Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Business Digest




IBM president becomes CEO

        In a major changing of the guard for the computing industry, IBM Corp.'s board of directors selected the company's president and chief operating officer, Samuel J. Palmisano, to replace Louis V. Gerstner as IBM chief executive.

        The succession will take effect March 1, Mr. Gerstner's 60th birthday. Mr. Gerstner will remain IBM chairman through the end of 2002.
       

Generic Prozac pays

        Barr Laboratories Inc.'s fiscal second-quarter profit more than doubled on sales of its generic version of the antidepressant Prozac and products acquired in its purchase of Duramed Pharmaceuticals Inc.

        Net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose to $42.1 million, or 91 cents a share, from $16.8 million, or 38 cents, a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

        Revenue rose to $366.1 million from $149 million.

        Generic Prozac, which Barr started selling in August, contributed about $136 million in sales during the quarter, while sales of the breast-cancer drug tamoxifen rose 66 percent to $137 million.
       

UPS beats Street

        A surge of holiday shipping helped United Parcel Service Inc. beat Wall Street forecasts, but net income still dropped 11 percent as the U.S. recession battered business, the company said Tuesday.

        UPS said fourth-quarter net income was $645 million, or 57 cents a share — 7 cents more than the consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. The results included $37 million from taxpayers as part of the Sept. 11 bailout package from Congress to help the nation's airlines.

        In the same period last year, UPS earned $724 million or 63 cents per share.
       

Jenny Craig sued

        Jenny Craig Inc., which provides weight-loss counseling, was sued by shareholders who say a $115 million, $5.30 per-share cash buyout offer undervalues the stock.

        The La Jolla, Calif.-based company, which also sells low-fat food to program participants, said yesterday it would be bought by investors.

        In one of three lawsuits made public today in Delaware Chancery Court, company stockholder Masseo Investments Ltd. contends the company is worth more and should be auctioned.
       

Jobless rate up in Japan

        Japan's unemployment rate edged up to 5.6 percent in December, the fourth straight month of record-high joblessness in this recession-ridden nation — and many fear it could get worse.

        For more than a decade, Japan has been fighting a slowdown and struggling to shift from an economy reliant on manufacturing and construction for growth to a more industrialized, service-oriented economy.

       



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