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Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2002

Briefcase

January 31, 2002

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Earnings

Investment charges put AOL in red for fourth quarter

AOL Time Warner Inc. reported a net loss of $1.8 billion for its fourth quarter Wednesday as the world's largest media company wrote down the value of some of its investments.

Earnings from operations rose in line with guidance issued earlier this month.

The net loss reflected a $1.7 billion write-down in AOL's stakes in Time Warner Telecom Inc., a networking and telecommunications company, and in Hughes Electronics Corp. The figures also include $45 million in costs related to the merger of AOL and Time Warner.

Conglomerate

Move by Tyco executives eases investors' worries

Tyco International's stock reversed its plunge Wednesday, as investors warmed to bullish comments by analysts and the company's announcement that a pair of its top executives would buy 1 million shares with their own cash.

The comments appeared to reassure investors that Tyco whose stock has lost nearly half its value in the past month because of concerns about its accounting methods and other corporate practices might be another Enron.

Tyco said Wednesday that its chairman and chief executive, L. Dennis Kozlowski, and its chief financial officer, Mark Swartz, each would buy 500,000 shares of stock on the open market, in a sign of their confidence in the company.

Acquisition ruling

EU set to announce decision on Hewlett-Packard merger

The European Union is poised to clear the $23.6 billion merger of Hewlett-Packard Co. with Compaq Computer Corp. today without requiring divestments, a source said.

The EU's deadline is today for announcing whether it will approve the deal or launch a four-month investigation into antitrust concerns.

Compaq Chief Executive Michael Capellas, above, who spoke Wednesday during a technology conference in San Francisco, had no comment about the EU meeting.

Tobacco

Philip Morris taps new CEO, reports increase in earnings

Philip Morris Cos. named chief financial officer Louis C. Camilleri as its new leader Wednesday, ending debate about who would lead the tobacco-food giant in the face of regulatory challenges and smoking lawsuits worldwide.

The company's board said it would elect Camilleri, 47, as president and CEO effective April 25, following the annual stockholders' meeting. He replaces Geoffrey Bible, who will continue as chairman until his scheduled retirement in August.

Philip Morris reported a 7.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday.

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