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Permits for new homes up in Allen

The Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne said there were 45 Allen County residential construction requests in January, compared with 27 permits the same month a year ago.

The average construction price was $238,577 in January, compared with $176,174 – a 35 percent increase from January 2012.

Perry Township is scheduled to have the most building activity with 21 permits. Home Builders Association President Charlie Giese said he isn’t surprised. Since developer Jeff Thomas’ Tuscany subdivision was approved last year “that area has been on fire,” Giese said.

Tuscany is a 156 single-family residential project with homes in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range.

Express Scripts profit soars 74% with Medco

Mail-order and online druggist Express Scripts said Monday its earnings jumped almost 74 percent as more people used generic drugs and it continued to absorb Medco Health Solutions.

Express Scripts Holding Co. acquired Medco last April, making it the largest pharmacy benefits manager by far. It now manages more than 1 billion prescriptions every year.

The company’s outlook for this year also topped Wall Street expectations.

Express Scripts earned $504.1 million, or 61 cents a share, in its fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Its adjusted earnings were $1.05 a share, slightly better than the $1.02 a share expected by analysts polled by FactSet. Revenue more than doubled to $27.41 billion. Analysts predicted $27 billion.

In the fourth quarter a year ago, it earned $290.4 million, or 59 cents a share. Revenue was $12.1 billion.

Readerís Digest files for bankruptcy again

RDA Holding Co., publisher of the 91-year-old Reader’s Digest magazine, has filed for bankruptcy to cut $465 million in debt and focus on North American operations as consumers shift from print to electronic media.

The company is the latest in a line of iconic businesses to have recently sought court protection from creditors, after Hostess Brands Inc., maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, and Eastman Kodak, inventor of Kodachrome and the Instamatic camera.

Reader’s Digest, founded by DeWitt and Lila Wallace, went public in 1990. The company also filed for bankruptcy in August 2009, citing a drop in advertising spending and the debt load incurred in its acquisition.

The company listed assets and debt of more than $1 billion each in Chapter 11 documents filed Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y. The company expects to have about $100 million in debt when it exits Chapter 11, about an 80 percent reduction.

Cooper Tire to hire 40 for Findlay tech center

Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plans to open a new technology center in northwest Ohio by the end of the year.

The company plans to hire about 40 people to do research at the center in Findlay where Cooper Tire has its headquarters.

The Courier newspaper in Findlay reports that Cooper Tire received a $2.8 million state grant for the project.

The company says it plans to put $40 million into the project over the next five years. The new hires will include engineers, scientists, researchers and technicians.

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