DISTRICT

Harvey Pitt, who started a Washington consulting firm last year after resigning as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2002, created a legal entity that ensures clients confidentiality under attorney-client privilege.

Pitt, 59, said he has always had a law practice as well as his consulting firm, but by creating the new Kalorama Legal Services, clients will be assured of confidentiality. He recruited a former Ernst & Young vice chairman to help create the law firm. Jeffrey Hirschberg, 59, a lawyer who successfully lobbied on Ernst & Young's behalf for a U.S. law limiting auditors' liability for corporate fraud, joined Pitt's Kalorama Partners consulting firm on May 1.

"We're just making certain we have a formal vehicle for providing legal advice," Pitt said. He declined to name his clients. His firm advises clients on how to comply with rules and avoid regulatory scrutiny.

Pitt formed Kalorama in May 2003 with Robert Herdman, another former Ernst & Young executive who served as the SEC's chief accountant under Pitt. They recruited John Sampson, a former portfolio manager at Fox Asset Management, as a partner.

VIRGINIA

Circuit City, the Richmond consumer-electronics chain, said it owns 95 percent of the shares of InterTan, a Canadian consumer electronics retailer. Circuit City said in March that it was buying InterTan in a deal valued at $284 million, or $14 a share

Gannett of McLean said its board authorized the repurchase of $500 million more of its common stock. A substantial portion of an already authorized $291 million share buy-back under a program announced Feb. 9 had been used, the publisher of USA Today and other newspapers said.

CarMax of Richmond cut its quarterly profit forecast, saying higher gasoline prices helped to lower sales. The nation's leading specialty retailer of used cars said rising mortgage rates also could hurt sales.

ObjectVideo, a Reston maker of video surveillance software, was named to the 2004 Red Herring magazine 100 list of the most promising private companies in innovation, technology and strategy.

MARYLAND

Celera Genomics Group of Rockville said it completed the sale of its investment in Discovery Partners International, from which it expects to receive about $32 million. Celera Genomics sold 7.2 million shares of Discovery Partners common stock in a public offering at a price to the public of $5 per share. Celera Genomics acquired these shares in connection with its purchase of Axys Pharmaceuticals in November 2001.

CoStar Group of Bethesda said it was expanding into 21 more U.S. markets. The markets are Birmingham; Tucson; Hartford, Conn.; Naples, Fla.; Western Michigan; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Las Vegas; Greensboro-Winston Salem, N.C.; Toledo; Tulsa and Oklahoma City; Providence, R.I.; Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.; Memphis and Nashville; San Antonio; Salt Lake City; Hampton Roads and Richmond; and Milwaukee and Madison.

JoS. A. Bank Clothiers of Hampstead said it opened 10 new clothes stores, part of its plans to open 55 to 65 sites in 2004 and to expand to about 500 stores in three to four years.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers

Former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt has added legal services to his consulting business.