Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Business digest



Oil prices reach high of more than $44

NEW YORK - Oil prices climbed to new highs Tuesday, rising above $44 a barrel in the United States, as global supply concerns and terrorism fears made for jittery trading at a time of strong demand.

Light crude for September delivery rose 33 cents to settle at $44.15 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, topping the previous record, set Monday, of $43.82.

Traders are investing on psychological factors, analysts said. "We've got a market that's reacting ahead of time, it seems, to every single bullish scenario," said Peter Beutel, president of energy consulting firm Cameron Hanover Inc. in New Canaan, Conn.

Medical test maker expects $9.9M profit

NEWTOWN - Medical test manufacturer Meridian Bioscience Inc. Tuesday said it was expecting a final annual net profit of about $9.5 million to $9.9 million, or between 62 to 65 cents per diluted share.

The figures are for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, and are higher than the 54 cents per share analysts on Wall Street had predicted.

The company had reported a $2.16 million profit in its third quarter, which ended June 30. In addition, Meridian said that it expected net income to grow between 12 percent and 20 percent in fiscal year 2005.

The market reacted negatively to the news, however, sending Meridian's stock price down 3.5 percent to close at $11.19 Tuesday.

P&G to issue $1.5B of senior debt in sale

Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest U.S. maker of household goods, planned to issue $1.5 billion of senior debt Tuesday in its first bond sale since January.

The company planned to sell 10-year notes and 30-year bonds, according to people familiar with the sale who declined to be identified. Procter & Gamble has $14.2 billion of bonds and notes outstanding, including $1 billion due in December and $4.2 billion maturing in 2005.

Eli Lilly to disclose drug trials online

INDIANAPOLIS - Eli Lilly and Co. will begin disclosing the results of all trials on the drugs it sells in an online registry it plans to have available on a Web site this year, the company said Tuesday.

Trial results that are contrary to the expected outcome of the drug will be disclosed, along with comprehensive descriptions of the methodology for each study, the company said.

Lilly's announcement comes after the American Medical Association in June approved a resolution calling on the federal government to create a public registry for all drug study results so that unfavorable results get attention.

Verve Spa to open in Hyde Park Plaza

Verve Spa and Salon will open a new store at Hyde Park Plaza. Verve signed a five-year lease for nearly 4,700 square feet of shop space formerly occupied by Lane Bryant. The plaza, owned by Regency Centers, is 98 percent occupied. Larger tenants include Kroger and Thriftway, which expects to sublease its store to another grocer, possibly bigg's.

Wire/staff reports




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