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Archive for Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Briefcase

October 15, 2003

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Delta has rough quarter

Delta Air Lines, the nation's third-largest carrier, is selling planes and urging pilots to agree to wage cuts amid signs its financial situation will continue to sputter in the months ahead.

The airline said Tuesday it was selling 11 planes and delaying the delivery of eight more as it lost $168 million, or $1.36 a share, in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $330 million, or $2.67 a share, for the same period a year ago. The loss includes $4 million paid out in dividends to preferred shareholders.

Shares of Atlanta-based Delta fell 6.6 percent Tuesday, closing at $13.74 each.

Technology

America Online plans to offer cheaper services

Trying to fend off cut-rate competitors, America Online plans to introduce a discount version of its dial-up Internet access service early next year that will carry the Netscape brand name, a person with the company said Tuesday.

The new service is expected to cost $9.95 per month for unlimited access, a big break on the $23.90 monthly tag that comes with AOL's current dial-up service, which has seen its subscriber numbers fall. The new plan also would beat the $14.95-per-month package AOL is pushing to people who get their Internet access from a separate broadband provider.

However, executives at Dulles, Va-based AOL, part of AOL Time Warner Inc., which will drop 'AOL' from its name Thursday, don't believe the new Netscape discount service will siphon away bigger-spending customers after it debuts nationwide in the first quarter of 2004.

Computer Chips

Intel sees strong demand

Intel Corp.'s third-quarter profits more than doubled Tuesday as the world's largest semiconductor company benefited from the strongest demand for personal computers since the high-tech boom of the late 1990s.

For the first time in the economic recovery, Intel executives said the company's growth was outpacing normal seasonal patterns.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Intel earned $1.7 billion, or 25 cents per share, compared with profits of $686 million, or 10 cents per share, in the same period last year. Sales rose 20 percent to $7.8 billion, from $6.5 billion last year.

At the end of the second quarter, Intel initially predicted sales of $6.9 billion to $7.5 billion. Last month, it narrowed the range to between $7.6 billion and $7.8 billion.

Financial Services

Bank of America earnings on the rise

Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday that its profits rose more than 30 percent in the third quarter, driven by across-the-board gains in the bank's major businesses.

Net income totaled $2.92 billion, or $1.92 per share, in the July-September period, up from $2.24 billion, or $1.45 per share, in the third quarter of 2002.

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