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Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2005

Briefcase

April 7, 2005

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Lawrence plays role in 'Extreme Makeover'

Ty Pennington, a national TV audience and the potential for 12 million viewers on a Web site.

Not bad for a $1,000 investment.

The folks at Blue Heron, a furniture store in downtown Lawrence, donated a leather, crocodile-embossed Precedent Furniture ottoman for inclusion in "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," an ABC show that remodels and rebuilds homes for deserving families.

The show, featuring the latest project in Kansas City, Mo., is set to air in mid-May.

Lawrence-based Protection One Inc. also is taking part, by installing a monitored security system. The project is the company's 10th for the show.

Telecommunications

MCI board rebuffs Qwest's takeover bid

The board of MCI Inc. has rejected an $8.9 billion buyout proposal from Qwest Communications, opting instead to stick with a lower-priced deal from Verizon Communications Inc.

The board reiterated worries such as the long-term value of the Qwest shares to be used as partial payment to MCI stockholders, or whether Qwest can meet its ambitious forecast for cost savings from the proposed merger.

But MCI also said the board was open to more discussions with Qwest, holding out a strong possibility that the biggest telecom bidding war in six years is not over.

Beer

Anheuser-Busch cuts earnings forecast

Long a Wall Street darling for churning out double-digit earnings per share quarter after quarter, Anheuser-Busch Cos. has fallen on flatter times as it duels to defend its market share against rival Miller and increasing consumer thirst for wine and distilled spirits.

The St. Louis-based producer of top-selling Budweiser and Bud Light saw its shares sink nearly 4 percent Wednesday, a day after the nation's biggest brewer warned that its profit outlook for the year would be lower on weaker-than-expected U.S. beer volume in the first quarter.

Pharmaceuticals

Guilford expects profit in 2008

Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc., which last month suffered a setback in clinical trials of its experimental sedation drug, expects to become profitable in 2008, the Baltimore-based company said Wednesday.

The company projects revenue of $130 million to $160 million in 2008, but said that a successful launch of its Aquavan sedation drug was "critical to the 2008 profit plan."

Aquavan was created at Kansas University and developed through ProQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Lawrence-based spinoff that Guilford bought late last year.

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