TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Qwest Moves to Settle Lawsuits

Qwest Communications International announced a tentative $400 million settlement of shareholder lawsuits stemming from an accounting scandal that forced it to restate billions of dollars of revenue.

The proposed settlement, which is subject to court approval and other conditions, would resolve claims against the company, some former executives and its board of directors, but not former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio and former finance chief Robert S. Woodruff.

Separately, Qwest narrowed its third-quarter loss to $144 million from $569 million in the comparable period a year ago. Revenue edged up to $3.5 billion from $3.45 billion.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Apptix to Acquire DevStreet

Apptix, a Herndon company that provides communication and collaboration software, agreed to acquire DevStreet, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., company that sells MailStreet e-mail software for businesses, for about $7 million.

The company will pay $4 million in cash when the deal closes, plus $3 million in cash or stock on the one-year anniversary of the closing. DevStreet's 20 employees with join Apptix's staff, and no layoffs are expected.

IBM Buys IPhrase Systems

International Business Machines bought iPhrase Systems of Bedford, Mass., to expand into software for online shopping.

IPhrase makes software that helps retailers build specialized Web pages. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LEGAL

Briton Gets 4 Years for Phishing

A British man was sentenced to four years in jail for masterminding a phishing scheme that stole identities and bank details from more than 160 eBay users.

Prosecutors said David Levi, 29, led a six-man gang that stole nearly $360,000 by sending e-mails pretending to be from eBay and asking users for bank details. Other gang members were sentenced to jail terms of six months to two years.

CABLE

Cox to Sell Local Systems

Cox Communications, the third-largest U.S. cable television operator, agreed to sell cable systems with 940,000 customers to a group of investors to reduce debt taken on when the company went private.

The sale, to cable operator Cebridge Connections, includes systems in North Carolina, Texas and California.

The deal will close in the second quarter of 2006, Atlanta-based Cox said. Terms weren't disclosed.

Symantec of Cupertino, Calif., lost $251 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $618.3 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier, partly because of its acquisition of Veritas Software. Sales rose to $1.06 billion from $618.3 million.

Blackboard, an online learning company based in the District, earned $7.3 million (25 cents a share) in the third quarter, more than double its profit of $3.5 million (12 cents) in the comparable period the previous year. Revenue rose 21 percent, to $35.9 million.

Digene, a Gaithersburg biotechnology firm, earned $1.3 million (6 cents a share) in its first quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of $6.3 million (32 cents). Revenue grew 27 percent, to $33.4 million.

Digene produces a screening test for the most frequent cause of cervical cancer.

Electronic Data Systems, an IT outsourcing company, said it earned $8 million in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $153 million. Excluding results from consulting arm A.T. Kearney, which it has agreed to sell to Kearney officers, the expensing of stock options and reserves for settling shareholder lawsuits, the company would have earned $101 million (19 cents), it said.

Revenue rose 3 percent, to $4.87 billion, excluding Kearney figures.

Primus Telecommunications Group of McLean lost $50.7 million (51 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $16.2 million (16 cents). Revenue fell 12 percent, to $293.1 million.

Intersections of Chantilly earned $3.51 million (20 cents a share) in the third quarter, virtually unchanged from $3.46 million (19 cents). Revenue rose 10 percent, to $42.6 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.