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LONG ISLAND


3 Sears hardwares to close

Three Long Island Sears hardware stores are closing as the company continues to cull poorly performing locations from its roster, the company said Thursday. Sears Hardware locations in Lindenhurst, North Babylon and Hauppauge are running closing sales. The store's exact closing dates have yet to be determined, said Kim Freely, Sears Holdings Corp. spokeswoman. However, the lease for the Lindenhurst store expires in the beginning of June, and leases for the North Babylon and Hauppauge stores end in mid-August and mid-September, respectively, she said. The chain said in December that it would close 100 to 120 full-line Kmart and Sears stores; it has also been eliminating smaller specialty stores that have not been faring well. Freely did not know how many employees would be affected by the closures. Employees will be notified of open positions at other Sears and Kmart locations, but they will have to apply for those jobs, she said. -- Keiko Morris


Schein Inc. buying back stock

Henry Schein Inc., Long Island's largest publicly traded company and a global health care distributor, will buy back up to $200 million in shares of its stock. The Melville-based company said Thursday the $200 million would buy about 3 percent of its nearly 90 million shares at its premarket Thursday price of $74.78. This is the second time in a year the company has made such a move, authorizing a $200 million stock repurchase in August. Repurchase is a corporate technique intended to benefit shareholders by increasing the value of a company's remaining stock. -- Joseph Mallia


Lakeland logs quarterly loss

The Ronkonkoma-based protective-clothing maker Lakeland Industries Inc. Thursday reported a quarterly loss, mostly due to the termination of a $4.7 million annual agreement to sell DuPont's branded Tyvek and Tychem garments. Lakeland, based in Ronkonkoma, offset the disclosure of the DuPont contract loss with positive news of a $5.3 million signed purchase order to supply the Brazilian Navy with fire-resistant coveralls. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Lakeland lost about $1 million on sales of $20.2 million, compared to a profit of $1.2 million on sales of $24.8 million for the same quarter a year ago. -- Joseph Mallia


NATION


Bank lessens bad-loan funds

Bank of America said Thursday that it set aside less money to cover bad loans in the first three months of the year than it has since before the 2008 financial crisis. Because Bank of America serves about half the nation's households, the results could be seen as a statement about the progress Americans have made in managing their household finances, saving more and paying back debt. The bank put aside $2.4 billion for bad loans, down from $3.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago. It earned $653 million in the first quarter, down 68 percent from last year. Profits were hurt by a $4.8 billion accounting charge that the bank had to take because the value of its debt rose.-- AP


Dye 'debugged' at Starbucks

Your Strawberries & Creme frappuccino will no longer feature a splash of bug. Starbucks Corp. is ditching the red dye made from crushed cochineal insects after customers registered their distaste. The Mexican and South American beetles were dried and then processed into a coloring product that gave some Starbucks goods -- including fruit smoothies, raspberry swirl cakes and mini doughnuts with pink icing -- their rosy hue. But it wasn't vegan. It wasn't kosher. It was also just kind of gross, according to some Starbucks customers. By the end of June, Starbucks will phase out the insect dye -- widely used in foods and cosmetics products -- and replace it with a tomato extract called lycopene.-- Los Angeles Times

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