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Bank changing ticker symbol ... and other business briefs


Bank to change ticker symbol

Westbury-based New York Community Bancorp, which operates 274 bank branches in New York and four other states, will change its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from NYB to NYCB, effective Nov. 13. "We are very pleased to be restoring the 'C,' " CEO Joseph Ficalora said in a news release. "While it may seem like a small thing, the 'C' is, in fact, symbolic: It represents 'Community' which is both our heritage and our focus." When the company moved from the Nasdaq National Market to the NYSE in 2002, it took the ticker NYB. NY Community runs 54 branches of Roslyn Savings Bank on Long Island. On Wednesday the company reported it earned $128.8 million, or 29 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30 -- up 7 percent from the same period in 2011. -- Lisa Du


Companies hold off on buying

Companies are holding off on purchases of computers, industrial equipment and other long-lasting manufactured goods, a trend that's slowing the U.S. economy. A fourth straight month of lackluster corporate spending led many economists Thursday to trim their forecasts for growth in the July-September quarter. The government will issue its first estimate of third-quarter growth Friday, the last snapshot of overall economic activity before the presidential election. The troubling report on business confidence overshadowed a drop in applications for unemployment aid and a slight increase in the number of people who signed contracts to buy homes. posts $274M loss Inc., the world's largest online retailer, Thursday reported third-quarter results below Wall Street's expectations, including a large loss related to its stake in online deals service LivingSocial. Amazon posted a loss of $274 million, or 60 cents per share, in the July-September period. That's down from earnings of $63 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier. The results include a loss of 37 cents per share from Amazon's stake in LivingSocial. Revenue grew 27 percent to $13.81 billion, from $10.88 billion, also falling short of analysts' expectations. Amazon said its $199 Kindle Fire HD tablet is its best-selling product worldwide, but as usual it did not give specific sales figures.

Drug firm in $95M settlement

Ridgefield, Conn.-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. will pay $95 million to settle allegations that it promoted three drugs for uses that were not medically accepted, the Justice Department announced Thursday. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said the New York Medicaid Program will receive over $3.1 million in the settlement. The drugs include stroke-prevention drug Aggrenox, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug Combivent and high-blood-pressure drug Micardis. The settlement also resolved allegations BIPI paid kickbacks to health care professionals to induce them to prescribe the drugs. The company said the settlement was not an admission of liability.


Universal power adapters eyed

The days when every piece of home communications equipment comes with its own special power adapter could be numbered. The UN telecoms agency says it has taken a step toward establishing a universal standard for power adapters used by TV set-top boxes, Internet modems and fixed-line telephones. The Geneva-based International Telecommunication Union said Thursday a standard adapter would allow manufacturers to ship new devices without a separate power supply. Consumers could also keep the power supply when throwing out obsolete equipment, cutting the amount of electronic waste worldwide by hundreds of thousands of tons of each year. -- AP

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