Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Briefcase

July 6, 2005

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GM's discounts drive Ford to offer same

Ford Motor Co., bowing to pressure from General Motors Corp., said Tuesday that it would match its larger rival's employee discount consumer incentives program.

Ford announced its new marketing campaign hours after GM said it was extending its "Employee Discount for Everyone" deals through Aug. 1.

The GM move was widely expected and set the stage for another intensification of Detroit's long-running price war.

Under the GM program, which was launched last month and due to expire July 5, the world's largest automaker is selling anybody a 2005 model car or truck at the same low price that GM employees pay.

Ford spokesman David Reuter said the "Ford Family Plan" - which takes effect today and also will run through Aug. 1 - would be similar to GM's and shave thousands of dollars off the sticker prices of most 2005 models.

Acquisition

Amdocs purchases broadband billing unit

Kansas City, Mo.-based DST Systems Inc. said Tuesday it had sold its DST Innovis unit, which provides billing and customer services for broadband media companies, to St. Louis-based Amdocs Ltd. for $238 million cash.

Amdocs, a billing services software provider, said it would operate DST Innovis as its broadband cable and satellite division, retaining Peter Nault as president and chief executive officer.

Shares of Amdocs rose $1.06 to close at $27.79 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Kansas City, Mo.-based DST Systems rose 32 cents to close at $47.27.

Aviation

Investment firm orders six Boeing freighters

Guggenheim Aviation Partners, an aviation investment firm headquartered in Chicago, has ordered six 747 jumbo jet freighters, Boeing Co. said Tuesday.

Boeing said the deal was worth $1.37 billion at list prices, though customers generally negotiate substantial discounts.

Guggenheim's 747-400ER freighters are scheduled for delivery in late 2006 through the first half of 2008. The company plans to lease the planes.

The company placed the orders on behalf of Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund LP, one of the funds it manages.

Boeing shares rose 74 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $65.42 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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