Russia and the International Monetary Fund have failed to resolve key problems blocking the second installment of a $4.5 billion loan, dimming Russia's hopes for the money to be disbursed by the end of the year. The biggest stumbling block involves the government's reluctance to implement sweeping reforms in its financial sector, according to Thomas Dawson, the IMF's director of external relations.
Pfizer urged shareholders to remove Warner-Lambert's board, stepping up pressure to complete a hostile $75 billion takeover of the company. Pfizer is trying to block a $71 billion friendly merger between Warner-Lambert and American Home Products.
Integrated Health Services of Sparks, Md., took a $1.8 billion charge in the third quarter, blaming Medicare cuts. The nursing-home chain also said it will not make a $17 million interest payment due Monday on its bank debt, the second such payment the firm skipped in two weeks. IHS warned that unless it can persuade its lenders to restructure the debt, it may have to seek bankruptcy.
Motorola, the major backer of the bankrupt Iridium satellite phone venture, paid $743 million of the company's bank debt Monday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Motorola owns 18 percent of Iridium and has warned that it may have to take an additional Iridium-related charge in the fourth quarter. The company took a charge of $994 million related to Iridium in the third quarter.
The Nasdaq Stock Market's electronic trading systems stopped working from 3:35 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. yesterday, forcing traders to handle transactions over the telephone and on electronic trading networks known as ECNs, traders said.
INTERNATIONALThe World Bank approved two loans worth a total of $758 million to help Turkey recover from earthquake damage.
EARNINGS AnnTaylor Stores said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 52 percent, to $21.4 million, helped by strong sales of its fall fashions.
Campbell Soup said fiscal first-quarter profit fell 11 percent, to $235 million, because of lower soup sales in the United States.
TJX said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, to $157 million, as it sold more men's and children's clothing.
Four large retailers reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings. J.C. Penney Co., however, said its profit fell 24 percent, to $142 million, as it lost shoppers to Gap's Old Navy and other low-price and trendy stores. The four gainers were Home Depot, whose net income rose 46 percent, to $573 million; Dayton Hudson, where profit from operations jumped 32 percent, to $241 million; Limited, whose earnings increased 16 percent, to $40.8 million; and Staples, where net income surged 34 percent, to $92.5 million.
LOCAL BUSINESSComcast applied to take over the cable television franchise in Montgomery County, Arlington County and Gaithersburg. The Philadelphia company announced in December that it was buying Prime Communications, the franchise holder in those areas, for more than $1.35 billion. Company officials described the application as a regulatory hurdle they must clear before the purchase can be finished.
Gannett bought the Jacksonville, Fla., ABC television affiliate, WJXX-TV, from Allbritton Jacksonville, part of Washington's Allbritton Communications. Gannett, based in Arlington, also owns the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville, WTLV-TV. A price was not disclosed.