Acela Service to Boston Resumes
Amtrak will resume Acela Express train service to Boston this weekend for the first time since pulling the high-speed fleet out of operation in April after finding cracks in many of the trains' brake discs. Weekday service will resume on Monday with one round trip from Boston to Washington. The railroad also plans to increase to six the number of Acela trains operating during the week between New York and Washington, starting Monday.
Former Wal-Mart Executive Sues
Jared Bowen, a former vice president at Wal-Mart Stores, filed a lawsuit in an Arkansas court alleging that the company falsely accused him of being implicated in fraud after he filed a whistleblower complaint. Bowen, 31, had filed a complaint with the U.S. Labor Department in May under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He said he was fired after giving Wal-Mart details that helped it investigate vice chairman Thomas Coughlin, who quit in January. Wal-Mart has since accused Coughlin of misappropriating company funds.
United Machinists Pass Contract
United Airlines' machinists union said its members have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, concluding the effort of the carrier, which is in bankruptcy protection, to cut costs from its largest labor group. The new contract includes a 5.5 percent pay cut and trims some benefits, which should save United about $175 million annually in wage and benefit cuts. It also allows pension contributions for current employees to go into the union's pension plan, rather than a company 401(k) as United had originally proposed.
Delta Trims Loss, Replaces CFO
Delta Air Lines said its second-quarter loss narrowed significantly compared with a year ago, but persistently high fuel prices have limited the impact of solid gains in revenue. The carrier lost $388 million in the three months ended June 30, compared with a $1.97 billion loss in the comparable 2004 period. Revenue rose 5.7 percent, to $4.19 billion. Earlier, Delta replaced Michael J. Palumbo, its chief financial officer, with Edward H. Bastian, a six-year veteran who returned to the carrier after a stint as CFO of Acuity Brands.
Fuel Costs Hit JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways said its second-quarter profit fell 43 percent, to $12.2 million, as spending for jet fuel almost doubled. It was the low-fare carrier's sixth straight decline in quarterly earnings. Sales rose 35 percent, to $430.1 million.
America West Profit Rises
America West Holdings, which recently moved to merge with US Airways, said its second-quarter profit rose 31 percent, to $13.9 million (29 cents a share), compared with the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 20 percent, to $833.2 million.
SBC Profit Falls in 2nd Quarter
SBC Communications said second-quarter profit fell to $1 billion, compared with $1.17 billion in the corresponding period last year, as the telephone company absorbed more costs from the acquisition of AT&T Wireless by its Cingular Wireless joint venture. Revenue rose 1.3 percent, to $10.33 billion, as growth in long-distance and high-speed Internet subscribers offset the loss of local phone lines to wireless and online communications.
Coca-Cola Rises on Foreign Sales
Coca-Cola said its second-quarter profit climbed 9 percent, $1.72 billion, on demand for Powerade sports drinks in Latin America and Europe and a sales recovery in the United States. Sales jumped 7 percent, to $6.31 billion, the biggest gain in more than a year.
Merck said second-quarter profit fell 59 percent, to $720.6 million, because of taxes and costs associated with returning overseas profit to the United States. Sales dropped 9 percent, to $5.47 billion, hurt by declining sales of cholesterol drug Zocor.
Guidant, a medical device manufacturer, said second-quarter profit dropped 15 percent, to $107.3 million, led by the cost of recalling and replacing its implanted defibrillators. Revenue rose 4 percent, to $974.1 million.
Halliburton's second-quarter profit grew 7.4 percent, to $392 million, from $367 million as its oil field services operating income jumped 93 percent and its government services business moved to a profit from a loss. Revenue increased by 16.2 percent, to $1.05 billion, from $900 million.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.