LEGAL

Black & Decker Sues for Patent Infringement

In two lawsuits, Black & Decker accused Newell Rubbermaid and Stanley Works of infringing on patents for laser levels used to align building materials.

Newell and Stanley are making the levels without licenses, Black & Decker said in papers filed in federal court. Black & Decker, based in Towson, Md., seeks trials, unspecified damages and orders to stop Newell and Stanley from selling the levels.

Black & Decker is targeting Newell's Strait-Line brand and Stanley's Lasermark Gizmo, FatMax and CST.

SETTLEMENTS

Insurance Broker Pays Out $30 Million

An insurance broker in Glen Allen, Va., agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle allegations it steered clients to preferred insurance companies and shared rebates with one of the country's largest obstetrician- and gynecologist-management companies.

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs said it had reached an agreement with Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and the state's insurance agency.

CONTRACTS

Alliant to Appeal Pentagon's Bullet Award

Alliant Techsystems, the Pentagon's largest bullet supplier, said it will appeal a $1.2 billion award to rival General Dynamics for small-arms ammunition, claiming it offered a lower price.

A company spokesman said Alliant estimates its bid for the five-year contract was 23 percent below the winning offer.

STOCK

Coventry Health Announces 3-for-2 Split

Bethesda-based Coventry Health Care has declared a 3-for-2 stock split, citing the company's financial performance. The split will be in the form of a dividend of one more share of Coventry stock for every two shares held. It will be effective Oct. 17 for stockholders of record on Oct. 3. Shares in the company fell 33 cents, to $79.68, in after-market activity after closing up $1.38 at $80.

EARNINGS

LaSalle Hotel Cuts 2005 Earnings Outlook

Real estate investment trust LaSalle Hotel Properties slashed its full-year 2005 outlook, citing its $324 million acquisition of the Westin Copley Place and other related costs. LaSalle said it now expects full-year 2005 profit of $15.8 million to $17.4 million (52 cents to 57 cents a share). In late July, the company forecast a profit of $18.7 million to $20.2 million (62 cents to 67 cents).

Compiled from staff and news service reports,.