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Comcast profits up 30 percent

Comcast Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income rose by 30 percent as ad revenue surged at broadcast network NBC, helped by the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and Jimmy Fallon’s elevation as host of “The Tonight Show.”

The results beat Wall Street estimates.

Comcast is the largest cable company in the country with 22 million video customers and 21.1 million Internet customers. It is in the midst of an expected yearlong review of its $45 billion acquisition of rival Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation’s No. 2 cable company.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called the proposed deal an “exciting and unique opportunity.”

Regulators are examining whether the combination would give it undue pricing power over customers and too much leverage with programmers.

Its net income in the quarter through March rose to $1.87 billion, or 71 cents a share, from $1.44 billion, or 54 cents a share a year ago. Excluding one-time items, adjusted earnings came to 68 cents a share, beating the 64 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Whitley company plans expansion

Precision Plastics Inc., a custom plastic injection molder, announced plans Tuesday to expand its operations in Columbia City, creating up to 15 jobs by 2017.

The company will invest $265,000 to build a 12,000-square-foot warehouse adjacent to its 75,000-square-foot plastics facility. Completion is expected by June.

Precision Plastics will move product storage into its new warehouse, allowing the company to add injection molding presses to its manufacturing floor.

Precision Plastics, which employs about 120 full-time workers in Indiana, plans to begin hiring for manufacturing positions in August.

Interested applicants can apply at Peoplelink Staffing Solutions in Columbia City.

Founded in 1955, Precision Plastics produces injection molded products, primarily serving the automotive, defense and industrial markets.

Independent Alliance earnings decline

Independent Alliance Banks Inc., the holding company of iAB Financial Bank, announced that net income declined in the first quarter ended March 31 compared with the same period last year.

Net income for the first three months was $1.7 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with the first quarter of 2013 at $2.0 million, or 49 cents a share, the company said in a news release.

Financial performance was down from the previous year partly because of reduced fee income from the residential mortgage market as a result of weather conditions in the first two months of this year.

Unemployment drops for Ohio counties

State officials in Ohio released information Tuesday that showed Defiance, Paulding, Van Wert and Williams counties with lower unemployment last month compared with February. Van Wert County had the lowest jobless rate at 5.5 percent, compared with February’s 6 percent.

Paulding decreased to 5.6 percent in March from 6.4 percent; Williams dropped to 5.7 percent from 6.1 percent a month earlier; and Defiance declined to 5.9 percent in March, compared with 6.3 percent.