America Online announced a two-for-one split of its common stock. On Nov. 22, each stockholder will receive one additional share for every share owned as of Nov. 8. After the split, AOL will have 2.2 billion shares outstanding. This is the company's seventh split since going public in 1992. AOL's last stock split was effective Feb. 22. AOL shares, which closed up $2.87 1/2 at $122.37 1/2 amid anticipation that a split was in the works, jumped to $127 in after-hours trading after the announcement.
Hechinger, which is leaving the home-improvement business, said it will sell its remaining assets, including 117 long-term store leases and buildings, through a bankruptcy auction. The process begins with bidding in mid-November. Executives will then make a decision whether to hold a physical auction Dec. 1 at the debtor's law firm's office in New York or at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, where Largo-based Hechinger made its filing over the summer.
Procter & Gamble and Tupperware agreed to jointly promote some products worldwide, with P&G products being demonstrated at Tupperware parties. Terms of the agreement, which builds on an earlier arrangement, weren't disclosed.
Viacom chief executive Sumner Redstone and CBS chief executive Mel Karmazin defended their proposed $36.2 billion combination before a Senate antitrust panel as key legislators questioned the consumer benefits. Both executives told the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust and competition subcommittee that Viacom's purchase of CBS would unite complementary media and entertainment assets rather than eliminate direct competitors. Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) questioned the recent media merger wave and its effect on the range of viewpoints.
StorageTek said it will cut 1,500 to 1,750 jobs after fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 91 percent, to $4.7 million, from $50.6 million a year ago. The Louisville, Colo.-based company says customers are delaying purchases of its data-storage products because of year 2000 issues.
Robert Fisher, the son of the founders of the Gap clothing chain, has resigned from his post as president of the slumping Gap stores division. Fisher will also step down from his position as executive vice president of the parent company. The company said in a statement that Fisher was leaving for personal reasons, but there was some speculation over whether the sagging sales at the Gap stores led to his departure.
Weirton Steel said it has filed a trade complaint with the U.S. government alleging that Japanese companies sell tin products in the United States for less than the cost of making them.
American International Group, the largest U.S. insurer by market value, said third-quarter net income, which included $34 million of gains from selling securities, increased 18 percent, to about $1.28 billion. A year ago, AIG had $11 million in gains.
CBS, which is being acquired by Viacom, said its third-quarter profit from continuing operations rose 11-fold, to $35 million, on higher audience ratings at its television network and advertising gains at its radio stations and billboard business.
Pharmacia & Upjohn said its third-quarter profit from operations rose 12 percent, to $246 million, thanks to sales of newer medicines such as the glaucoma drug Xalatan and the incontinence pill Detrol.
Internet retailers Priceline.com, eToys and Barnesandnoble.com reported wider quarterly losses as they boosted spending to promote and add services to their Web sites. Priceline.com's third-quarter loss grew to $102.2 million from $19.8 million, largely because of a warrant it issued to Continental Airlines. EToys' fiscal second-quarter loss widened to $44.9 million from $3.38 million. Barnesandnoble.com's third-quarter loss was $21.9 million, compared with $18.6 million a year ago.
CAPTION: Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone, left, and CBS chief Mel Karmazin testify before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee yesterday.