COMPANIES

Continental Airlines announced the departure of three executives tied to former chairman Frank Lorenzo. Senior vice presidents Neal Meehan, Clark Onstad and Jim Arpey will leave as part of a restructuring, the company said.

American Airlines announced a four-year, $100 million expansion of its hub in San Juan, Puerto Rico. American also plans smaller capital improvements at St. Thomas, Santo Domingo, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Puerto Plata, Montego Bay and Kingston.

Northwest Airlines will cut 28 of its 1,380 daily departures from Twin Cities, Detroit and Memphis, as well as other cities, beginning Nov. 1 as part of an effort to offset the increase in jet fuel prices.

Time Warner agreed to back Pathe Communications Corp.'s bid for MGM-UA Communications by advancing the independent film company $125 million in return for long-term video rights to Pathe and MGM-UA movies.

Georgetown Leather Design, the Beltsville-based retailer of leather goods with 13 area stores and 11 in other states, is set to close a multimillion-dollar equity investment deal by the end of this week with a national investment firm allowing the chain to open at least 50 stores around the country, sources said.

Gannett will increase its quarterly common stock dividend by 3 percent. Its new dividend, payable to shareholders as of Dec. 7, will be 31 cents per share, up from 30 cents.

BP Oil will pay a $2.3 million fine for dumping waste from its Marcus Hook refinery in suburban Philadelphia into the Delaware River.

ACQUISITIONS

Kay Jewelers shareholders approved, as expected, a merger with Ratners Group, a major British jewelry retailer.

CONTRACTS

GE Transportation Systems of Erie, Pa., received a three-year, $200 million contract from CSX Transportation to build 150 locomotives.

INTERNATIONAL

Cutting farm supports is the only satisfactory outcome of world trade-liberalizing talks, said Arthur Dunkel, director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The United States says that only substantial farm trade reform can save the GATT talks from collapse.

Fiat will lay off 70,000 workers -- twice the number originally planned -- for one week in late November.

REGULATION

The House cut $30 million from the fiscal 1991 budget of the Securities and Exchange Commission after Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) challenged the appropriation on technical grounds. If the cut becomes permanent, it would force the SEC to trim staff by 25 percent.

Great Western Bank's attempt to switch its deposit insurance coverage from the thrift fund to the bank fund was rejected by a federal appeals court.

The House declined to go along with a Senate amendment that would have barred U.S. Special Trade Representative Carla Hills from "representing, aiding or advising" any foreign "entity" for five years after leaving government.

EARNINGS

Capital Cities-ABC said its third-quarter profit dropped 11.3 percent from a year ago.

Johnson & Johnson said its third-quarter earnings rose 18 percent.

McDonald's reported third-quarter earnings were up 11 percent.

McDonnell Douglas reported a third-quarter profit of 552 percent, with nearly all of it due to a one-time $234 million gain from a pension-fund change. Without the one-time gain, the company's profit would be up 89 percent.

Quaker Oats said its first-quarter earnings fell 40.4 percent.

RJR Nabisco Holdings said its third-quarter loss narrowed to $86 million compared with a loss of $447 million in the like 1989 period.