Abbott 1Q profit falls 14% on charges

Abbott researchers using a robot to test compounds. (Lane Christiansen/Tribune)

Abbott Laboratories’ first-quarter profits dipped 14 percent thanks largely to restructuring costs of its pharmaceutical business that led to a major layoff announcement earlier this year.

The North Chicago-based drug and medical product giant, which in January said it would slash 1,900 jobs, including 1,000 in Illinois, reported $864 million in profits, or 55 cents a share. That compares to earnings of $1 billion, or 64 cents a share in the first quarter of 2010. Get the full story »

AT&T growth weak without iPhone exclusive

AT&T Inc posted weak subscriber growth in the first quarter as it gave up exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Apple Inc iPhone. Get the full story »

Ford’s new Taurus to get 31 mpg

The 2013 Ford Taurus. (Ford Motor Co.)

Ford Motor Co. unveiled a more fuel-efficient version of its flagship sedan, the Taurus, aimed at attracting consumers sensitive to rising fuel prices.

The 2013 Ford Taurus is expected to get at least 31 miles per gallon on the highway and can be outfitted with two different types of engines, Ford executives said at an event linked to the New York auto show. Get the full story »

Despite tractor boom, Deere CEO wary of recovery

Deere CEO Samuel Allen. (AP/Deere)

Federal Reserve officials are correct to worry more about stimulating the U.S. economy than about inflationary price pressures bubbling in the fuel and food sectors, the chairman and chief executive of Deere & Co. said Tuesday.

In an interview, Samuel R. Allen said he worries about the strength of the U.S. recovery even though the farm equipment giant he leads is reaping the benefits of a global farming boom he expects to continue for years. Get the full story »

CEOs earn 343 times more than typical workers

In 2010, chief executives at some of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $11.4 million in total pay — 343 times more than a typical American worker, according to the AFL-CIO.

“Despite the collapse of the financial market at the hands of executives less than 3 years ago, the disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are simply stunning,“ said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president. Get the full story »

7 million candles recalled for fire risk

More than 7 million candles are being recalled because of concerns the cup holding the candle could melt or catch fire. Get the full story »

Day ahead in business

Reports: Existing home sales for March, 9 a.m.; Crude oil inventories, 9:30 a.m.

Local earnings: Abbott Laboratories, USG Corp.

Other major earnings: Altria Group, American Express Co., AMR Corp., Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Fiat SpA, Marriott International, Qualcomm Inc., Union Pacific Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Yum Brands Inc.

Emil’s closes; owner blames Wacker construction

The bar area of Emil's Bar and Grille, which is now closed. (Photo via Emil's website)

Emil’s Bar and Grille, a longtime fixture on Wacker Drive for business lunches and pre-opera dinners, closed last week, a victim of the massive reconstruction of the aging street, according to its owner.

John Boutzarelos blamed the construction for reducing Emil’s business 30 percent to 40 percent since the project started in January. He said the white-tablecloth restaurant started to lose money. Get the full story »

RIM launches PlayBook, but fans don’t play along

Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet computer launched in thousands of stores on Tuesday and mostly stayed there, a grim reminder of Apple’s lasting allure for tech-hungry consumers.

By mid-afternoon, two carriers and two electronic stores in one of downtown Toronto’s main shopping malls — where long lines greeted last month’s iPad 2 launch — had stock available. Each started the day with no more than 5 PlayBooks. Get the full story »

MillerCoors reports decline in domestic sales

From | Chicago-based MillerCoors reported Tuesday that sales to retailers fell 2.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended March 31.

Feds: Fake news sites link to acai berry diet

By Ellen Gabler | The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against 10 companies the agency says are using fake news websites to market acai berry weight-loss products.

The FTC said the defendants operate websites that seem like legitimate news-gathering sites, but actually promote deceptive advertisements that urge consumers to buy acai berry products. Get the full story »

Hub Group Q1 profit beats market view

Freight management company Hub Group posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, driven by strong growth at its intermodal segment, and forecast 2011 revenue above market expectations. Get the full story »

CF Industries settles emissions case at 9 plants

CF Industries Holdings said Tuesday that it will pay a $625,000 penalty and spend $17 million on new equipment to settle charges over emissions at nine plants that make nitric acid for fertilizers. Get the full story »

Gold tops $1,500 an ounce on economic concerns

Gold prices topped $1,500 an ounce Tuesday as investors looked for more stable assets because of worries about U.S. government debt, European financial problems and inflation. Get the full story »

Motorola delays launch of Droid Bionic

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. will delay the launch of its first 4G smartphone, the Droid Bionic, to make tweaks to the device.

Motorola said the Droid Bionic will launch with Verizon Wireless in the summer. Get the full story »