US Airways said it will change its flight schedules in February to increase departures at its Charlotte and Philadelphia hubs and create a mini-hub in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Daily departures in Philadelphia will increase to 495, up 32 percent from this year's February departures. Charlotte will have 564 daily departures, up from 464. Arrivals and departures in Philadelphia will be changed to provide a steady flow of flights throughout the day, rather than the peak and off-peak hours that are typical of a traditional hub-and-spoke network.

ImpreMedia Buys Chicago Paper

ImpreMedia, the newspaper company that formed when Los Angeles's La Opinion bought New York's El Diario/La Prensa in January and that vowed to accumulate a chain of Spanish-language papers, bought Chicago's La Raza yesterday, giving it the biggest Hispanic papers in the nation's three largest cities. No price was disclosed for the weekly newspaper, which was founded in 1970 and distributes about 175,000 copies free to Chicago area homes. It sells about 20,000 additional copies a week at 50 cents each. La Raza was owned by PrensAmerica.


The United States appealed a World Trade Organization order to withdraw certain subsidies for cotton and other commodities. The WTO had ruled on a complaint from Brazil that many U.S. export subsidies or domestic payments are higher than permitted by WTO rules. A final decision is expected within three months.

Thomson Financial, a unit of financial information provider Thomson, said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission for documents related to its capital-markets intelligence business. The unit, which collects and sells stock ownership data, is cooperating with the SEC, the Toronto company said in a statement.

Levi Strauss pulled its Dockers brand off the auction block after five months, signaling that management believes it can rejuvenate the 18-year-old line. The clothing manufacturer said the division attracted plenty of interest, but none of the offers was sufficient to persuade it to part with the brand.

Bernard J. Ebbers, accused of leading the biggest accounting fraud in U.S. history while chief executive of WorldCom, must stand trial in New York. U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones rejected a defense request to transfer the trial to Mississippi, where Ebbers lives and WorldCom was based before moving to Ashburn.

Delphi said it is among companies being questioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission about its benefits and retirement plan accounting practices. The auto-parts manufacturer said it was contacted by the SEC last week and is cooperating.

T-bill rates were mixed. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday rose to 1.770 percent from 1.680 percent last week. Rates on six-month bills rose to 1.990 percent from 1.955 percent. The actual return to investors is 1.803 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,955.26, and 2.038 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,899.40. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, fell to 2.18 percent last week from 2.24 percent the previous week.

Hollinger International asked a judge to extend an order barring controlling shareholder Conrad M. Black from interfering with its deliberations on what to do with the proceeds from its $1.33 billion sale of London's Daily Telegraph.

Sempra Energy was ordered by a California judge to stand trial in a suit seeking as much as $24 billion for market manipulation during California's power crisis in 2000 and 2001. The consolidated lawsuit, which California and various cities, consumers and businesses filed in 2000, claims Sempra conspired with El Paso Corp. to block competition for cheaper Canadian natural gas. A jury trial is scheduled for next year.

Cendant's former chairman, Walter A. Forbes, and former vice chairman, E. Kirk Shelton, lied about earnings at a predecessor company to boost the stock price and enrich themselves, a prosecutor told jurors in his summation at their fraud trial. Both Forbes and Shelton testified in their defense, denying any knowledge of the fraud and blaming subordinates who pleaded guilty and testified for prosecutors.

Cisco Systems and Microsoft will combine efforts to screen computers for viruses before allowing them to connect to company networks. Microsoft's operating system will work with Cisco's routers, the computers that connect networks, to inspect laptops entering a network, Cisco's vice president said. The feature will be incorporated into the next version of Windows, due in 2006.

Odyssey HealthCare said chief executive David C. Gasmire resigned as a federal investigation is examining how the company admits and bills patients. The Justice Department told Odyssey in September that it was being investigated under the False Claims Act. The hospice operator may have admitted some patients who did not fit its admissions criteria, analysts said.

Kmart appointed Aylwin B. Lewis as its new chief executive and president, replacing Julian C. Day, who was appointed in January 2003, when Kmart was in bankruptcy. Lewis is a 13-year veteran of Yum Brands, whose brands include Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.


Gold Fields rejected an $8.1 billion takeover bid by smaller South African rival Harmony Gold Mining as inadequate despite the support of its largest stakeholder. Harmony offered to swap 1.275 of its shares for every share of Gold Fields.


Marriott International may have to repurchase Morgan Stanley's 50 percent stake in its synthetic-fuel partnership if the companies fail to successfully resolve an Internal Revenue Service audit by March 31. The Bethesda hotel chain acquired the operations to gain federal tax credits for synthetic-fuel developers that were available through 2007, but the IRS said three of the partnership's four plants hadn't been placed in service in time to qualify for credits, Marriott said in July.


NVR said third-quarter profit rose 35 percent, to $147.6 million ($19.04 a share) from $109.4 million ($12.55) in the same period a year earlier, as the McLean-based home builder increased prices in certain markets to offset higher land and material costs. Revenue rose 19 percent, to $1.16 billion.

IBM posted a slight increase in third-quarter profit, to $1.8 billion from $1.79 billion in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, helped by strong demand for services and computer hardware across all of its geographic regions. Revenue grew 9 percent, to $23.43 billion.

Kraft Foods' third-quarter profit fell to $779 million from $810 million in the same quarter a year earlier, despite a 4.7 percent increase in sales.

3M posted a 17 percent increase in profit, to $775 million from $663 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.6 percent, to $4.97 billion.

Texas Instruments said profit grew to $563 million from $447 million in the same quarter a year earlier, because of rising demand for its chips used in high-end mobile phones and digital light-processing systems for big-screen televisions. Revenue was $3.25 billion, up 28 percent.

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

Mattel, the world's biggest toymaker, said third-quarter profit fell 5.2 percent, to $255.9 million from $270 million in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, because of lower worldwide sales of Barbies, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Revenue was $1.67 billion, down 2 percent. Its biggest rival, Hasbro, said profit was $88.7 million, up from $68.5 million, and that revenue dropped about 2 percent, to $971.1 million, as sales in its domestic toy and game segments slipped.