Rouse expects to pay an extraordinary dividend of about $2.30 a share prior to its anticipated acquisition by General Growth Properties in mid-November, the Columbia-based company said in a statement. The dividend relates to a tax issue with the Internal Revenue Service that could have affected the sale. To satisfy a condition of the purchase agreement, Rouse had to pay the extraordinary dividend to protect its status as a real estate investment trust. The dividend will not lower the $67.50 per share its shareholders will receive for the sale. But Rouse said the dividend amount is subject to "the execution of a mutually acceptable definitive closing agreement with the IRS."
U.S. Considers Chinese Import Limits
The Bush administration said it will consider requests from the U.S. textile industry to maintain caps on imports of Chinese-made cotton shirts, woven shirts, man-made-fiber knit shirts, man-made-fiber pants and underwear. The decision is another signal that the administration intends to limit shipments of clothing from China to the United States next year after the Jan. 1 expiration of a quota system that has governed the global textile trade for three decades. The administration said last week that it will consider a petition to impose limits on Chinese cotton trousers.
Orders at U.S. factories dropped in September for the second straight month while orders for military equipment surged. Reduced orders for automobiles, civilian aircraft and non-durable goods such as chemicals, food and textiles led the 0.4 percent decline, the Commerce Department said. Orders fell 0.3 percent in August. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said activity in the U.S. service sector grew in October for the 19th consecutive month. The group said its non-manufacturing index for last month increased to 59.8, from 56.7 in September and 58.2 in August. Readings above 50 indicate growth.
Delta Air Lines has been marginally successful in getting lenders to exchange $2.6 billion in unsecured debt for $680 million in secured notes, part of its strategy to avoid filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Delta has extended an offer to give incentives, including shares, to those who agree to exchange debt. So far, short-term securities worth about $252 million have been tendered. The exchange is contingent upon Delta pilots ratifying a contract that would save the airline about $1 billion through pay cuts.
American Airlines said it will cut more jobs. The nation's largest airline had already disclosed plans to lay off up to 650 mechanics and 450 pilots. Chief executive Gerard J. Arpey also said parent AMR Corp. will consider selling its investment subsidiary and the commuter carrier American Eagle.
Ford Motor and Goldman Sachs agreed to settle with shareholders who argued that Ford Chairman William Ford Jr. used his position to profit from shares in Goldman's initial public offering. Goldman will pay Ford Motor $13.4 million, of which $10 million is earmarked for a Ford charitable fund. The remaining money will be used to pay lawyers' fees and other costs.
The Supreme Court heard arguments over how much protection from job bias older workers are entitled to. The court is reviewing a case involving Jackson, Miss., police officers who sued the city when younger colleagues got more generous pay raises. The court is considering a 1967 anti-discrimination law that covers 75 million workers age 40 and older, about half the workforce. The Mississippi case asks the Supreme Court to allow lawsuits when job policies that appear neutral actually have a disproportionately harsh effect on older workers.
Lawyers for hundreds of thousands of Florida smokers asked the state's highest court to reinstate a $145 billion punitive damage award against Altria Group's Philip Morris USA unit and other cigarette makers.
Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oil field services company, said it received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in New York related to sales of equipment to Iraq from 1995 through 2003. A Baker Hughes spokesman said the company sold oil field equipment to Iraq under the United Nations oil-for-food program.
Chubb, the second-biggest insurer of U.S. corporate executives and board members, received a demand for information from Ohio Attorney General James M. Petro in an investigation into possible antitrust violations.
Adidas recalled 187,000 pairs of Superstar Ultra and Pro Team shoes because the sole of the heel can tear or separate during use, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. Owners of the shoes were advised to stop using them. Information on refunds is available at www.adidas.com/
A group representing 2,000 smaller record labels said it would ask the European Union's Court of First Instance to overturn an E.U. regulatory decision approving the merger of Sony and Bertelsmann's music units, saying it would unfairly concentrate power in the hands of a few companies.
Lockheed Martin hasn't ruled out bidding on a contract to supply air tankers to the Air Force if the opportunity arises, its chief executive said. The comments are a change from the Bethesda defense contractor's previous public statements. Boeing is still the leading contender for the contract, even though a proposed $23 billion, 100-tanker deal fell through.
Capital One Financial, a McLean bank holding company, said it agreed to buy British home equity loan broker HFS Group for $117 million in cash, which includes repayment of $47 million in debt. The deal is subject to approval by British regulators.
IAC/InterActiveCorp said third-quarter profit increased to $89.5 million, from $18.7 million in the third quarter of 2003, on increased travel sales on the Web. Revenue fell 6.5 percent, to $1.51 billion, as IAC changed how it accounts for Hotels.com sales.
Orbitz, an Internet-based travel service provider, said third-quarter profit was $5.1 million, up from $3.9 million. Revenue rose 20 percent, to $77.5 million.
Duke Energy, the top U.S. utility owner, posted third-quarter profit of $389 million, up from $49 million. Revenue fell 1 percent, to $5.51 billion.
Cigna said third-quarter profit was up 64 percent, to $320 million. Revenue at the health insurer fell 6.2 percent, to $4.48 billion.
Reliant Energy, the largest independent electric retailer, earned $345 million in the third quarter, up from a loss of $916.3 million. Sales at the Houston company fell 24 percent, to $2.81 million.
News Corp. said its first-quarter profit rose 27 percent, to $536 million, largely on higher advertising revenue from stations such as FX and Fox News Channel. The company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, took losses in its satellite-TV and film units. News Corp.'s first-quarter revenue rose 12 percent, to $5.19 billion.
Tommy Hilfiger Corp. said it would delay filing its quarterly report while it reviews issues related to a government investigation. The clothing company disclosed in September that the Justice Department was investigating whether some of its units inappropriately paid commissions to Hilfiger's British Virgin Islands unit.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.