Archive for Friday, March 5, 2004

Briefcase

March 5, 2004

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Stewart jurors finish day without verdict

Jurors at the Martha Stewart stock trial finished a second day of deliberations Thursday after indicating they were focused on whether they had enough evidence to convict her former broker of perjury.

Broker Peter Bacanovic and the domestic-style mogul are accused of lying about her 2001 sale of ImClone Systems stock. Deliberations were expected to resume this morning.

In a note to the judge, the panel inquired about the standards of evidence required to convict on the perjury count, asking whether it was enough to have the testimony of one witness plus a document created by the same witness.

"I think the short answer is yes," said U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum.

Bankruptcy

Farmland finalizes sale of Coffeyville facility

Kansas City, Mo.-based Farmland Industries Inc. has completed the sale of its refinery and fertilizer plant in Coffeyville.

The sale, completed Wednesday, clears the way for the bankrupt company, once the largest farmer-owned cooperative in North America, to pay about 60,000 creditors, probably in June.

Coffeyville Resources, an affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors of Greenwich, Conn., paid about $22 million in cash, $85 million in working capital and $174 million in assumed liabilities for the complex.

Farmland, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 31, 2002, has estimated that unsecured creditors will receive 60 cents to 82 cents on every dollar they are owed. Farmland still owns a vacant fertilizer plant in Lawrence that it hopes to sell.

Mortgage

Rates nearly steady

Mortgage rates around the country were mixed this week, with rates on benchmark 30-year mortgages edging up and rates on other types of mortgages nudging down.

The average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages was 5.59 percent, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday in its weekly nationwide survey of mortgage rates. This week's rate was up only slightly from the seven-month low of 5.58 percent seen in the previous two weeks.

For 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, rates dipped to 4.88 percent this week from 4.89 percent last week.

Wall Street

Area earnings roundup

Del Monte Foods Co. reported a first quarter profit of 25 cents per share on Thursday, up from 13 cents a year ago. The company operates a dog food plant in Lawrence.

Sauer-Danfoss, which operates a manufacturing plant in Lawrence's East Hills Business Park, also reported a quarterly dividend of 7 cents per share on Thursday.

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