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Business briefs


Ruling favors Arizona Iced Tea

An appellate court this week affirmed most of a lower court's ruling in a bitter corporate divorce between the co-founders of the Arizona Iced Tea brand. The appellate decision upheld the right of Beverage Marketing USA, the brand's Woodbury-based parent company, to buy out co-founder John Ferolito and his family's 50 percent stake in the company. John Ferolito is no longer involved in the company's day-to-day operation. Beverage Marketing USA described the decision as preventing the dissolution and sale of the family-owned business and the possible loss of local jobs. Ferolito's appeals attorney David Barrett said he was pleased with the ruling. "The decision paves the way for the entire Ferolito group to sell their shares in the company at fair value as determined by a court," he said.


Walmart donates to LI charities

The Walmart Foundation -- the charitable arm of the retail corporation -- Wednesday donated $50,000 to two Long Island children's nonprofits. Feel Better Kids in Rockville Centre and the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove each received $25,000 from the Walmart Foundation. The donation was presented at two separate ceremonies in the morning. Feel Better Kids focuses on care and quality of life for terminally ill children. The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center's mission is to educate children about the history surrounding the Holocaust and the lessons learned from the event. Earlier this year, the Walmart Foundation donated $25,000 to the Long Island Council of Churches. Last year, the organization donated $400,000 total to local charities.

-- Lisa Du


Europe losses cut Ford profit

Just three years after Ford revived its American business, the company is planning an even trickier turnaround in Europe, where mounting losses weighed down its second-quarter results. Ford's net income fell 57 percent to $1 billion in the April-June period, largely because of a $404- million loss in Europe. Car sales there have tumbled to 20-year lows because consumers lack confidence in the economy. Ford expects to lose more than $1 billion in Europe in 2012, double its estimate from the beginning of the year. The company wouldn't give details about its turnaround plans Wednesday, but analysts say layoffs and plant closures are inevitable. Europe is vital to Ford. A quarter of its sales and profits come from the region, which is Ford's largest market after North America. Four straight quarters of losses in Europe are taking a toll. Ford is already trying to stem losses in the region by laying off temporary workers, slowing line speeds and shortening factory shifts. The company has also cut advertising and sponsorships. Ford earned $1 billion, or 26 cents per share, in the quarter, down 57 percent from $2.4 billion, or 59 cents, a year earlier. Quarterly revenue fell 6 percent to $33.3 billion. -- AP

June home sales down

Americans bought fewer new homes in June after sales jumped to a two-year high in May. The steep decline suggests a weaker job market and slower growth could make the housing recovery uneven. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales of new homes fell 8.4 percent last month from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000. That's the biggest drop since February 2011. Sales in the Northeast plunged 60 percent in June to the lowest level since November. Nationwide, sales in May and April were revised much higher. June's sales pace is 15.1 percent higher than the same month last year. But sales remain well below the 700,000 annual rate that economists equate with healthy markets. -- AP

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