Thursday, May 16, 2002

Tristate Summary

Court upholds tobacco ruling

        A federal appeals court in Cincinnati on Wednesday upheld a ruling that the nation's No. 1 snuff manufacturer broke antitrust laws in trying to stifle competition in the smokeless tobacco market.

        United States Tobacco Co., maker of Skoal and Copenhagen, said it would appeal the decision. It can ask for a review by the entire appellate court or press on to the Supreme Court.

        The tobacco company was accused of misleading retailers to secure prime display space for its brands. Its salesmen were accused of obscuring competitors' brands or removing their display racks altogether.

        In 2000, a federal court jury in Paducah, Ky., ordered U.S. Tobacco to pay $350 million to rival Conwood Co., whose snuff brands include Kodiak and Cougar. Under federal antitrust laws, the award was automatically tripled to $1.05 billion.

        U.S. Tobacco has a plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.

CECO reports smaller net loss

        CECO Environmental Corp., parent of Oakley's Kirk & Blum and kbd/Technic, reported a smaller net loss on lower revenues for the first quarter.

        For the three months ending March 31, the air pollution control products company said it had a net loss of $197,000, or 2 cents, compared with a net loss of $458,000, or 6 cents a share, after nonrecurring gains and adopting new rules for accounting of goodwill in the year-ago period.

        Revenues slipped to $18.9 million from $19.8 million a year earlier.

— From staff and wire reports


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