corkins II, who was arrested in August and charged with opening fire inside the lobby of the Family Research Council building in downtown Washington.

  • LEESBURG, Va.-- In many ways, it's an odd topic to make a central campaign issue: sequestration. Many voters greet the word with a blank stare or slightly glazed eyes, and when Republican George Allen brings up the issue in his Senate campaign, he first has to explain what he's talking about.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. says its third-quarter profit fell 44 percent on charges for a loss on early extinguishment of debt. The owner of the nation's biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, reported net income of $657 million, or 32 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 30.

  • RICHMOND, Va.-- Federal disaster loans of up to $2 million are available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofits in 70 Virginia localities. The aid is available under a disaster declaration issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration for 62 counties and eight cities.

  • Equity Residential, whose chairman is Sam Zell, and AvalonBay Communities Inc on Wednesday both reported an increase in rents, but they were the smallest increases in at least three quarters.

  • ST. LOUIS-- Arch Coal Inc., one of the world's biggest coal producers, is scheduled to report earnings for the third quarter before the market opens on Friday. Arch's latest earnings may reflect its June announcement that it was laying off about 750 workers in the Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coalfields.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Norfolk Southern Corp. hit a low for the year Wednesday after the railroad reported a 27 percent drop in third-quarter net income and an analyst downgraded the stock. Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman expects weak coal demand to continue at least into the first half of next year.