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Archive for Saturday, July 22, 2000

Business Briefcase

July 22, 2000

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Delay derails railroad merger

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and Canadian National Railway Co. said Thursday they have ended their attempt to merge and create the largest railway in North America.

The railroads said they were unwilling to endure a long wait to approve the merger, valued at $6.2 billion when it was announced in December.

In March, the federal Surface Transportation Board imposed a moratorium on rail mergers until at least June 2001, and the companies estimated their deal would not be approved before late 2002.

The companies said they could have saved $800 million a year by combining.

Station executives to buy Missouri casinos

Station Casino on Thursday announced it would sell its Missouri casinos to five of its own executives, a move that would allow the company to focus on other operations.

Las Vegas-based Station Casinos Inc. wants to sell its Kansas City and St. Charles facilities for $475 million. The new, privately held company to be run by John Finamore, who already heads Station Casino's Midwestern operations will be headquartered in Kansas City.

This sale is subject to approval by the Missouri Gaming Commission and the Kansas City Port Authority.

Lucent shares plunge

Shares of Lucent Technologies plunged nearly 16 percent Thursday after the company warned that profit and revenue growth for the remainder of the year would be slower than expected.

The warning came as Lucent reported a $301 million net loss, or 9 cents per share for the third quarter, due to hefty charges for acquisition and discontinued operations.

Excluding those charges, as well as discontinued operations, Lucent earned $1.007 billion, or 30 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting 23 cents per share.

OPEC urged to boost production

Energy Secretary Bill Richardson urged OPEC Thursday to boost production and help bring down U.S. gas prices that he said remain "unacceptably high."

Nationwide, regular gasoline is selling for an average of $1.55 a gallon, down from $1.68 a gallon a month ago, Richardson said.

AAA reports an average price of $1.46 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Kansas. That's down from $1.79 a month ago but up from $1.11 a year ago.

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