Business news and information from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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Duke Energy's latest earnings report shows profits declined 27 percent from the same period a year ago. The Charlotte-based company's net income was $932 million through the end of September, which missed analyst expectations.

Weak results internationally and legal settlements in the U.S. hurt Duke Energy's bottom line. The settlements in the quarter were related to a coal plant in Indiana and cleaning up coal ash in North Carolina.

A Charlotte-based hygiene company is admitting to some dirty accounting. The U.S. Attorney's office in Charlotte is charging Swisher Hygiene with accounting fraud, and the company is agreeing to a $2 million penalty.

Shareholders Vote To Keep Moynihan As Chairman

Sep 22, 2015
Courtesy: Bank of America

Bank of America shareholders have voted to allow Brian Moynihan to continue as both board chairman and chief executive officer. Shareholders voted to separate the two roles in 2009. Then last year, BofA’s board reversed that decision and named Moynihan chairman in addition to CEO. The move sparked controversy and protests by some shareholders.

Conservation Fund

Apple, Inc. is partnering with a conservation group to protect 3,600 acres of forest land in North Carolina’s Brunswick County.

Apple is working with the Virginia-based Conservation Fund to protect a working forest in Brunswick County from development. Working forests are managed to sustainably produce timber while also providing recreational opportunities and protecting wildlife habitats.

Salisbury Now Home To Fastest Internet In U.S.

Sep 4, 2015
Ben Bradford / WFAE News

Salisbury, North Carolina – population just shy of 34,000 – can now lay claim to the title of “city with the fastest Internet in the U.S.” It’s not operated by Google, Verizon, or Time Warner Cable. Instead, it’s a homegrown fiber optic network. WFAE’s Ben Bradford says, when city officials launched it, the only title they were seeking was “employed.”

Owners of a restaurant with locations in Concord and Statesville have to pay back wages to employees for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.   

 U.S. Department of Labor investigators say the owners of Charanda Mexican Grill and Cantina in Concord and Statesville did not pay their servers any wages. They were paid in tips only.

Belk, Inc.

After more than a century as a family-owned department store chain, Belk has agreed to sell to a New York-based private equity firm later this year for about $3 billion.

Started as a single store in Monroe in 1888, Belk now has 296 stores in 16 states.

One of the Charlotte area's largest companies, Lowe's, is growing its profits but not as much as analysts want.

The home improvement giant reported a profit of more than $1.1 billion for its most recent fiscal quarter. That's an 8 percent increase over the same period (May through July) a year ago.

Lowe's CEO called the results "solid," and highlighted particularly strong growth in appliances and outdoor power equipment.

NC Unemployment Rate Rises For 4th Straight Month

Jul 21, 2015
Ben Bradford / WFAE

North Carolina’s unemployment rate once again ticked up slightly in June, the fourth straight month of rising unemployment. The rate now stands at 5.8 percent, up from May’s 5.7 percent and February’s 5.3 percent rates. It’s also 0.5 percent above the national average.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Governor Pat McCrory stopped in Charlotte Wednesday—ostensibly to announce a financial company will bring new, high-paying jobs to the city. But the governor also used the opportunity to stump for an expansion the tax breaks used to lure the business.