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Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Briefcase

August 4, 2004

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Sandwich franchiser files for Chapter 11 protection

Schlotzsky's Inc., a delicatessen franchiser with more than 500 outlets in 36 states and six countries, on Tuesday filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.

Schlotzsky's said operations would continue normally during the financial restructuring. The Austin, Texas-based company owns 21 shops while franchisees own 492 stores, including one in Lawrence.

The restaurant chain reported a net loss of $11.7 million in 2003 versus a loss of $199,000 in 2002. It lost another $671,000 in the first quarter of 2004.

Earnings

Stewart company reports wider-than-expected loss

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. -- still reeling from the legal troubles of its founder -- posted a wider loss than Wall Street expected in the second quarter and warned of bigger-than-expected losses in the third quarter.

In a move to focus on the company's strongest assets, the New York-based company announced Tuesday that it would eliminate its catalog business by the end of the year.

Martha Stewart Living posted a loss of $19.29 million, or 39 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30 in contrast to a profit of $931,000, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Workplace

Judge says Labor agency must report injury rates

The names of companies with the worst safety records must be disclosed by the government along with their injury rates, a federal judge has ruled.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a Labor Department agency, had denied a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2002 by The New York Times seeking a list of the 13,000 companies identified as having injury and illness rates greater than the national average.

Last week's ruling in U.S. District Court for the Southern District in New York ordered OSHA to provide the information for the year 2002.

OSHA, represented by the Justice Department, has 60 days to decide whether to appeal.

Accounting

Halliburton to pay $7.5M for undisclosed change

Halliburton Co. will pay $7.5 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission probe that it failed to disclose a change in its accounting procedures in 1998 when the oil services conglomerate was run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Besides the company's fine, former Halliburton controller Robert C. Muchmore Jr. will pay a $50,000 penalty, the SEC announced Tuesday.

Neither the company nor Muchmore admit nor deny the SEC's findings.

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