Business news

Club Car parent firm has 52 percent profit


Industrial company Ingersoll-Rand PLC said Wednesday its profit rose 52 percent in the fourth quarter on greater sales of air conditioning, heating and transportation products.

The Ireland-based company said its net income grew to $212.1 million, or 62 cents per share, from $139.4 million, or 42 cents per share. Revenue rose 13 percent, to $3.71 billion from $3.28 billion.

As for Club Car, the company said revenues increased slightly compared with the fourth quarter of 2009, as increased sales for both golf cars and the aftermarket were partially offset by declines in utility vehicles.

Bookings declined because of slowing demand in the North American golf market.

Security Federal Corp. announces dividend

Security Federal Corp., the parent company of Aiken-based Security Federal Bank, announced that a quarterly dividend of 8 cents per share will be paid on or about March 15 to shareholders on record as of Feb. 28. This is the 81st consecutive quarterly dividend to shareholders since the bank's conversion to stock ownership in October 1987.

Security Federal Bank has 12 branches in South Carolina and one in Georgia -- in Evans.

GOP wants to stop aid to housing companies

WASHINGTON --- Federal taxpayers should stop propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Congress will wean the country away from its reliance on the two huge but fiscally feeble housing finance companies, House Republicans said Wednesday.

Democrats conceded that changes are needed in Fannie and Freddie, which have swallowed $150 billion in federal aid since the government took them over in September 2008. They cautioned, however, that care must be taken to avoid jeopardizing the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the access to the housing market that the two companies have helped provide to moderate-income families.