Delta Air Lines Adding New Westbound Flights from Three North Dakota Cities

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced it will increase westbound service from three North Dakota cities with its summer 2010 schedule.  By June, Delta will add two new daily round-trip flights between its Salt Lake City hub and Bismarck and Minot, as well as an additional daily round-trip flight between Salt Lake City and Fargo.  

“North Dakotans will benefit greatly from Delta’s new westbound connections to the Salt Lake City hub, making it faster and more convenient to travel from their hometowns to points across the Mountain West, West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii,” said Bob Cortelyou, senior vice president ” Network Planning. [Read the full article]

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Cigarette maker Philip Morris International said Thursday higher selling prices and the weaker dollar helped its fourth-quarter profit rise 5 percent.

The world’s second-biggest cigarette maker also announced a new three-year, $12 billion share buyback program that will begin in May.

The seller of Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims overseas said quarterly profit rose to $1.5 billion, or 80 cents per share, from $1.45 billion, or 71 cents per share last year. Results topped the 78 cents per share analysts were expecting.

European Union revenue rose 11 percent to $2.37 billion. Excluding the benefit of the weaker dollar, sales rose 4 percent.

Companies that sell goods internationally convert revenue from foreign currencies into dollars when they report their financial results. [Read the full article]

Utility company FirstEnergy said Thursday that it is buying rival Allegheny Energy for about $4.7 billion in stock in a deal that will create one of the nation’s largest power companies with customers from Ohio to New York.

The acquisition will create a company with 10 utilities serving 6 million customers in seven states, with $16 billion in annual revenue and $1.4 billion in profit.

FirstEnergy is touting the opportunities that come with its bid for Allegheny — a 70 percent increase in power generation, a more diversified portfolio of power plants and adjacent geographic footprints that could bolster growth opportunities while saving money. [Read the full article]

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Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp (NYSE:BNI – News) shareholders approved the No. 2 U.S. railroad company’s takeover by Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK-A – News; NYSE:BRK-B – News), clearing the way for the largest acquisition of billionaire investor Warren Buffett to be completed on Friday.

Berkshire is buying the 77.4 percent of Burlington Northern that it did not already own. The cash-and-stock transaction was valued at $26.4 billion, or $100 per share, and valued all Burlington Northern at about $34 billion.

“Tomorrow begins the first century of ownership of BNSF by Berkshire Hathaway,” Buffett, 79, said in a statement. [Read the full article]

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