Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefs

Article excerpt

PARAGON BUYS UNIT OF MORTGAGE LOAN COMPANY

Paragon Financial Corp. said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Shearson Home Loans Inc. from Consumer Direct of America Inc. in an exchange of stock. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Ponte Vedra Beach-based Paragon is focused on the acquisition of companies that originate mortgage loans or provide other financial services. Shearson is a company that is consolidating independent mortgage brokers. It has 37 offices in 30 states.

Mark Basch/The Times-Union

WEBSITE PROS EARNINGS RISE IN FOURTH QUARTER

Website Pros reported Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings of $643,000, or 3 cents per diluted share, up from $483,000, 3 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2004. Earnings per share were based on a weighted average of 14.6 million shares in 2005 and 5.1 million shares in 2004.

The Jacksonville-based company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $11.2 million, up from $6.8 million that period the year before. The company attributed growth to the increase in subscribers, higher subscription rates and the acquisition of a couple of companies in April 2005. In 2005, the company added 2,500 subscribers to total more than 51,000.

Website Pros designs Web sites for medium- and small-sized businesses. It went public in November.

Alison Trinidad/The Times-Union

COKE PROFITS DOWN, BUT SALES DECLINE SLOWS

Coca-Cola Co., the world's biggest soft-drink maker, said fourth-quarter profit fell 28 percent after it increased marketing to halt a decline in U.S. soda sales.

Soda sales in the U.S. rose for the first time in almost a year after Coca-Cola boosted spending 12 percent to $2.29 billion. Net income dropped to $864 million, or 36 cents a share, on expenses to return overseas profit to the U.S. Excluding those costs, Coca-Cola earned 46 cents, exceeding analysts' estimates. …

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