Last week's headlines

Two area banks report improvements in quarter

July 20, 2008

BWI to get new runway lights

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will be one of 20 busy airports nationwide that will get new runway traffic lights to help prevent aircraft collisions on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that over the next three years it will install the lights, which warn pilots when it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway or taxiway.

BGE making rehab donation

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is giving $500,000 during the next five years to a nonprofit that will rehab homes - 100 in all - for low-income buyers, complete with construction work and features designed to keep the cost down on utility bills. BGE estimates that people buying the rowhouses rehabbed by Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity will save $200 to $400 a year on utilities.

Scrap metal terminal set

A Capitol Heights-based scrap metal processor has purchased a Baltimore County scrap yard and is pushing to build an export terminal in Curtis Bay to meet a surge in demand from the global steel industry. Joseph Smith & Sons Inc. began operations last week at the former Recovermat Mid-Atlantic LLC demolition waste facility in Halethorpe, retaining its 20 workers.

First Mariner trims loss

First Mariner Bancorp said it trimmed its second-quarter loss to $469,000. Chief Executive Officer Edwin F. Hale said First Mariner's profit continues to be pulled down by losses on bad real estate and construction loans. Baltimore-based First Mariner's loss for the quarter that ended June 30 equals 7 cents per share, down from the loss of $3.9 million, or 60 cents per share, a year ago.

Provident earns $15.1 million

Baltimore-based Provident Bankshares Corp. reported a second-quarter profit of $15.1 million as it increased loans and took an $8.7 million gain on the sale of its shares in MasterCard. The earnings amount to 41 cents per share for the quarter that ended June 30, compared with profit of $15.5 million, or 48 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

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