Friday, February 08, 2002

Business Digest

Tyco shares rise 8.4%

        Tyco International Ltd. shares rose 8.4 percent after the conglomerate accelerated a breakup plan and provided investors with assurances the company isn't facing a cash crunch.

        Tyco shares rose $2.18 to $28.10.

        Chief executive Dennis Kozlowski canceled a share sale for Tyco's finance unit and said he will consider buyout offers for all its businesses. Mr. Kozlowski is splitting Tyco into four companies amid concerns its accounting hasn't been transparent.

Carnival makes 4th bid

       Refusing to take no for an answer, Carnival Corp. came up Thursday with its fourth hostile offer for P&O Princess PLC in an effort to prevent P&O from merging with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

        The $5.4 billion offer requires 15 percent of P&O shareholders to pledge by today to vote for an indefinite delay of the merger when the issue arises Feb. 14. If 15 percent don't come forward, the offer reverts to a rejected $5.1 billion bid.

        P&O had no immediate response.

Net firm delays IPO

        PayPal Inc., which had planned to be the first Internet company in almost a year to go public, delayed its initial public offering a second day after it was sued by rival CertCo Inc.

        PayPal, which provides an e-mail payment system that's popular with eBay Inc. users, delayed its planned $76 million offering last night after CertCo filed the suit.

        Salomon Smith Barney Inc. is managing the sale.

Gannett's profits drop

        Gannett Co., the largest newspaper publisher in the country and parent of The Cincinnati Enquirer, reported a 15.8 percent decline in fourth quarter net profits Thursday as an advertising slump and the slow economy dragged down results.

        Gannett, which publishes 95 daily newspapers in the United States, including USA Today, earned $248.4 million in the three months ending Dec. 30, down from $294.9 million in the comparable period in 2000.

        Per-share earnings came in at 93 cents, a penny above the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. In the same period a year ago, the company earned $1.11 per share.

Bank leader quits post

        Moving to calm a “rising wave” of speculation over his future, European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg announced Thursday that he will quit the continent's most powerful economic post next year.

        Mr. Duisenberg's move appeared to be in line with a 1998 agreement between European leaders that he would leave part way through his eight-year term to give France another chance to push its own candidate for the job.


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