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Franklin Electric splits stock

Franklin Electric Co. on Friday announced a two-for-one stock split. Shareholders of record on March 4 will receive one additional share for each share they own. The distribution will take place on or about March 18, the company said.

As of Friday, the company had more than 23.6 million shares of common stock outstanding.

The Bluffton-based manufacturer Wednesday reported 2012 annual earnings of $82.9 million, or $3.46 per diluted share. Last year’s results included record revenue of $891.3 million.

Scott Trumbull, chairman and CEO, said in a written statement that the goal is to make the stock “accessible to a broader range of investors and improve its marketability.”

Franklin Electric designs and makes submersible motors and pumping systems used to move water and fuel. Last spring, the company started construction near Fort Wayne International Airport on a new headquarters expected to cost $32 million to $36 million.

DePuy recall category dubbed most serious

The Food and Drug Administration has classified a DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. recall a Class I, the most serious designation. The FDA said “there is a reasonable probability that use of these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

DePuy on Jan. 4 issued an urgent recall for its LPS Diaphyseal Sleeve, a knee product that can fracture during normal activities if too much pressure is put on it. The result could be loss of function or loss of leg, infection, soft-tissue damage or death. The diaphyseal sleeve is supposed to enhance the fit of femoral or tibial replacements.

Surgeons who have implanted the recalled parts have been asked to contact those patients and discuss risks and warnings signs of implant failure.

The affected products were manufactured and distributed from 2008 to mid-2012. As of last week, the FDA had received 10 reports of the devices malfunctioning, including six fractures.

Hostess workers can get federal aid

Hostess Brands Inc. workers are eligible to receive services under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Friday.

In November, a bankruptcy court judge approved a request by the snack-cake maker to begin winding down its operations. The ruling came after the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread failed to end a walkout by its second-largest union.

About 850 Hoosiers – including 14 in Fort Wayne – lost jobs. Former employees in Fort Wayne are asked to contact WorkOne Northeast for help. They can go to or call the Allen County office at 745-3555.

J.C. Penney secures leeway to raise capital

J.C. Penney Co., the retailer backed by hedge-fund manager William Ackman, got clearance from lenders to sell billions of dollars in stock and debt if needed as it struggles to complete a turnaround.

Under changes to the company’s primary credit line, its banks affirmed that J.C. Penney can sell convertible preferred stock without triggering repayment provisions under the lending agreement, according to a Feb. 12 regulatory filing. The revisions also permit the department store chain to obtain as much as $1.75 billion in new loans by pledging real estate and other fixed assets as collateral.