Chembio logs robust profits
Chembio Diagnostics Inc., a Medford company that develops and manufactures diagnostics tests for infectious diseases, reported a steep jump in profits Thursday as it expanded sales in Brazil. Its net income soared to $309,000, during April, May and June, up 58 percent compared to the same period last year. Its sales for the second quarter climbed to $6.1 million, up 68 percent from 2011. "Our second quarter results continued the strong momentum begun earlier in the year," Chembio chief executive Lawrence Siebert said. The jump in sales was fueled by increased orders from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a research and development institution based in Rio de Janeiro. Chembio also benefitted from strong sales of HIV tests in the United States. The company employs 140 people. -- Joe Ryan
SEC won't charge Goldman
The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided not to file charges against Goldman Sachs over a $1.3-billion subprime mortgage portfolio. The SEC's decision is a coup for Goldman, which has paid fines after other mortgage-related investigations. The SEC had notified Goldman in February that it was looking into the bank's disclosures about this mortgage portfolio, which the bank offered to investors in late 2006. Goldman reported the SEC's decision in a regulatory filing.
U.S., Canada in lobster war
Tensions between lobstermen in Maine and Canada are boiling over in a dispute caused not by too few lobsters but by too many. A potentially record-breaking haul of crustaceans in Maine and Canada this year has caused a market glut and a crash in wholesale prices. Fearing for their livelihood, Canadian fishermen in the past few days have angrily blocked truckloads of Maine lobsters from being delivered to processing plants in Canada that turn out lobster products for U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. Unless something is done to prop up the price of lobster, "we'll go down the hole," warned Eugene Robichaud, a fisherman in Richibucto, New Brunswick. The blockades have brought Canada's lobster-processing industry to a near-standstill, put thousands of employees out of work, sent shock waves through Maine's lobster industry and led to calls for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to intervene.
West Coast gas prices rising
A fire at one of the nation's largest oil refineries helped push West Coast gas prices close to $4 a gallon Thursday, as the same federal team that investigated the Gulf Coast oil spill waited to inspect the unit that was knocked out by the blaze. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board team was standing by with state and company inspectors to do structural and environmental tests to see if it was safe to enter the unit and determine when production might resume after the Monday night blaze. The average price of regular gasoline jumped in California from $3.86 a gallon on Tuesday to $3.94 on Thursday, according to the website GasBuddy.com. Some experts expect the disruption in production to last for weeks and push prices beyond $4 a gallon.
Want fries with your wedding?
Denny's says its newest 24-hour diner in Las Vegas will feature a full bar and a wedding chapel. The chain announced Thursday that it plans to open a flagship diner by the end of the year in downtown Las Vegas' Neonopolis shopping complex. Denny's chief executive John Miller says Las Vegas is ideal for the one-of-a-kind restaurant because it operates on the same 24-hour schedule as the diner itself. The restaurant will offer a range of wedding packages at its on-site chapel, some including wedding cakes made of Denny's Pancake Puppies. -- AP