PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Jan 30

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:15am EST

Jan 30 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* Even before battery failures led to the grounding of all Boeing Co's 787 jets, there were problems that raised questions about their reliability.

* Chesapeake Energy's co-founder and chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, will retire on April 1, the producer of oil and natural gas announced on Tuesday, almost eight months after investors complained about a compensation plan.

* Lanny Breuer, the U.S. federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department's response to corporate crime in the wake of the financial crisis, will announce on Wednesday that he is stepping down after nearly four years in the post.

* Ford Motor Co posted a 54 percent gain in adjusted fourth-quarter profit, despite heavy losses in the troubled European market.

* Pfizer and Eli Lilly each reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as the companies weathered generic competition for once top-selling products through deals, cost-cutting and strong sales of newer products.

* Amazon.com Inc missed expectations on both revenue and profit, but an increase in its operating margin - to 3.2 percent from 2.7 percent - caught investors' attention.

* A federal judge in New Orleans on Tuesday approved an agreement between BP Plc and the Justice Department for the company to plead guilty to 14 criminal charges and pay $4 billion in penalties for the 2010 oil well blowout and spill in the Gulf of Mexico that left 11 workers dead and fouled hundreds of miles of shoreline.

* The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the first drug to treat myelofibrosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening bone marrow disorder.