US Airways will need to cut its costs by up to $1.6 billion a year -- nearly $400 million more than previous estimates -- to achieve profitability, airline officials told a meeting of creditors, pointing to rising fuel costs and continued weakness in the airline industry. John W. Butler Jr. said the airline has already achieved $1.3 billion in annual cost savings, mostly by renegotiating labor contracts that had previously made US Airways employees the highest-paid in the industry. Arlington-based US Airways, which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is hoping most of the additional savings can be obtained from its aircraft lessors, but company officials would not rule out the possibility of more layoffs.
Court Overrules EU Merger Regulators
The European Court of Justice overturned a decision by European Union antitrust regulators to block France's Schneider Electric from buying French rival Legrand. The court said the commission's economic analysis was flawed with "errors and omissions." Lawyers said the ruling showed that the court is emerging as a powerful check on EU regulators, who have the power to block deals on their own.
Credit Suisse First Boston has dismissed about 100 people -- nearly 20 percent of its research department -- as part of its plan to cut a total of 1,750 jobs. Among the most high-profile workers let go was Tom Galvin, one of Wall Street's most bullish equity strategists. A company spokeswoman declined to comment.
A federal judge revived a suit by Enron shareholders against rival energy company Dynegy for abandoning a $23 billion merger last November. Dynegy pulled out of a proposed acquisition of Enron on Nov. 28, 2001, prompting Enron to seek bankruptcy protection. A federal bankruptcy judge in April blocked the shareholder suit from proceeding.
Pfizer filed patent-infringement lawsuits against five rivals readying to bring competitors to its erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra to the market, after receiving a new, broad patent covering the drug. Viagra is the only major player in the market and garnered sales last year of $1.5 billion.
Charter Communications, the cable television company controlled by billionaire Paul Allen, said Chief Operating Officer David Barford is on paid leave because of a grand jury investigation into how the company accounts for costs of connecting some subscribers.
Japan's top banking regulator postponed steps to accelerate the disposal of $420 billion in bad loans at banks because of objections from members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The lawmakers have said they are concerned accelerating bad-loan write-offs will erode banks' capital and force more companies into bankruptcy, cutting demand for Japanese stocks and currency.
Vivendi Universal plans to sell its French publishing business to Lagardere SCA for about $1.25 billion and put off bids for Boston-based Houghton Mifflin because the offers weren't high enough, people familiar with the matter said. The world's No. 2 media company still has to work out final details with Lagardere, owner of Elle and Car & Driver magazines, the people said.
Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb, who built Livent into North America's biggest theatrical producer with Broadway hits such as "Showboat," were charged in Canada with defrauding investors and creditors of $319 million. Police said the men, who live in Toronto, falsified the company's finances from 1989 to 1998.
Canadian authorities charged four Toronto people with defrauding almost 100,000 U.S. residents of $20 million, after a joint investigation with U.S. agencies of an alleged credit card scam. First Capital Consumers Group, a Toronto-based telemarketing company, offered cards with low interest rates and credit limits of as much as $2,500 to people with poor credit histories, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleged. Consumers agreed to have their bank accounts debited between $189 and $219 but never received the cards, the FTC said.
Agere Systems, the communications-chip maker spun off from Lucent Technologies, narrowed its fiscal fourth-quarter loss to $885 million from $3.4 billion a year earlier. Sales fell about 12 percent, to $529 million.
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp., or Farmer Mac, said third-quarter earnings rose 2 percent, to $5 million, as interest expense fell at the government-sponsored buyer of farm-related loans.
Gillette's third-quarter profit rose 20 percent, to $354 million, as the world's largest razor maker sold more Mach3 razors and reduced costs. Sales rose 2.1 percent, to $2.17 billion.
Global Crossing said its net loss narrowed to $138 million in August, down about 5 percent from a month earlier. The bankrupt fiber-optic network operator's sales, which rose 2.4 percent, to $255 million, from July, may be reduced by $7 million after the company restates results for parts of 2001 and 2000 and changes the way it accounts for revenue, spokeswoman Tisha Kresler said.
Kimberly-Clark said third-quarter net income was $441.2 million, up from $419.4 million a year earlier. Revenue increased 3.7 percent, to $3.49 billion.
Pharmacia lost $429 million in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $428 million for the 2001 quarter, because of a $1 billion loss from the August spinoff of its Monsanto agricultural business. Sales were $3.58 billion, up 1 percent.
United Parcel Service said third-quarter profit rose 1.8 percent, to $578 million, but said fourth-quarter earnings may be hurt as customers ship less in the slow economy. Sales rose 4.8 percent, to $7.75 billion.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers