In Brief

Battery-collection by AAA program to go to year-round

Travel club and insurance provider AAA Nevada said Monday that it would expand its battery-collection program from a seasonal springtime event to a year-round effort. The expanded program begins on Thursday, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Through AAA Nevada's Battery Roundup, motorists can drop off old car batteries at select sites across the Las Vegas Valley, and AAA will make a $2 donation to the Las Vegas Springs Preserve or Environmental Leadership. It's AAA's way of keeping batteries, which contain dangerous substances such as lead and sulfuric acid, out of landfills.

AAA delivers the batteries to recyclers, who can reuse more than 99 percent of each battery.

Dropoff locations are 3550 E. Post Road, Suite 700, and 1036 Greg St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Drivers needn't be AAA members to use the dropoff sites. AAA officials advise drivers use safety glasses and wear gloves when dropping their batteries off. Place batteries upright in a container and don't let them tip over.

Since 2001, AAA Nevada's Battery Roundup has collected nearly 42,000 batteries and donated more than $83,000 to local environmental nonprofits.

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Quarterly loss narrows for Nevada State Bank parent

Zions Bancorporation, the parent of Nevada State Bank, on Monday posted a narrower first-quarter loss than it did a year earlier.

In a statement, Zions said its net income was $86.5 million, or 57 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, compared with a year-ago loss of $852.3 million, or $7.47 a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a loss of 95 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Nonperforming lending-related assets increased to $2.5 billion from $2.4 billion at year-end. The ratio of nonperforming loans to loans and related assets grew to 6.4 percent from 6 percent at in the fourth quarter. Net loan and lease charge-offs dropped to $227.1 million from $292.1 million in the fourth quarter.


Toyota to extend fix for its Lexus GX 460 SUVs worldwide

Toyota will offer the same fix for stability control programming it has announced for the Lexus GX 460 in North America to vehicles in other regions, affecting 34,000 vehicles worldwide, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.

Toyota Motor Corp. will update the stability-control software program to reduce the risk of vehicles sliding in some Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles, as well as the Lexus GX 460, sold in other regions, the company said in a statement.

Toyota announced a recall in North America overnight, and it will carry out similar measures in Europe and the Middle East, it said.

The vehicles requiring the update are 13,000 GX 460 vehicles -- 9,400 of them in the U.S., 1,000 in Russia and 1,000 in Oman.

Also affected are some types of left-hand drive Land Cruiser Prado models. Those models total 21,000 globally, including 4,400 in Oman, 4,000 in Ryssia and 1,500 in the United Arab Emirates, according to Toyota.

Woman sentenced in Medicaid fraud case, official's office says

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto's office on Monday said 26-year-old Vanessa Ortiz was sentenced for Medicaid fraud.

In a statement, Masto's office said Ortiz pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor offense of failure to maintain adequate records.

District Court Judge Elissa Cadish sentenced her to 90 days in jail, suspended, 60 hours of community service; payment of $2,530 in restitution, penalties, and costs; and three years probation.


Drilling slowdown hurts results during quarter for Halliburton

Halliburton said Monday its first-quarter profit slumped nearly 46 percent as the company saw drilling operations slow internationally.

Halliburton reported earnings of $206 million, or 23 cents a share, in the first three months of the year. That compares with $378 million, or 42 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $3.76 billion, compared with the first quarter of last year.

Halliburton said it would have earned 28 cents a share excluding special charges related to the recent devaluation of Venezuela's currency.


Trading revenue offsets losses from failed loans for Citigroup

Citigroup Inc. provided more evidence Monday that the nation's big banks may have turned a corner. The bank reported a surprise first-quarter profit as trading revenue offset losses from failed loans.

Citigroup said it earned $4.4 billion after payment of preferred dividends, compared with a loss of $696 million a year earlier. That was the bank's biggest quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2007.

The company cited strong trading of bonds, stocks and other securities for its big profit. Citigroup, one of the hardest hit banks during the credit crisis and recession, said losses from bad loans fell for the third consecutive quarter.

It also set aside less money for loan losses.

Citigroup earned 15 cents per share on revenue of $25.4 billion. That easily beat analysts expectations of a slight loss, according to Thomson Reuters.

Citigroup's strong showing follows similarly impressive results last week by Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Allegiant Travel earnings decline in first quarter

Allegiant Travel Co., parent company of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, on Monday said its first-quarter net income fell 19.9 percent from a year earlier.

In a statement, Allegiant Travel said its net incomes was $22.6 million, or $1.12 per share, for the first quarter, down from net income of $28.2 million, or $1.37 percent, a year earlier.

Operating revenue rose 19.4 percent to $169.6 million from $142.1 million.

Average fare rose 9.2 percent to $81.41 from $74.52. Load factor rose to 91.7 percent from 90.8 percent.

In the statement, Allegiant Travel President Maurice Gallagher highlighted positives, saying Allegiant Air achieved a 21 percent operating margin despite a 48 percent increase in fuel price to $2.17 per gallon.

Earnings were released after markets closed. Allegiant Travel shares fell 39 cents, or 0.69 percent, Monday to close at $56.17 on the Nasdaq National Market.


General Motors plans to repay its $6.7 billion loan earlier

General Motors Co. will fully repay the $6.7 billion loan portion of its U.S. government aid earlier than its previously promised payback date of June, a person briefed on the plans said Monday.

GM CEO Ed Whitacre will announce details of the repayment during a visit Wednesday to the company's Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kan., said the person, who did not want to be identified because the announcement has not been made.

Whitacre will travel to Washington, D.C., after the announcement to meet with government officials and lawmakers.