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[ Local Focus ]

Mar 2, 2007

Methode stock soars on strong earnings

CHICAGO - Methode Electronics Inc.' s stock skyrocketed in Friday trading on the Nasdaq after it said fiscal 2007 third quarter profit surged 67 percent. Shares were up as much as 26 percent before closing at $11.87, up 12 percent. In the three-month period, the electronics parts maker earned $4.7 million, or 13 cents a share, vs. $2.8 million, or 8 cents, a year ago. Sales rose 11 percent to $105.4 million, boosted by the company's power distribution and fiber-optic units and auto products abroad. Methode has plants in Rolling Meadows.

Zurich says U.S. unit to buy car insurer

ZURICH, Switzerland - Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services AG said Friday that an American unit intends to buy Bristol West Holdings Inc. for $712 million, helping to beef up the Swiss insurer's U.S. operations. Bristol West, an auto insurer based in Davie, Fla., operates in 22 states and reported $600 million in gross written premiums last year. It said it agreed to be acquired by Zurich's subsidiary Farmers Group Inc., which offers a variety of insurance products.

(c) 2007 Daily Herald; Arlington Heights, Ill.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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