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Carnival returns

to profitability

Carnival Corp., which has dealt with problems on two of its ships this week, says it became profitable again in its first quarter. The world's biggest cruise line earned $37 million, or 5 cents per share, for the period that ended Feb. 28. That compares with a loss of $139 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose slightly to $3.59 billion. Analysts had expected $3.64 billion.


talks progressing

Beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev says there has been substantial progress toward resolution of the Justice Department's legal challenge to the company's $20.1 billion deal to buy Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo. In January, the Justice Department sued to block the combination, saying having one company controlling nearly half of all U.S. beer sales would stifle competition.

Factory output

bounces back

A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month after falling in January. Factories are running at nearly full speed to keep up with demand. Manufacturers are now using 78.3 percent of their capacity, the highest since the recession began in December 2007.

BP seeks to halt

spill payments

BP has asked a federal judge to block a court-appointed administrator from paying Gulf Coast businesses' claims through a multibillion-dollar settlement over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In a court filing Friday the oil giant argues program administrator Patrick Juneau's method of processing and paying businesses' claims violates the settlement's terms.

Maxim magazine

on sales block

Maxim, the magazine that doles out advice and ribald humor that is especially appreciated in military circles, is on the market. The magazine's parent company, Alpha Media Group, said its board of directors had decided to sell or find new investors because it had "made the successful transition from a magazine property to a multichannel brand."

Lawyer: Hacking

was a prank

A lawyer for a Reuters editor accused of conspiring with hackers to deface a Los Angeles Times story says the journalist didn't commit a crime. But even assuming he did, attorney Jay Leiderman said it was an Internet prank and shouldn't land anyone in prison for 25 years. Matthew Keys was suspended after he was charged with conspiracy and transmitting information to damage a protected computer.

Oil, natural gas

end week higher

Natural gas and oil ended the week higher. The price of natural gas, boosted by forecasts for colder temperatures, rose 6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet. The price of oil rose 42 cents to $93.45 per barrel on signs that U.S. manufacturing is heating up.

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