Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Tight inventory weighs on housing market - U.S. sales of existing homes increased 1.1 percent on a monthly basis in March, which suggests that buyers are undeterred by the dwindling number of properties on the market.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.60 million, up from 5.54 million in February. This sales rate is higher than the 2017 total, but March sales were down slightly over the past 12 months.

Homes stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 34 days a year ago in a sign that the lack of inventory is prompting buyers to sign contracts quickly. The shortage is also causing prices to grow at roughly double the pace of wages. The median sales price has risen 5.8 percent from a year ago to $250,400.

Hasbro blames Toys R Us for dismal quarter - Hasbro reported worse than expected results for the first quarter on Monday, blaming the bankruptcy of Toys R Us for a slide in revenue but also promising the worst would be over in the first half of 2018.

The toymaker reported profits that were 23 cents a share short of expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, its first miss in at least two years.

The net loss attributable to the company was $112.5 million, or 90 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 1, compared with a profit of $68.6 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell nearly 19 percent to $716.3 million.

CenterPoint to acquire Vectren - U.S. gas and electric utility CenterPoint Energy said on Monday it would buy rival Vectren Corp. for about $6 billion, the latest in a string of mergers in the sector as power consumption in many parts of the country flattens.

The deal adds about 1.45 million customers across Indiana and Ohio. CenterPoint already serves customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. …

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