Briefcase

Delta will shut down Comair at the end of September.

CINCINNATI — Delta Air Lines will shut down its shrunken, 35-year-old regional carrier Comair at the end of September as it switches to bigger jets. It is sending termination notices to Comair’s 1,700 remaining employees.

Comair, which used to serve Charleston, is down to 290 flights a day. More than 1,000 Comair employees are in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky region. Comair has slashed its fleet, flights and workforce in the last seven years.

Delta said the smaller regional planes are expensive to fly because they are not as fuel-efficient and cost more to maintain.

NEW YORK — Deteriorating financial conditions in Europe are weighing down companies’ profits. And hope of salvation from other regions — such as China, Brazil and the U.S. — is starting to dim as those economies weaken.

That’s the message from this week’s parade of second-quarter earnings from some of the world’s largest companies. One CEO after another told investors and Wall Street analysts that Europe was making them nervous.

NEW YORK — Soaring profits at Chevron’s refineries eased some of the pain of a weaker second quarter. The oil giant said Friday its net income fell nearly 7 percent to $7.21 billion. But the results beat expectations thanks to a strong performance from its refinery business.

Like its peers, Chevron is struggling to find and replace its sources of petroleum. The slowing economy has also pushed down prices for crude.

But the lower prices had benefits. Profits at Chevron’s refining and marketing business rose 80 percent, and its refineries paid less for oil while selling gasoline at higher prices on the U.S. West Coast.

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

The world’s third-biggest drugmaker by revenue said net income was $1.79 billion. That was down from $2.02 billion a year earlier, when results were boosted by a one-time, $700 million gain.

NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase, which is reeling from the fallout of a big trading loss at one of its divisions, announced a broad reshuffling of its top management on Friday.

Matt Zames and Frank Bisignano were named co-chief operating officers. It was the second round of management reorganization at the nation’s largest bank since it revealed the loss that has ballooned to up to $5.8 billion from an initial estimate of $2 billion.

The loss has prompted two congressional hearings and led to investigations from international regulators.

WASHINGTON — Regulators have closed a small bank in Georgia, bringing to 39 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday seized Jasper Banking Co., based in Jasper, Ga., with $216.7 million in assets and $213.1 million in deposits.

Stearns Bank, based in St. Cloud, Minn., agreed to assume all the deposits and purchase essentially all the loans and other assets of the failed bank.

Staff and wire reports