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Business Highlights

The ICO said in a statement that Google Inc. had agreed to delete all that data nearly two years ago, adding that its failure to do so "is cause for concern."

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Chevron 2Q net income slips 7 percent

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Soaring profit at Chevron's refineries eased some of the pain of a weaker second quarter.

The oil giant said Friday that net income fell nearly 7 percent to $7.21 billion, or $3.66 per share. But the results beat expectations thanks to a strong performance from its refinery business.

Like its peers, the oil giant is struggling to find and replace its sources of petroleum. The world's slowing economy has also pushed down prices for the crude it sells.

But the lower prices had benefits. Profits at Chevron's refining and marketing business rose 80 percent. Its refineries paid less for oil while selling gasoline at higher prices on the U.S. West Coast. Pump prices there remained well above the national average last quarter because of supply problems in the region. The business also sold about $200 million in assets, including its stake in a South Korean energy business.

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Merck's 2Q net falls on charges, but sales rise

Shares of drugmaker Merck & Co. surged over 4 percent to a new high for the year Friday as its second-quarter results easily beat Wall Street expectations â¿¿ just as generic competition is set to start decimating sales of its top-selling medicine, Singulair.

The world's third-biggest drugmaker by revenue maintained its profit forecast despite net income dropping 11.4 percent as higher sales were offset by unfavorable currency rates and acquisition and restructuring costs. Still, adjusted profit was up 9 percent, and it was Merck's sixth straight quarter with revenue and adjusted income both up.

The maker of diabetes pill Januvia and asthma and allergy medicine Singulair said net income was $1.79 billion, or 58 cents per share. That was down from $2.02 billion, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier, when results were boosted by a one-time, $700 million tax settlement gain.

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