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Earnings off at Franklin Electric Co.

Franklin Electric Co. on Monday reported second-quarter earnings of $27.1 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, a 4 percent decline from the $28.1 million, or 58 cents a share, posted for the same three months of 2013.

The Fort Wayne manufacturer’s net sales increased by 8 percent to $284 million during the three months ended June 28, compared with last year’s second quarter.

Franklin Electric designs and makes submersible motors and pumping systems used to move water and fuel. Customers include homeowners, cities and companies in commercial, agricultural and other industries worldwide.

Political issues in Southeast Asia, labor issues in Africa and order timing in some markets are among the factors that reduced earnings.

Total sales and adjusted earnings for the second quarter set records for any quarter in the company’s history, officials said.

New market to offer job fair

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will host a job fair Saturday.

The natural and organic foods retailer will conduct the employment expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at IPFW, 4111 Paul Shaffer Drive.

Up to 100 full- and part-time jobs are available, including management positions.

Candidates should bring a résumé and be prepared for in­ter­views.

They may also apply online at before attending the job fair.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will open this fall at the former Borders bookstore building, 4310 Coldwater Road.

Contracts to buy homes slip in June

Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market appears to have cooled off this summer.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index slipped 1.1 percent to 102.7 last month. The index remains 7.3 percent below its level a year ago.

Sales have been slowed by a mix of meager wage growth, rising home prices, and mortgage rates that rose steadily through the end of last year.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.

$800 million slated for asbestos trust

RPM International plans to spend nearly $800 million as part of a preliminary deal to fund a trust that resolves asbestos personal injury claims tied to a business owned by its Specialty Products Holding Corp.

The Medina, Ohio, company said Monday that the agreement still needs the approval of the claimants as well as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

RPM will start funding the trust for current and future claimants with a $450 million cash payment and then make additional payments over the next few years until a total of $797.5 million in contributions is reached. RPM International Inc.’s Specialty Products unit filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in May 2010. RPM subsequently deconsolidated the business but plans to reconsolidate the unit with its operations once the settlement plan is consummated.

RPM’s subsidiaries make specialty coatings, sealants and building materials for both consumer and industrial markets.