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Archive for Friday, July 18, 2003

Briefcase

July 18, 2003

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Technology outlooks send Nasdaq lower

The Nasdaq composite index suffered its biggest point loss in four months Thursday as investors irked by a cautious outlook from IBM and a profit warning from Nokia quickly sold off stocks. The Nasdaq dropped nearly 50 points in Wall Street's third-straight day of declines.

The tech-dominated Nasdaq slid 2.9 percent. While IBM was the Dow Jones industrial average's biggest loser, the blue chips' loss was a modest 0.5 percent due to better-than-expected earnings from Caterpillar and United Technologies.

IBM fell $3.41 to $83.33. IBM reported stronger-than-expected revenue and met earnings expectations, but management's outlook for the future was guarded.

Chief financial officer John Joyce said IBM was on track to meet profit and sales forecasts for the rest of the year. But he also said demand for tech products was "good, but not robust."

Computers

Microsoft dividend won't happen soon

Microsoft Corp. reported a 26 percent increase in its fourth-quarter profit and raised its outlook for the coming year Thursday, but doused shareholders' hopes that it would issue a dividend anytime soon.

For the April-June quarter, the company earned $1.92 billion, or 18 cents a share, compared to $1.53 billion, or 14 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

Despite some investors' hopes for a dividend, Microsoft does not plan to announce a payout anytime soon, said Microsoft's chief financial officer, John Connors. He said the company needed to resolve legal issues, including an inquiry by the European Union and a lawsuit with Sun Microsystems.

Overland Park

Yellow's profit surges

Yellow Corp. announced Thursday a 66 percent jump in second-quarter earnings, meeting analysts expectations.

The Overland Park-based trucking giant reported earnings of $18.4 million, or 62 cents per share, during the quarter that ended June 20, compared with earnings of $6.2 million, or 22 cents per share, during the same period last year.

The company said it expected third-quarter earnings to be between 70 cents and 80 cents per share.

Aviation

Salina plant to lose jobs

Raytheon Aircraft Co. has hired a Tulsa, Okla., company to produce plastics for its aircraft, a move that will cut between 50 and 70 jobs in Salina.

Raytheon announced Wednesday that The Nordam Group would produce plastic products, such as glare shields, for Raytheon aircraft. The Salina plant, which employs 350 people, will lose about 20 percent of its work force because of the change.

"It's frustrating, and it's bad news," said Gerald Cook, president of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce.

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