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Archive for Thursday, October 21, 2004

Briefcase

October 21, 2004

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Huffy hopes bankruptcy puts end to downhill ride

Huffy Corp., the bicycle maker beloved by generations of American children, filed Wednesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing losses from a Canadian sports equipment company it acquired two years ago.

Huffy's losses have increased steadily in recent years, from $1.4 million in 2002 to $7.5 million in 2003. It has not filed quarterly financial reports in 2004.

The beleaguered company's stock also plummeted from $6.80 a share in December 2003 to 58 cents in August, when the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading because the company's market value had fallen too low.

With roots dating back to 1892, the company said it believed it would rebound by focusing again on bicycles.

Utility

Westar adds to board

Topeka-based Westar Energy has appointed a researcher and a university president to its board of directors, company officials said Wednesday.

Sandra Lawrence, executive vice president and treasurer of Kansas City, Mo.-based Midwest Research Institute, and Jerry Farley, president of Topeka's Washburn University joined the board effective immediately.

Lawrence is a resident of Leawood and Farley lives in Topeka.

Earnings

Serologicals profits up

Serologicals Corp. posted a strong growth in third quarter earnings, company officials announced Wednesday.

The life sciences company earned 19 cents per share in the third quarter, up from 6 cents per share during the same period a year ago.

The company, which is opening a plant in Lawrence's East Hills Business Park, posted nine-month earnings of 48 cents per share, up from 20 cents during the same period a year ago.

Wichita

Boeing set to decide on plant by year's end

Top Boeing Co. officials told Wichita employees in an e-mail Tuesday that no decisions had been made yet on whether the commercial operations in the city would be sold.

But the lengthy communication also vaguely addressed employee concerns about the sale process and the future of their jobs and benefits.

A decision is expected by the end of the year. If an agreement is made to sell, the closing date will be no less than 30 days after the sale announcement, the message said.

Internet

EBay Inc.'s profit soars

EBay Inc.'s third-quarter profit surged more than 76 percent, helped by brisk sales of laptops and other back-to-school gear, as well as gangbuster growth in England and South Korea, the online auction giant said Wednesday.

Squeaking past Wall Street's expectations, eBay earned $182.35 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with $103.25 million, or 16 cents per share in the same period of 2003.

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