Biz bits

Aiken County still up for police car plant


An Atlanta-based police-car manufacturer has thrown out two states from consideration as a host for its manufacturing site, leaving South Carolina -- and Aiken County -- in the running.

Carbon Motors announced Thursday that North Carolina and Michigan have been eliminated from consideration, leaving sites in Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana as possibilities for the $100 million facility.

Officials from Carbon Motors toured a site in Graniteville in May. The company is expected to have a final decision by July 31. The plant will employ 500 people.

Location is changed for job fair, meeting

The Department of Energy has changed the location of a town hall meeting and job fair Monday.

The events, which were to be at Paine College, have been moved to the James Brown Arena, 601 Seventh St.

The town hall meeting will begin at 11 a.m., and the job fair will follow from noon to 3 p.m.

The events are designed to provide the public with information about progress and upcoming employment opportunities at Savannah River Site.

Firm wins contract for waste facility at SRS

A team led by an Ohio construction firm has been given a $91.5 million contract for construction of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Waste Solidification Building at Savannah River Site, the agency announced Thursday.

The building's operation will involve processing waste streams from plutonium disposition at SRS, changing it to a cement material to be disposed of, according to a news release. The wastes will come mostly from the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and weapons pit disassembly operations.

The team that won the contract is led by Baker Concrete Construction Inc. of Monroe, Ohio, and also includes Intermech, of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Besco, of Knoxville, Tenn.

The work is expected to provide about 120 jobs.

Google earnings rise, but its stock drops

SAN FRANCISCO --- Google Inc. showed off its moneymaking prowess again with a second-quarter profit that exceeded analyst estimates, shaking off its slowest revenue growth yet as the recession caused Web surfers to click on fewer ads.

The performance disappointed investors as shares in the Internet search leader fell by nearly 3 percent in Thursday's extended trading after the results were released.

Google is the most profitable company on the Internet, thanks to its dominance of the online advertising market. That means its lackluster revenue growth could foreshadow even more significant sluggishness among other Internet companies that rely on advertising and e-commerce when they report their second quarter result in the next couple weeks.

Despite slipping sales, IBM projects big profit

SAN FRANCISCO --- IBM Corp. blew away second-quarter profit projections and jacked up its full-year earnings forecast Thursday, a rare sign of confidence from a major corporation in the recession.

Even though IBM's sales are slipping, the results demonstrate the technology company's belief that it can continue wringing out more profit from its services and software divisions. IBM has been relentless in cutting costs by automating tasks and shifting labor to cheaper locales, while protecting prices.

The 2009 profit forecast went to at least $9.70 per share, from $9.20 per share, a target that IBM set in January.

Continental CEO plans to leave at year's end

DALLAS --- Chairman and CEO Lawrence W. Kellner will leave Continental Airlines Inc. at the end of the year to return to the private-equity business and will be replaced by company president Jeffery Smisek.

Continental, America's fourth-largest airline, announced the change late Thursday.

Mr. Kellner, 50, has spent 14 years at Continental, including the past five as CEO. His tenure included discussions with United Airlines over a combination, but talks collapsed last year when United's finances worsened.

In one of Mr. Kellner's last achievements, the company this month won antitrust immunity from federal officials for its plan to work closely with United Airlines and other partners in setting prices and schedules for international service.

Mr. Smisek, 54, will take over both jobs on Jan. 1.