Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of U.S. mortgages, said it will skip the sale of benchmark notes in July, breaking with a schedule set in November, as the company's growth rate slows down.

Fannie Mae issued at least $4 billion of benchmark notes each month this year through June. It plans to resume sales next month, said Jason Lobo, a company spokesman.

The government-chartered company's portfolio of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities shrank for eight straight months through May because of rising competition from banks and other investors. The portfolio was $878 billion in May, down from $917 billion in September, lessening the need to raise new funds for purchases.

Fannie Mae, based in Washington, and Freddie Mac, Fannie's affiliate company based in McLean, sell debt to raise money for purchases of mortgage-related assets. They sold $1.4 trillion in debt this year, second only to the federal government. They have a combined $1.7 trillion in debt, more than France or Britain.

By its calendar released in November, Fannie Mae was to have priced five-year and 10-year note issues on July 21, the same day it is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings. Profit is forecast to drop about 1 percent, the first decline since Franklin D. Raines became chief executive in 1999.

Jim Vogel, head of agency debt research at FTN Financial in Memphis has tracked agency debt since 1990, and he said he cannot recall a time when Fannie Mae has not honored its published calendar.

VIRGINIA

MCI of Ashburn said it won a five-year, $125 million agreement with Hewlett-Packard to deliver advanced communications services and is now one of HP's selected communications providers. Under the agreement, the long-distance phone company will continue to provide HP with secure Internet remote access services, enhanced contact center services and SkyTel wireless paging and messaging services.

DLT Solutions, a Herndon government technology contractor, named Rick Marcotte president and chief executive. Marcotte has been on the board for a year.

Vastera of Dulles, a provider of services to help companies manage global trade, said Michigan automotive parts supplier Visteon will not renew its agreement for managed services after it expires Dec. 31. Vastera has provided outsourced global trade management services to Visteon throughout North America since 2000.

Performance Food Group, a Richmond food distributor, said its Broadline division won a contract to provide service to British food-service company Compass Group's locations in the northeast, mid-Atlantic, southeast and midwest. Performance Food already has about $50 million in sales with Compass Group's facilities in the northeast. Performance anticipates the contract will generate more than $200 million in additional annual sales.

Massey Energy of Richmond said it formed a joint venture with publicly held Pennsylvania energy company Penn Virginia Resource Partners L.P. to own and operate coal handling facilities. Penn Virginia has purchased a 50 percent interest in the joint venture from Massey for about $28.5 million in cash.

Infodata Systems, a Herndon supplier of software that helps companies comply with government regulations, named to its board M. Dendy Young, chairman and chief executive of Chantilly-based government technology contractor GTSI, and Kenneth Thornton, former general manager for the public sector at International Business Machines.

MARYLAND

MobilePro, a Bethesda wireless and broadband telecommunications company, said it signed a letter of intent to acquire CloseCall America Inc., a leading regional competitive local exchange carrier based in Stevensville and offering local, long-distance and other telecommunications services. The deal is forecast to add more than $25 million in annual revenue.

Aether Systems, the Owings Mills provider of wireless mobile communication systems, said Sitton Motor Lines, a privately held trucking company based in Joplin, Mo., agreed to a new multi-year contract extension for mobile communications throughout its fleet and will also install nearly 100 additional MobileMax units. The new order brings Sitton's use of Aether mobile communications systems to more than 500 units.

Richmond-based Massey Energy has formed a joint venture with Penn Virginia Resource Partners to own and operate coal handling facilities.GTSI's M. Dendy Young joined the Infodata Systems board.