Business briefs

From The Associated Press.

BP to create new business for U.S. onshore assets
NEW YORK (AP) — BP plans to create a separate, more competitive business to manage its onshore oil and gas assets, including its shale operations, in the 48 contiguous U.S. states.
BP PLC, which will own the new business, currently oversees the region through its North America Gas group based in Houston.
BP Upstream CEO Lamar McKay said in a statement that the company has reshaped its North America Gas portfolio over the past few years by shedding non-core assets and concentrating on unconventional development such as the Eagle Ford Shale in Texas.
“Now it’s time to reshape the way we run the business,” he said.
BP said that it is looking to improve competitiveness of the Lower 48 onshore business through faster decision-making, quicker innovation and more efficient cost management.
“Our overriding goal is to build a stronger, more competitive and sustainable business that we expect will be a key component of BP’s portfolio for years to come,” McKay said.
BP said the business will be based at a new location in Houston separate from its Westlake campus. The business will also have a separate management team and separate governance, processes and systems designed to address the region’s unique competitive and operating environment.
BP, which is still contending with repercussions from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, plans to start reporting separate financial results for the new business in 2015. It does not include offshore operations.

Manda sells
Baker meat plant
BAKER (AP) — Manda Fine Meats says it has sold its idle Baker facility for $200,000 to a pair of investors who plan to develop an industrial manufacturing incubator in the building.
The plant at 13111 Plank Road was shut down in April 2013 over concerns products made there may have been contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium.
The sale included a 15,000-square-foot building, a separate 6,000-square-foot warehouse and 11 acres of surrounding land. The buyer was Lincoln Park LLC.
William Manhein, a principal of Lincoln Park, said food processing equipment inside the Manda building has been removed and sold to other businesses.
“There’s nothing in there anymore,” he said. “The last thing that was left was these big industrial ovens, and they were shipped out two weeks ago.”
Manhein is the owner/president of Asset Recycle, which shares a property line with Manda. Asset Recycle sells used and surplus turbo machinery, such as industrial gas turbines.
Manhein and his partner in Lincoln Park, Mike Bercute, a former Firestone plant manager, have industrial backgrounds.

Lamar sees
4th quarter earnings increase
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Outdoor advertising giant Lamar Advertising Co. reported fourth-quarter earnings rose to $10.2 million, or 11 cents per share, compared to $7.9 million, or 8 cents per share, a year ago.
Baton Rouge-based Lamar’s revenue for the quarter increased to $320.4 million, compared to $306.6 million a year ago.
For the year, Lamar’s earnings jumped to $40.1 million, or 42 cents per share, compared to $7.9 million, or 8 cents per share. The company’s revenue grew to $1.25 billion, up 5.6 percent over 2012.
Lamar also expects that it will be able to convert to a Real Estate Investment Trust effective Jan. 1.Such trusts typically invest in property or mortgages. The trusts don’t have to pay corporate income taxes on profits if 90 percent or more of profits go to shareholders.

La. Tech announces online MBA degree
RUSTON — Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business has developed and is accepting applications for its new online master of business administration degree program, which will begin in the fall.
James Lumpkin, dean of the College of Business, says the online program is identical to Tech’s existing MBA program. He said the classes have the same content, rigor and quality as the on-campus courses and the program is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
Like the traditional MBA, Tim Bisping, associate dean of graduate programs in the College of Business, said the degree could be completed in one year if a student wants to go full time.
He said for those who don’t have a bachelor’s degree in business, there is a fast-track program that could be done in 15 months. The student would have to complete four pass/fail self-paced classes.
Bisping said the goal in offering a totally online MBA is to reach a wider audience.

Beef field day
set Saturday
in Jeanerette
JEANERETTE (AP) — The Acadiana Beef Cattle Producers field day will be held Saturday at the Iberia Research Station.
The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with presentations on the current status of antibiotics for beef cattle, factors causing calving difficulties, vitamin and mineral nutrition, pasture weed control, stocking rates, ryegrass grazing for stockers and research on cow-calf systems. A field demonstration of pulling a calf safely also is planned.
Lunch will be served after the presentations.
The station is located at 603 LSU Bridge Road, Jeanerette.

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