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Heat pump maker posts earnings dip

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc. on Friday reported third-quarter earnings of $2.88 million, or 24 cents a share, a 38 percent drop from the $4.63 million, or 38 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2011.

The Fort Wayne-based maker of geothermal heat pumps blamed the soft economy, weak consumer confidence and low natural gas and propane prices for the results, which were reported after markets closed.

Tom Huntington, president and CEO, said WaterFurnace maintained focus on business investments, product innovation and market share during the quarter. Although sales declined 18 percent to $29.5 million, the company’s market share increased, the company said.

In July, WaterFurnace signed a joint venture agreement with Chinese company Ningbo Shenglong Group Co. Ltd. to form WaterFurnace Shenglong HVACR Climate Solutions Ltd., also a Chinese company. The joint venture started operations this week.

Lutheran lobby area renovation complete

Lutheran Hospital will reopen its lobby Monday after a $340,000 renovation project that includes an expanded pharmacy run by Walgreens, hospital officials announced Friday.

“Offering the patient the option to have their prescription filled before they leave the hospital will get them where they want to be quicker, which is home,” Lutheran’s CEO Brian Bauer said.

The hospital leased its outpatient pharmacy to Walgreens in the summer before the renovation project nearly doubled display space. The retailer also sells over-the-counter products, snacks and other items to patients, visitors and staff.

Lobby updates included removal of some non-support columns, installation of terrazzo floor tile and relocation of the information desk so it’s closer to the registration area.

Lockheed removes chief amid scandal

Lockheed Martin Corp. announced Friday that it ousted its president and future chief executive officer over a relationship with a subordinate.

The defense company said its board of directors asked for and received the resignation of Christopher Kubasik from his role as vice chairman, president and chief operating officer. He was scheduled to become CEO in January.

This was not the first case of a top executive leaving because of personal matters. Other business leaders who have stepped down or were fired after getting into trouble for seamy matters include Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, who resigned from the retailer in April after an investigation found he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

Peoples Bancorp sees lower annual earnings

Peoples Bancorp on Friday posted fiscal 2012 earnings of $3.04 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, a 19 percent decline from the $3.77 million, or $1.52 a share, for fiscal 2011.

The Auburn-based parent of Peoples Federal Saving Bank ended its fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Maurice Winkler III, Peoples Bancorp president, found some positives in the report, which was the first in several years that didn’t include an earnings increase.

“Loan balances have stabilized and have even increased slightly. Deposit balances continue to grow,” he said in a written statement.

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