Markets: Closed yesterday
Motorola said its fourth-quarter operating income more than tripled on strong wireless telephone sales. Excluding one-time items, profit rose 223 percent, to $514 million, from $159 million in the year-earlier quarter. The company said a fourth-quarter charge of $740 million will cover its financial exposure to Iridium LLC, the District-based global satellite telephone company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.
F.I. Group, a British information-technology consulting firm, said it has offered to acquire the Druid Group management consultants for $1.1 billion to create a business-technology services firm with global reach. The offer values Druid shares at a 40 percent premium over Friday's closing price.
U.S. shoppers had an average of $1,558 in holiday expenses in 1999, up about 36 percent from the prior year's $1,148, according to the American Express retail index based on surveys of consumers and retailers. The number of Internet shoppers rose from 6 percent to 16 percent of consumers.
Parker Hannifin of Cleveland, a maker of industrial motion and control devices, is buying Commercial Intertech, a hydraulic systems maker, for about $366 million in cash and stock. Parker will also assume about $107 million of Commercial Intertech's debt.
The Pritzker family of Chicago confirmed the sale of its SPHC Group, which owns or manages 66 hotels in Australia and New Zealand, to Bass PLC of Britain. Terms were not disclosed, but an SPHC spokeswoman had said the $210 million price mentioned in media reports was "near the mark."
The Caribbean Travel Agents Association will stop selling American Airlines tickets because the carrier cut its members' commissions from 9 percent to 6 percent. American, operator of more than 70 percent of the flights in the region, said the cut is necessary to hold down costs.
Magellan Behavioral Health of Columbia said it won a contract to manage mental-health and substance-abuse services for Arlington-based US Airways Group. Terms were not disclosed.
NextGen Capital of Fairfax said it has invested $1 million in EarthWalk Communications of Manassas, developer of classroom tools such as the NetWize wireless mobile computer lab. The capital will be used to increase marketing and product sales.