NEW YORK — The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index closed more than 2 percent higher Wednesday in its biggest gain of the year, powered by a surge in Apple. Other major indexes also rose.
The iPhone maker’s stock climbed nearly $50 after the company blew past profit forecasts after the markets closed the previous day. Apple, the biggest component of the Nasdaq, reported that its earnings doubled from January through March. The company sold 35 million iPhones, twice as many as a year ago.
The Nasdaq rose 68.03 to 3,029.63 The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89.16 to close at 13,090.72, up 0.7 percent. The S&P 500 rose 18.72, or 1.4 percent, to 1,390.69. Apple accounts for 4 percent of the S&P 500.
Harbor National Bank’s first-quarter earnings jumped 35 percent from the same period last year, the Charleston-based lender said Wednesday. Net income totaled $275,500.
The January-to-March financial highlights for the 6-year-old bank included an 8 percent increase in deposits, to $211.5 million; a 0.6 percent increase in loans, to $205.3 million; and a 9.2 percent gain in total assets, to $255 million.
Charles F. Rivers III, president and chief executive officer, said the latest quarterly results build on the $1.34 million the company earned in 2011.
Harbor National opened a mortgage division office in Mount Pleasant this year, and the community bank’s fourth branch is set to open this summer on James Island.
NEW YORK — The Coca-Cola Co. is seeking its first stock split in 16 years. The world’s biggest beverage maker said Wednesday the 2-for-1 split is in line with its plan to double revenue over this decade. The company’s stock began trading in 1919. Since then, the stock has been split 10 other times.
Companies split stocks when they think their share price has gotten too expensive or if the stock is trading too far above similar companies’ stock.
Shareholders would receive one extra share of stock for each share held in early August. The move is subject to approval by shareholders July 10.
If the split is approved, the company noted that a single share purchased in 1919 for $40 would be worth more than 9,000 shares and $341,545. If dividends were reinvested annually, the share would be worth $9.8 million.
NEW YORK — Exxon Mobil is raising its quarterly dividend by 21 percent. In doing so, it becomes the top corporate dividend payer, surpassing AT&T. The oil giant raised the payout to 57 cents from 47 cents in the first quarter, bringing its annual dividend to $2.28 per share.
Exxon will now pay its shareholders $10.75 billion in dividends per year, according to Standard & Poor’s, up from $9 billion. The move raises the company’s dividend yield to 2.6 percent.
The movement by U.S. food corporations toward more humane treatment of animals experienced a whopper of a shift Wednesday when Burger King announced that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017.
The decision by Burger King could represent a game change in the egg and pork supply business as a huge new market has opened up for humanely raised food animals. Already, 9 percent of the company’s eggs and 20 percent of its pork are cage-free.
The company said it steadily has been increasing its use of cage-free eggs and pork as the industry has become better able to meet demand.
Staff and wire reports