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DuPont Profit Tumbles 14%; It Blames Costs, Weak Euro

October 26, 2000|From Reuters and Bloomberg News

* Norfolk Southern Corp.'s third-quarter profit rose 6% to $53 million, or 14 cents a share, in line with forecasts, on a 1.1% gain in sales to $1.52 billion. The railroad operator cut costs to adjust for rising fuel prices.

* Oxford Health Plans Inc.'s profit almost tripled in the third quarter to $80.6 million, or 81 cents, from $28.3 million, or 34 cents, well beyond analyst forecasts of 57 cents. The health insurer cut administrative expenses and worked with doctors to control medical costs.

* Park Place Entertainment Corp.'s earnings grew 17% to $68 million, or 22 cents a share, a penny higher than estimates, as investments in new properties paid off. The world's largest casino company said revenue rose 52% to $1.3 billion.

* Reliant Energy Inc. said third-quarter earnings increased 37% to $389 million, or $1.34 a share, as it benefited from high electricity prices in California this summer and strong demand for power in its home city of Houston. Revenue nearly doubled to $9.5 billion. Analysts had revised their expectations to $1.36 after Reliant said on Sept. 27 that it would exceed the estimate then of $1.70.

* Sara Lee Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 1.6% to $254 million, or 29 cents a share, matching expectations. Results were hurt by weak international bakery sales, higher hog costs and the declining value of the euro. Sales rose 5.1% to $4.46 billion.

* Tosco Corp., the largest U.S. independent oil refiner, said its third-quarter earnings rose 20% to $133.6 million, or 87 cents a share, a penny better than expectations, thanks to strong refining margins supported by low national stocks of oil products. Revenue rose 78% to $6.88 billion. Tosco has boosted gasoline output this year by acquiring refineries and was able to sell fuel for more profit in the quarter. In Southern California and Arizona, though, prices at Tosco's gas pumps didn't rise enough to cover the higher fuel costs, the company said.

* Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., the world's largest chewing-gum company, said third-quarter profit rose 8% to $83.8 million, or 74 cents a share, meeting expectations, on a 5.1% rise in sales to $533.3 million.

* Williams Communications Group Inc. said its third-quarter loss widened to $149.9 million, or 32 cents a share, from $85.9 million, or 22 cents a year earlier, on costs from building a fiber-optic network and higher interest. The company, owned by natural gas pipeline company Williams Cos., said revenue rose 7.1% to $533.8 million on increased usage by both new and returning customers of the long-distance network.

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