A jury began deliberating the fate of Mark A. Belnick, Tyco International's former top lawyer, on charges of grand larceny, securities fraud and falsifying business records. Belnick has been on trial in New York state court the past nine weeks. He is accused of stealing $17 million by accepting an illegal bonus and of abusing Tyco's loan programs by borrowing nearly $15 million to which he was not entitled.
GE Touts Strong Results
General Electric said fiscal second-quarter profit rose 3 percent, to $3.9 billion, from $3.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Chief executive Jeffrey R. Immelt said orders were strong and added, "This is the best economy we've seen in years." In the three months ended June 30, revenue rose 11 percent, to $37 billion.
De Beers, the world's largest diamond company, indicated that on July 13 it will plead guilty to a U.S. charge that it fixed prices of industrial diamonds, ending a 10-year legal battle. The maximum penalty is a $10 million fine. The plea may attract more lawsuits, but it also may enable the South African company to expand in the United States, where half of all diamond jewelry is sold.
AT&T agreed to pay $490,000 to settle alleged violations of federal telemarketing regulations. In return, the long-distance carrier agreed to drop a lawsuit in which it sought Federal Communications Commission records related to a proposed $780,000 penalty. The allegations were related to 1992 rules, not the national do-not-call registry that started last year, the FCC said.
U.S. wholesale inventories rose 1.2 percent in May, more than forecast and the ninth straight increase. The increase reflected more imported cars, machinery and electrical equipment and brought the value of stocks to $305.5 billion after a 0.2 percent rise in April, the Commerce Department said. Sales increased 0.5 percent in May after a 0.9 percent increase the previous month.
James E. Newsome, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is resigning to become president of the New York Mercantile Exchange. He will assume his new post Aug. 2. The other four CFTC commissioners are expected to designate one of their number as acting chairman until the president names a new chairman.
A Tribune Co. advertiser is suing the media company over its announcements that circulation numbers had been inflated at two of its newspapers, Long Island's Newsday and the Spanish-language daily Hoy. Olympic Carpet's lawsuit alleges that Tribune defrauded advertisers, whose rates are tied to circulation. The suit, which seeks class-action status, did not name any of the company's 14 newspapers specifically.
McDonald's was hit with a lawsuit accusing it of failing to keep its September 2002 pledge to reduce trans-fat levels in its french fries and other foods by switching to a lower-fat cooking oil by February 2003. A company spokeswoman said that while the total changeover to a healthier oil has been delayed, McDonald's has reduced trans-fatty-acid levels in its McNuggets and other chicken dishes.
Dana Corp. said it is selling its replacement parts unit for $1.1 billion in cash to a New York-based equity group, the Cypress Group. The auto-parts maker's sale of its Automotive Aftermarket Group includes 52 plants worldwide that employ about 13,000 people and have sales of about $2 billion.
Abbott Laboratories' second-quarter earnings more than doubled to $634.3 million from $246.6 million in the comparable 2003 period, which included a $536 million settlement charge. Revenue climbed 14 percent to $4.7 billion.
Genworth Financial, General Electric's former insurance holding company, posted a 26 percent decrease in profit, to $268 million, for its first quarter as a public company. However, if net realized investment gains in both periods and tax charges arising from the initial public offering in the latest period are excluded from the calculations, pro forma operating earnings were up 9 percent from last year. For the full year, the Richmond-based company expects pro forma operating earnings per share to grow by more than 15 percent.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers