Business Briefs

Published: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 9:12 p.m.

Wall Street advances after positive earnings

  • NEW YORK - Wall Street snapped a five-day losing streak Thursday, sending stocks modestly higher after positive earnings from companies such as Texas Instruments enticed investors to pick up bargains.
    Trading was choppy, as investors struggled to decide whether to buy stocks despite concerns about a possible war with Iraq. Negative profit outlooks in recent days added to the caution.
    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 50.74, or 0.6 percent, at 8,369.47, having dropped nearly 501 points in the previous five sessions. Earlier in the day, blue-chip stocks fell as much as 62 points. The broader market also finished higher. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 28.79, or 2.1 percent, to 1,388.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 8.98, or 1 percent, to 887.34.

    McDonald's posts first loss at $344 million

  • OAK BROOK, Ill. - McDonald's Corp. served up its first-ever quarterly loss Thursday, a larger-than-expected $344 million, paying a price for a fast-expansion strategy gone awry.
    Its results from the last three months of 2002 included $810 million in charges for restaurant closings and other write-offs, as a new management team moves to erase past problems following an unprecedented decline.
    McDonald's announced plans to close 719 of its 31,000 restaurants worldwide, and chief executive Jim Cantalupo pledged to be "very selective" about adding new restaurants as he slows the expansion pace.

    Nokia doubles its fourth quarter profits

  • HELSINKI, Finland - Nokia Corp., the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, said Thursday its fourth quarter profits more than doubled from results depressed by charges a year ago, but warned that sales for the first quarter would be hurt by a softer market.
    The company earned 1.04 billion euros ($1.10 billion) in the last three months of 2002, up from 450 million euros in the same period in 2001. The 2001 results included 736 million euros ($789.8 million) in restructuring costs, writedowns and goodwill.

    BellSouth says profits fell by 25 percent

  • ATLANTA - BellSouth Corp. reported a nearly 25 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits Thursday as sales slipped 8 percent and the telephone service provider continued to lose customers. The results fell short of Wall Street expectations.
    For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the dominant local phone provider in the South earned $597 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with a profit of $792 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier.
    Revenue fell 8 percent to $5.69 billion, compared to $6.21 billion in the same three-month period a year ago.

    Kmart is set to file reorganization plan

  • DETROIT - Kmart Corp. is in round-the-clock negotiations with its creditors over the company's plan of reorganization, but intends to file the plan Friday regardless of whether the parties come to an agreement on every point, the discounter said Thursday.
    Kmart's reorganization plan will detail how the company intends to revitalize itself and become a viable competitor in the discount market.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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