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Business Highlights

Wednesday - 7/24/2013, 7:20pm  ET

The Associated Press

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Facebook soars after 2Q results beat estimates

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Facebook's stock is flying high after the world's biggest social network posted higher revenue from mobile ads and delivered a healthy second-quarter profit that reversed a loss a year earlier.

The results, which come on the heels of weaker-than-expected results from online search leader Google Inc., signal that Facebook's aggressive push into the mobile advertising market continues to pay off. The company began showing mobile advertisements for the first time last spring. On Wednesday, Facebook said mobile ads accounted for 41 percent of its total advertising revenue.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's stock jumped $4.93, or 18.6 percent, to $31.44 in extended trading after closing at $26.51. The stock priced at $38 when Facebook went public in May 2012 and hasn't hit that since.

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Ford 2Q shines as North America, Asia lead the way

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is finally becoming the well-rounded company it aspires to be.

Almost bankrupt in the last decade because it relied too heavily on selling big trucks and SUVs in North America, the second-largest U.S. automaker is now making small and midsize cars at a profit and selling them across the globe.

Ford's Asian operations earned a record quarterly profit of $117 million in the three months ended June 30, and 20 percent of Ford's sales came from the region. That's up from 11 percent five years ago. Sales also grew in South America, where second-quarter profit jumped to $151 million from $5 million a year ago. Ford even narrowed its losses in recession-weary Europe.

North America still contributed the bulk of Ford's net income, which grew 18.5 percent to $1.23 billion in the April-June period. But the rest of Ford's global regions broke even for the first time in two years, clawing their way back from a $600 million loss in the first quarter.

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Marketing national health care shaping up as big challenge

CHICAGO (AP) -- It will make you stronger. It will give you peace of mind and make you feel like a winner. Health insurance is what the whole country has been talking about, so don't be left out.

Sound like a sales pitch? Get ready for a lot more. As President Barack Obama's health care law moves from theory to reality in the coming months, its success may hinge on whether the best minds in advertising can reach one of the hardest-to-find parts of the population: people without health coverage.

The campaign won't come cheap: The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled by The Associated Press from federal and state sources.

About 16 percent of Americans are uninsured, but despite years of political debate and media attention, more than three-quarters of them still don't fully understand the new health care law, according to recent surveys.

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Boeing 2Q profit tops expectations despite 787

Boeing's problems with its 787 have made headlines, but they aren't slowing the big plane maker down.

The company's second-quarter earnings topped expectations as it ramped up deliveries of commercial planes like the 737 and 777. It also raised its full-year profit guidance.

Boeing resumed delivering 787s in the quarter after deliveries were halted for nearly four months after the planes were grounded for battery problems. Boeing delivered 16 of the technologically advanced jets during the quarter. It still expects to deliver at least 60 of the 787s this year -- the same goal it had before the battery problems surfaced.

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Caterpillar 2Q profit falls 43 percent; cuts outlook

A global mining industry slump cut into second-quarter earnings at Caterpillar Inc. as companies spent less on equipment and dealers cut inventories more than Caterpillar expected.

The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment posted a 43 percent slide in earnings and cut its profit and revenue outlook for the year.

Caterpillar reported earnings of $960 million, or $1.45 per share, compared with $1.7 billion, or $2.54 per share a year ago. Revenue slid 15.8 percent to $14.63 billion.

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The perfect fit: Wonderbra maker to buy Maidenform

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's the perfect fit.

Two of the world's top bra makers are coming together in the biggest development in the $11.5 billion underwear industry in years.

Hanesbrands, which makes the Wonderbra, said Tuesday that it agreed to buy bra and underwear company Maidenform Brands Inc. for about $547 million. The deal would add brands like Maidenform, Flexees and Self Expressions to the Hanesbrand roster that includes Playtex, Bali, Champion, Wonderbra and its namesake Hanes.

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