Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Ameren reports steady profits * Ameren Corp. saw little change to its earnings in the second quarter despite the loss of its largest customer, Noranda Aluminum.

The St. Louis-based utility holding company reported a net income of $147 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $150 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier.

Ameren's performance outpaced projections from Wall Street. Analysts were expecting growth of 52 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose 1.9 percent to $1.42 billion.

The company has indicated that it expects earnings to be reduced by 15 cents per share this year due to the closure of the Noranda aluminum smelter near New Madrid. The facility, which closed in March, was Missouri's largest individual electricity consumer by a wide margin, using about as much energy as Springfield, the state's third-largest city.

Even with Noranda's void, Ameren now expects annual earnings of $2.45 to $2.65 per share, five cents higher than its original range estimate. Ameren shares closed Friday at $51, down 84 cents, or 1.6 percent.

No GMO wheat found in crop * No genetically modified (GMO) wheat has been found in a Washington state farm's crop tested after an unapproved biotech variety was discovered growing there in June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday. The quarantined grain will be allowed to enter the marketplace, the USDA said.

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has launched an investigation into how an unapproved GMO wheat variety developed by Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co. but never approved by federal regulators came to be growing in Washington. It was the third such finding since 2013.

There are no commercially approved varieties of GMO wheat.

The discovery, announced last week, prompted importers such as Japan and South Korea to suspend purchases of some U.S. wheat.

South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Friday that it had not found any GMO wheat in tests on imported wheat and flour from Washington state after receiving testing supplies on Aug. …

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