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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida job cuts decline in July, health care sector hurting

Florida ranked fourth in job cuts in the South in July, but still has the highest amount of layoffs this year, according to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers in the Sunshine State announced 785 cuts in July, down from 2,260 cuts in June. Workforce reductions were led by the health care sector, which announced 6,843 planned job cuts, which was the highest number of cuts since November 2009. More from the South Florida Business Journal and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Chile's Bci bank
Chile's Bci purchase of Miami's City National Bank (pictured) marks the first time a Chilean bank has acquired a U.S. bank. » Go to the international business profile.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Banking on international growth

Chile’s third-largest bank, Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci), is making a major foray into the U.S. with its purchase of Miami-based City National Bank from its Spanish parent. Bci has had a Miami branch since 1999. Full story...

Duke pulls plug on planned nuclear project in Florida

The largest utility in the U.S. is scuttling plans to build a $24.7 billion nuclear power plant in Levy County. Duke Energy Corp. said it made the decision because of delays by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in issuing licenses for new plants, and because of recent legislative changes in Florida. More from the AP, the Tampa Bay Times, and Forbes.

» Column: Thank you, Tallahassee, for making us pay so much for nothing

Apps help businesses tap into higher profits, happier customers

Boosting business potential may be just a few taps away. Mobile apps are a growing high-tech trend, and some South Florida businesses are taking the digital phenomenon into new territory. They are using apps to improve customer service, increase profits, and get an edge on competitors. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Some still waiting for IRS to send tax refunds

When Dinorah Carballosa filed her income tax return electronically in early March, she planned to use her refund of just over $1,500 to repair her car and pay for dental care. Nearly five months later, the 66-year-old widow from Miami hasn’t received her money. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Insurance-claims company chooses Orlando over Dallas
One of the country's largest insurance-claims processing companies plans to expand in Central Florida, choosing the Orlando area for a new call-center operation with 225 jobs, the company said Thursday.

› Supercar maker considers plant in Manatee or Sarasota
Manatee, Sarasota and Broward counties are in contention for a U.S.-based manufacturing facility for European luxury car maker A.D. Tramontana. The Spanish car maker, which produces highly customized cars with Formula 1 racing parts, currently sells its products only in Europe and Asia.

› Forecast: Orlando home prices to soften after sharp run-up
The real estate analytics firm Corelogic Inc. said Thursday that home prices in Metropolitan Orlando are expected to decline 1.6 percent from first quarter of this year through the same quarter of next year — even as prices nationwide increase more than 6 percent.
» Related: CoreLogic: Broward home prices could decline in next year

› Cities eye financially troubled ambulance company
City officials in a handful of Central Florida cities including Orlando are closely monitoring the performance of Rural/Metro Corp. amid reports of financial turmoil and a possible bankruptcy. Rural/Metro is the largest private ambulance company in the country, serving some 700 communities.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› World Fuel reports second quarter results
World Fuel Services Corp., South Florida’s largest company by revenue, reported second quarter net income of $51.0 million or 71 cents diluted earnings per share compared to $48.6 million or 68 cents diluted earnings per share in the second quarter of 2012.

› Profit, sales rise at Publix
Publix's profit and revenues rose in second quarter despite its advertising war with rival Walmart, the Lakeland-based company reported Thursday. Sales came in at $7 billion, a 3.8 percent increase from the same quarter in the previous year.

› Burn Notice wraps after seven years of Miami spy capers
Burn Notice, the most successful television series to film in Miami since Miami Vice, wrapped production Wednesday after seven years. Cast and crew dined on lobster and beef filet on the set inside the Coconut Grove Convention Center, which served as the show’s headquarters since filming its pilot in late 2006.

› TECO earnings drop for second straight quarter
TECO Energy reported a decline in earnings for the second consecutive quarter largely attributed to mild early summer weather. The utility, the parent company of Tampa Electric, reported second-quarter 2013 net income of $51.4 million, or $0.24 per share.