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General Dynamics to build tanks for Iraq

Tuesday, January 5, 2010; A12

CONTRACTING

General Dynamics to build tanks for Iraq

General Dynamics, the maker of tanks and Gulfstream business jets, won a U.S. Army contract valued at $198 million to build 140 tanks for Iraq under the foreign military sales program.

Work will be completed by May 31, 2011, the Falls Church-based company said Monday in a statement. The Army previously leased 22 tanks to Iraq for training purposes, said Robin Porter, a spokeswoman for the defense contractor.

The M1A1 tanks will feature infrared thermal sights and engines with a filter cleaning system designed to reduce maintenance. The tanks will be built in Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pa.; Anniston, Ala.; and Tallahassee.

General Dynamics rose $1.02, or 1.5 percent, to close at $69.19. The shares climbed 18 percent in 2009.

-- Bloomberg News

EARNINGS

Sinclair Broadcast lifts revenue outlook

Television broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcast Group said Monday that its broadcast revenue was better than expected during the last three months of the year, helped by automotive advertising.

The company now expects broadcast revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 to fall about 6.5 percent, to $153.8 million. Previously, the company forecast a drop of 11 percent to 12.8 percent, to a range of $143.3 million to $146.3 million.

Shares jumped 60 cents, or 14.9 percent, to close at $4.63.

Advertising revenue from the auto sector boosted results as dealers and domestic manufacturers increased spending on ads. The company now expects the auto category to be down 4 percent, from a previous estimate for a decline in the high teen percentage range.

Sinclair also said it agreed with ABC Network to extend affiliation agreements for nine stations for one month while both companies continue to negotiate. The agreements were slated to expire Dec. 31.

Sinclair, based in Baltimore, will report fourth-quarter results Feb. 17.

-- Associated Press

FOOD

Smithfield sells RMH and Maverick

Smithfield Foods has sold two companies as part of its plan to divest non-core businesses.

The nation's largest hog producer and processor announced Monday that it has completed the sales of RMH Foods and Maverick Food.

Smithfield, based in Smithfield, Va., said a group of investors led by the Rocke family acquired RMH Foods.

Maverick Food is Smithfield's Chinese joint venture. Smithfield said Maverick was sold to Cofco, China's largest agricultural trading and processing company.

C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief executive, said the sales demonstrate the company's commitment to shed its non-core businesses.

-- Associated Press

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Thomson Reuters buys Discovery Logic

Discovery Logic of Rockville, a maker of software for data collecting and mining, will be acquired by Thomson Reuters, the news and information provider announced Monday.

Discovery Logic makes the ScienceWire software line, which uses computer algorithms to search information stored in databases.

-- Associated Press

ENERGY

Dominion to keep W.Va. gas operation

Dominion Resources said it's going to keep Dominion Hope, its West Virginia natural gas company, while going ahead with the sale of its Pennsylvania gas business.

The Richmond-based energy company announced the decision Monday, ending a four-year effort to sell both companies.

Dominion said San Francisco-based investment firm SteelRiver Infrastructure Partners has agreed to buy the Pennsylvania utility, Peoples Natural Gas, for $780 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

SteelRiver had agreed to buy Dominion Hope as well, but the West Virginia Public Service Commission rejected that part of the sale last month.

-- Associated Press

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