U.S. Won't Retry Scrushy
The government dropped plans to retry Richard M. Scrushy, saying it would not appeal a judge's decision to dismiss perjury charges against the fired HealthSouth chief executive, acquitted of directing a $2.7 billion fraud. The decision means Scrushy will not have a second criminal trial, U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said.
After Scrushy's trial last month, federal prosecutors said they would ask an appeals court to reinstate counts accusing Scrushy of lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission about an earnings overstatement. A judge threw out the three perjury counts during the case.
Martha Stewart to Write Guide
Martha Stewart is using some of her time under house arrest to write a guidebook for entrepreneurs who want to follow her path to business success. Stewart's company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, said the book, "Martha's Rules," will be a handbook for developing a business from scratch. It is slated to be published by Rodale Press in October.
Ford, Hertz Will Extend Car Deal
Hertz has agreed to continue buying and promoting Ford vehicles through 2010, even if Ford sells off the Hertz rental car unit as planned, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the deal, Ford promises to pay half of Hertz's advertising costs each year from 2005 through 2010. In exchange, Hertz has agreed to buy a certain number of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles.
BP Works to Right Oil Platform
BP worked to right a $1 billion petroleum platform listing in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Dennis struck. Thunder Horse, the largest platform in the Gulf, is the center of the Thunder Horse field, located about 150 miles southeast of New Orleans in about 6,000 feet of water. Until the accident, BP expected it to begin producing oil -- as much as 240,000 barrels per day -- in late 2005. Exxon Mobil is a partner in the project. A BP spokesman said it is too early to say how the project's schedule will be affected.
Vanguard Limits Frequent Trading
Vanguard Group, in a step to clamp down on investors who frequently move in and out of its mutual funds, said that as of Sept. 30, investors won't be able to buy shares of a Vanguard fund by phone or online within 60 days of selling shares in the same fund. Vanguard money-market funds, short-term bond funds and VIPER exchange-traded funds are exempt from the new policy. Also, it won't apply to asset transfers and rollovers, check-writing redemptions, transactions by mail and certain automatic transactions.
Bally to Miss Reporting Deadline
Bally Total Fitness said it won't be able to release financial statements for 2002 to 2004 by a July 31 deadline and will seek an extension to Oct. 31 to disclose the results. Without the extension, Bally's will be in technical default on some of its debt. An audit committee probe last year turned up numerous errors in the company's past accounting practices.
Profit Falls at Harley-Davidson
Harley-Davidson reported a higher forecast for 2005 earnings and a drop in second-quarter profit and said the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing the company after it cut profit projections in April. Harley-Davidson said profit fell 4 percent from the comparable period a year earlier, to $237.4 million. Revenue rose 0.4 percent, to $1.33 billion.
Chief executive James L. Ziemer, who took over in May, said earnings per share will probably grow 10 to 13 percent in 2005. The SEC is looking into the company's April 13 announcement that it was reducing its 2005 production target by 10,000 motorcycles, which prompted a 17 percent drop in the shares. The company said it is cooperating with the SEC.
BB&T said second-quarter earnings fell slightly, to $386.8 million from $400.1 million in the comparable period a year ago. As of June 30, BB&T had $105.84 billion dollars in assets, up from $97.35 billion.
Abbott Laboratories said its second-quarter earnings rose 38 percent, to $877.1 million, helped by stronger sales of diagnostic products and two arthritis drugs. Sales increased 17.5 percent, to $5.52 billion.
Yum Brands, operator of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant chains, said second-quarter profit rose 5 percent, to $187 million. Sales for the quarter ended June 11 increased 3 percent, to $2.15 billion.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.