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Syniverse shares drop 28 percent

Shares of Syniverse Holdings Inc. plunged 28 percent Friday after the Tampa provider of telecommunications services said it expects its first-quarter earnings to fall short of Wall Street expectations. Raymond James & Associates analyst Ric Prentiss, who downgraded the stock to "market perform" from "strong buy," predicted it might take several quarters for the company to win back investor confidence. Syniverse's stock closed Friday at $15.30 a share, down $6.

Tampa City Center is one-third vacant

One of downtown Tampa's largest office towers faces vacancies for about a third of its 735,000 square feet, but leasing agents say the 38-story Tampa City Center is attracting interest from companies that want to move within the city. The departure of Syniverse to New Tampa will empty about 190,000 square feet on several floors of the 25-year-old building known as the Verizon tower. Law firm Williams Schiffino will expand onto one of the floors, and contracts are pending for about half the remaining space, leasing agent Cushman & Wakefield said. Office vacancies in the central Tampa business district hover around 18 percent.

Crist sues Temple Terrace company

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has sued Global Information Group of Temple Terrace, accusing the company of illegally getting and selling private cell phone records to third parties without consumers' consent. The suit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court is similar to one Verizon Wireless filed last month against Global. Crist is seeking civil penalties and a permanent injunction to prevent the company from getting and selling records.

Meehan to replace Nye at Bankers

David Meehan will replace the retiring David Nye as chairman of Bankers Insurance Co., First Community Insurance Co. and Bankers Life Insurance Co. of St. Petersburg. Meehan is a 30-year veteran of Bankers, which expects to have $305-million in revenue this year. Nye is retiring as professor of finance and insurance at the University of Florida, but plans to teach as an adjunct and to serve as a Bankers consultant.

Judge extends Northwest deadline

The judge overseeing Northwest Airlines Corp.'s bankruptcy case granted another extension on Friday of a deadline for a pay-cut deal between the carrier and its pilots and flight attendants. The new deadline is Wednesday.

Oil jumps $2.37

Crude oil futures jumped 4 percent Friday after a thwarted attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility rattled a market jittery about supply disruptions in Nigeria and Iran's nuclear ambitions. Light sweet crude for April delivery surged as high as $63.25 a barrel before settling at $62.91, an increase of $2.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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