Legg Mason Wood Walker, the broker-dealer unit of Baltimore-based Legg Mason, agreed to a $125,000 fine to settle regulatory charges that it failed to properly supervise the sales of callable certificates of deposit. A New York Stock Exchange panel found that from 1997 to March 2001, the firm failed to make adequate disclosures to customers relating to the pricing of callable CDs and failed to monitor information that brokers were disseminating to customers. Legg Mason stopped selling the callable CDs in 2001. "In hindsight, we realize that notwithstanding the benefits of the CDs, we did not always do as good a job as we wish we had explaining the features of these instruments," spokeswoman Maura Fox said.
General Dynamics raised chief executive Nicholas D. Chabraja's pay by a third last year to $7.7 million as earnings fell 2.8 percent. Chabraja got a $1.05 million salary, a $2.3 million bonus, $3.93 million in restricted stock and $404,934 in other compensation, the company said in a regulatory filing. He also got options on 208,000 shares with a value of $12 million assuming the share price rises 10 percent annually through March 2007. In 2001, Chabraja received pay of $5.79 million, and options for 210,000 shares with a potential value of $9.1 million. Net income at Falls Church-based General Dynamics fell to $917 million in 2002 from $943 million in 2001, though that amount still exceeded profit at the top three defense contractors -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
AvCraft Aviation completed its acquisition of the passenger small-jet business of bankrupt German aircraft maker Fairchild Dornier, and pledged to step up production of the company's 328 model and bring back 300 employees laid off last year. The company is aiming to get production up to at least 40 planes a year, AvCraft Chief Executive Officer Ben Bartel said at a news conference in Germany.
US Airways was fined $550,000 by the Transportation Department, which said the Arlington-based airline violated federal regulations requiring wheelchair service for passengers with disabilities. The department's settlement order allowed the airline to use $400,000 of the penalty to improve service for disabled passengers. The remaining $150,000 was to be treated as an unsecured claim in the carrier's bankruptcy proceeding.
Gannett chairman and chief executive Douglas H. McCorkindale filed to sell as many as 150,000 shares, almost a third of his total holding. Spokeswoman Tara Connell said the filing was routine for McCorkindale and doesn't necessarily mean he'll sell stock.
Dennis Bakke, the AES co-founder who is not seeking re-election to the power generator's board this year, gave away 3.1 million shares of stock this month. Bakke shed the stock in five transactions from March 3 to March 19, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Company spokesman Kenneth Woodcock declined to identify who received the shares; Bakke could not be reached for a comment. Bakke still controls 28.9 million shares of AES, more than 5 percent of the company's stock.
Nextel Communications registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell as much as $5 billion in securities. The wireless phone company filed to sell securities in the form of debt, preferred stocks, common shares or other financial instruments, the filing said.
Courtyard by Marriott II, a joint venture between Marriott International and Host Marriott that owns 70 hotels, had its debt rating cut one level by Moody's, which cited the weak travel market. Moody's reduced the company's senior unsecured debt rating, already below investment grade, or junk, to B2 from B1. The rating cut affects $127 million of debt. Both Marriott International and Host Marriott are based in Bethesda.
Sandy Spring Bancorp said it is planning to buy back up to an additional 5 percent of its stock, or about 727,000 common shares, in connection with an expected share issue under its stock option and employee benefit plans.
Rockwood Pigments, a Beltsville-based supplier of iron oxide pigments for construction uses, completed its acquisition of Southern Color Co. of Cartersville, Ga. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Criimi Mae reported a fourth-quarter loss of $34.6 million ($2.48 a share), compared with a loss of $27.2 million ($2.10) a year earlier. The losses in both periods were caused by write-downs on the value of certain mortgage-backed securities. For the year, Criimi Mae reported a loss of $64.2 million ($4.69), compared with $24.2 million ($2.18) in 2001. Criimi Mae, based in Rockville, is a real estate investment trust that invests in mortgage-backed securities.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post Staff Writers