Business briefs

Martinez Pickles restaurant closes


Pickles Cafe & Grill at 407 Furys Ferry Road in Martinez has closed, according to signs posted on the restaurant’s doors.

The signs indicate that the restaurant closed July 30, and they thanked customers for their patronage.

Pickles Cafe & Grill was owned by Richard Collins, of R.L. Collins Group LLC, according to the Columbia County Business License Office.

The restaurant opened in late 2010 in a former Raising Cane’s building. Pickles had about 30 employees.

Worker productivity rises in 2nd quarter

WASHINGTON — U.S. companies got slightly more out of their workers this spring after scaling back on hiring. The modest 1.6 percent annualized gain in productivity from April through June signals employers may need to hire more if demand picks up.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the increase followed a 0.5 percent decline in the January-March quarter, less than first estimated.

Productivity is the amount of output per hour worked. Rising productivity can boost corporate profits, but also slow job creation because it means companies are getting more from their current staff and don’t need to add workers.

Zynga won’t say why chief leaving

NEW YORK — John Schappert, the chief operating officer of online game maker Zynga Inc., has left the company after less than 1½ years on the job.

Zynga said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that Schappert’s departure is effective immediately. The company lured Schappert away from video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. last year. He was COO there, too.

Zynga declined to say whether it’s replacing Schappert. But it said that Schappert’s resignation is not related to any disagreement with Zynga on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices.

Hewlett-Packard posts record loss

NEW YORK — Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday said that it will take a massive charge against its earnings for the latest quarter, leading to a record loss of nearly $9 billion.

The charge is the result of a writedown of the value of its services business, reflecting that the company overpaid when it bought Electronic Data Systems in 2008 for $14 billion.

HP said it will take an $8 billion charge for the reduced value of Enterprise Services in the quarter that ended in July. The division, which provides information technology and outsourcing services to corporations, has seen flat revenue for the past two years, and its operating profit has declined.

The Palo Alto, Calif. company said the charge and other accounting adjustments will lead to a loss of $4.31 to $4.49 per share. That works out to about $8.5 billion to $8.9 billion.

Macy’s net income goes up 16 percent

NEW YORK — Macy’s reported a nearly 16 percent increase in net income for its second quarter, helped by cost-cutting and its strategy to tailor its merchandise to local markets.

The department store chain, which operates under its and upscale Bloomingdale’s names, also raised its annual earnings guidance. Its shares rose almost 3 percent Wednesday.