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Briefs

Sprint to have talks with Dish

Sprint Nextel says SoftBank is allowing it to seek more information from Dish Network related to its rival bid for the third-largest U.S. cellphone company.

Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint has agreed to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan’s SoftBank Corp. for $20.1 billion.

But it recently got a competing $25.5 billion offer from Dish Network Corp. for the whole company.

Under the agreement with SoftBank, Sprint can enter into a nondisclosure agreement and talks with Dish so it can clarify and obtain additional information from Dish related to its bid for the company.

Sprint isn’t allowed to provide nonpublic information to Dish and can’t enter into negotiations with the company.

SoftBank says it remains confident in its offer and expects the deal to close in July.

Pending home sales jump to 3-year high

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in March to the highest level in three years.

The National Association of Realtors says that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 1.5 percent to 105.7. That’s the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer’s tax credit boosted sales. It’s also above February’s reading of 104.1.

Signed contracts are 7 percent higher than they were a year earlier. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.

Still, sales are being held back by limited supply. Sales of previously occupied homes dipped in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million, down from 4.95 million in February.

Chrysler profit falls as model update lags

Three Chrysler factories were slow to switch from old models to new ones, and that helped dramatically reduce the company’s first-quarter profit.

The Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker said Tuesday that its net profit fell 65 percent from January through March, mainly because production didn’t keep pace with sales.

Chrysler freshened up the Jeep Grand Cherokee large SUV and its Ram heavy-duty truck for the new model year, and is replacing the Liberty midsize SUV with the all-new Jeep Cherokee. But the plants that make those vehicles were slow to crank out the new models.

Chrysler’s profit dropped from $473 million a year ago to $166 million. Revenue dropped 6 percent to $15.4 billion. Total inventory fell to 419,000 last quarter, enough to supply dealers for 66 days of sales, down from 73 at the end of last year.

Old National Bancorp sees 10% earnings rise

Old National Bancorp on Monday reported first-quarter earnings of $23.9 million, or 24 cents per diluted common share, a 10 percent increase over the $21.7 million, or 23 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2012.

The Evansville-based holding company for Old National Bank reported $9.67 billion in assets as of March 31.

Bob Jones, president and CEO, said the company has focused on improving core profits and making strategic acquisitions.

“Our clients and prospects are beginning to feel better about the economy, and their increased optimism led to our strong quarter of commercial and commercial real estate loan originations of $166 million,” he said in a written statement.

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