Among the earnings stories for Friday, Oct. 30, from AP Financial News: NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) ¿ Natural gas distributor Nicor Inc. said its third-quarter profit jumped more than 10 times from the prior-year period levels, driven mainly by dramatically lower expenses for natural gas. MADISON, Wis. (AP) ¿ Alliant Energy Corp. posted a third-quarter loss mainly due to a hefty special charge, and the company cut its full-year outlook. NEW YORK (AP) ¿ A strong relaunch of a skin-care line and better-than-expected sales at airport stores helped Estee Lauder Cos. more than double its fiscal first-quarter profit, the company said, but it remained cautious on the upcoming holiday season. NEW YORK (AP) ¿ For the second time in two years, lumber and wood products producer Weyerhaeuser Co. dodged a quarterly loss by selling valuable properties. TAMPA, Fla. (AP) ¿ Electric and natural gas utility owner Teco Energy Inc. said its third-quarter profit rose 11 percent, driven by the cheaper cost of natural gas it sold, which more than offset declining sales.
IRVING, Texas (AP) ¿ Commercial Metals Co. reported a precipitous drop in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings as the steel maker struggled with weaker prices and demand amid the economic slowdown. CLEVELAND (AP) ¿ Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. said that its profit plunged 82 percent in the third quarter, pulled down by some charges and lower North American sales. MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) ¿ Gas and electric utility NiSource Inc. posted a third-quarter net loss on higher pension expenses, although revenue rose 10 percent as gas distribution, transmission and storage businesses improved.