Business Briefing

Profit up but falls short for label maker

Adhesive label and ticket maker Avery Dennison Corp. said its fourth-quarter profit rose 17%, but the results fell short of Wall Street expectations and shares tumbled 12%.

Avery Dennison reported profit of $49.9 million, or 47 cents a share, up from $42.6 million, or 43 cents, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, including restructuring and asset impairment charges, the company made 44 cents a share. Sales edged higher by 1% to $1.52 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 68 cents a share on $1.51 billion in sales, on average. Such results typically exclude one-time items.

The company’s stock fell $4.44 to $33.66.

For the full year, the company lost $746.7 million, or $7.21 per share. A year ago, it made $266.1 million, or $2.70 a share.

The 2009 loss was largely due to one-time items. Excluding such items, the company made $1.97 a share. Annual sales fell 11% to $5.95 billion.


BofA customers lose online access

Bank of America Corp. said customers were unable part of Friday to access their Internet banking accounts.

“We’re working with all of our partners to try and determine the root cause,” spokeswoman Anne Pace said.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank has 29 million online customers, the most among U.S. banks.


Honda says Fit window defective

Honda is recalling 646,000 Fit hatchbacks worldwide because of a glitch that could cause water to enter the power window mechanism, causing components to overheat.

A spokeswoman said the recall encompasses the 2007-08 models of the Fit, which is sold in other countries as the Jazz and City. The recall affects Asia, Latin America, Europe, South Africa and North America. About 140,000 vehicles are affected in the U.S.

In South Africa, one person was killed last year in a vehicle fire related to the malfunction. The spokeswoman said no injuries had been reported in the U.S.

The company will notify customers by mail once it has a solution. For now, customers are being advised to keep their windows rolled up during rain or snow.

Toxic metal in children’s jewelry

Federal consumer safety regulators announced the recall of “The Princess and the Frog” pendants sold at Wal-Mart stores because of high levels of the toxic metal cadmium, an unprecedented action that reflects concerns about an emerging threat in children’s jewelry.

The recall affects two products, about 55,000 items in total, sold exclusively by the world’s biggest retailer for $5 each. The action was taken voluntarily by Rhode Island-based jewelry company FAF Inc., which did not respond to requests for comment.

Walt Disney Co. released a letter that it sent to its vendors and licensees setting a zero-tolerance policy for cadmium in any children’s jewelry under its brand.


Miramax Films closes its offices

The offices of award-winning Miramax Films were closing, but the brand will continue to exist for at least two years.

The closures Friday were in line with plans announced in October to slash Miramax’s production schedule to three films a year, down from six to eight. Miramax owner Walt Disney Co. also announced then that Miramax President Daniel Battsek was leaving the company this month.

Miramax’s operations are being folded into Disney’s.

-- times wire reports