Business highlights for March 6

Business highlights for March 6
By The Associated Press Published: March 6, 2014

Business briefs

Exxon to cut capital spending

Exxon Mobil Corp. says it will cut capital spending by 6 percent this year and overall production will be flat. The shares fell nearly 3 percent. The nation’s biggest oil company said Wednesday that it will spend $39.8 billion on energy projects and other costs this year, down from $42.5 billion last year. Exxon said that barring acquisitions, annual spending will average less than $37 billion from 2015 to 2017. Production is expected to be the equivalent of 4 million barrels of oil per day, the same as 2013 after excluding an expired deal in the United Arab Emirates and partial sale of a project in Iraq, the company said. In 2015 through 2017, production is expected to rise by about 100,000 barrels per day each year. Exxon said production of liquids such as oil — more lucrative right now — would grow 2 percent this year, but the company is letting natural gas production ease in the U.S., where gas prices are low.

Only modest job gains expected

— A private survey shows U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month, but harsh winter weather still weighed on hiring. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from only 127,000 in January. The data suggests that the government’s jobs report for February, to be released Friday, will show only modest gains. Economists forecast it will show that employers added 145,000 jobs last month. That is below the average gains of nearly 205,000 jobs a month in the first 11 months of last year. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report.

RadioShack execs’ bonuses OK’d

— As RadioShack Corp. reported dismal fourth-quarter results and announced plans Tuesday to close up to 1,100 stores, its board of directors approved retention bonuses for its top five executives, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday. The executives, including Chief Executive Officer Joseph Magnacca, must stay working at RadioShack through March 1, 2015, to receive the bonus, the filing said. Magnacca will receive a $500,000 retention bonus if he stays for another year. John W. Feray, who recently joined the company as chief financial officer, would receive $275,000; Telvin P. Jeffries, chief human resources officer, $250,000; Troy H. Risch, executive vice president store operations, $275,000; and, Michael S. DeFazio, senior vice president, store concepts, $187,500. In addition, the board approved a “special opportunity bonus” for Magnacca, who took over as CEO in February 2013, that could pay as much as another $600,000 depending on the retailer’s performance in the next year.

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