The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on April 23, 1980 · 57
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 57

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Wednesday, April 23, 1980
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57
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THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION P- i R1 o Midvie epoit 0 COT ffll edaesday, April 23, 1933 Page9D 3 INDIANA STANDARD UP 64.6 PCT. National Iron Industry Probe Dropped The Justice Department said Tuesday that it was dropping an investigation of how prices are set for Great Lakes iron ore and would bring no antitrust action in the matter. - nowever, aaniora m uivacc, we as sistant attorney general in cnarge ine antitrust division, said in a statement that his staff "would continue to pursue its other pending 'shared monopoly' 1 AS IS tt A -L. S l uivesugauwu. a soared monopoly refers to the domination of a market by a few sellers. ' , There have been indications that these investigations number about a dozen. The department refused to identify the industries, but private antitrust experts Said they included electric meters, some steel products and aluminum. , The iron ore investigation has been described as the most advanced of the . investigations into a possible new category of violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act's prohibition against price-fixing.. . ' The division staff has argued that where a shared monopoly existed, an itiegai pnce-iixing agreement migni ne inferred from practices such as exchanges of price information, pricing formulas or the standardization of product definition. A Justice Department spokesman, Mark. Sheehan, said Litvack believed that this was a solid legal theory and that the iron ore case was dropped because the facts seemed unlikely to lead tq conviction. " 'The staff paid particular attention to the published price, or Lake Erie price, fort iron ore pellets from .Great Lakes miftcs because several mines are joint ventures of the same domestic steel companies. -v- Senate OKs Mortgage Plan ''"The Senate passed and sent to the Jlouse , Tuesday legislation designed to make as many as 100,000 low-interest home mortgages available through federal payments to lenders on behalf of buyers. Sen., garrison A. Williams, DO N.J.. sponsor of the legislation, said it would result in effective interest rates of 11 percent, or initial rates of 8 percent if the homebuyer agreed to pay higher rates later. Loans would be limited to homes costing up to $60,000 or 80 per cent of the average new house price for the area, whichever was higher. '. A? Re-Elects Tarver The board of directors of the Associated Press re-elected Jack W. Tarver, vice chairman of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, as chairman of the worldwide news cooperative. Other board and ! management officers were also reap- Jointed at the reorganization meeting eld in Honolulu. Reappointed along with Tarver as first and second vice-chairmen, respectively, were Frank Batten, chairman of the board of Landmark Communications Inc. of Norfolk, Va., and Stanton R. Cook; chairman and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The new directors are Howard H.'Tim" Hays, ; editor and co-publisher of the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise; Robert C Achorn, vice president and editor of the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram & Gazette; and John M. Jones, publisher of the Greeneville (Tenn.) Sun. . International Dollar, Metals Rise The dollar got support Tuesday after major European countries agreed in principle to support the United States with sanctions against Iran. Gold moved above the $500 an ounce mark, rising $5 ' in Zurich and $8 in London. In New York gold closed at $502 an ounce, up from $490.50 Monday. The settlement price on the Commodity Exchange was $501.80 an ounce, compared with $488.30. Silver rose 30 cents to $13.80 an ounce on the cash market Silver speculators on the Comex settled for $13.63, compared with $13.40. Liggett Sells Subsidiary Pernod Ricard, V French beverage company, has purchased one of three liq-,uor subsidiaries owned by the Liggett Group Inc. for $97.5 million in cash, Liggett and Pernod Ricard of f icals said in a joint announcement The subsidiary, Austin, Nichols & Co. Inc., will continue to operate under its present management, according to Raymond J. Mulligan, Lig-: gett's president, and Thierry Jacquillat, director general of the Paris-based company. Liggett is fighting a takeover bid by London-based Grand Metropolitan Ltd., which had no immediate comment on the sale of the Liggett subsidiary. U.S. Bus Factory Planned ' - . A major West German commercial vehicle manufacturer, M.A.N., is plan- build a U.S. factory to assemble jointed buses, a company spokesman said. Mas-chinen Fabrik Augsburg-Nuernberg AG is in the process of founding a U.S. subsidiary, the M.A.N. Truck fc Bus Manufacturing Co., to carry out the project, the spokesman said. A site for the American assembly plant hasn't been selected, be said. The plant would initially have a capacity of 100 flexible buses per year, which could be increased to 300 to 500 vehicles per year. CityState Rollins' Income Grows Atlanta-based Rollins Inc. has reported net income of $7.4 million or 55 cents per share for the third quarter ended March 31, up from $6.4 million or 48 cents per share for the 1979 quarter. Revenues for the quarter were $98.6 million, up from $83.5 million for the same period last year. The company also reported record earnings and revenues for. the nine-month period. Net income increased to $21.4 million or $1.59 per share from $18.2 million or $1.35 per share for same period last year. Revenues rose 16 percent to $285.6 million from $247.2 million a year ago. Rollins increased its quarterly dividend to 22 cents per share from 18 cents per share, payable June 10 to shareholders of record May 9. Grocery Prices Rise Atlanta area grocery prices rose 0.8 percent from February to March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A drop in prices for meats, poultry, eggs and fish partially offset gains in other food categories, with the largest increases occurring for fresh fruits, including apples, oranges and bananas. The cereals and bakery products group registered a 2.7 percent increase over the month and 10.8 percent over the year. Bakery products were primarily responsible for the increase, with higher prices for bread and frozen and refrigerated bakery prod- UCtS. . ; Purchase Pact Reached ' Madison-based Wellington Puritan Mills Inc. has reached an agreement in principle to purchase substantially all of Carrollton-based Sun Products Corp. from Arizona-based Talley Industies Inc. for an undisclosed price. ..' C&SToSeek Revamp OK Atlanta-based Citizens & Southern National Bank will seek shareholder approval at a special meeting in October to restructure the corporation so that C&S Holding Co. will be the parent rather than a subsidiary of the bank. John S. Poelker, president of the holding company, told stockholders at the bank's annual meeting in Savannah that, "market conditions permitting," the holding company will "improve its financial strength by borrowing a reasonable amount of long-term debt as part of our corporate restructuring plan." Bennett A. Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, told the shareholders that C&S had been able to achieve a very subs tan-' tial turnaround in the last 25 months, from a $7.8 million loss in 1977 to a $10.1 million profit in 1978, a $26.5 million profit in 1979 and first quarter net income of $7.4 million. Flight Simulators Bought Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has contracted to buy advanced technology flight simulators for Boeing 767 and 727 and Lockheed L-1011 aircraft from the Link Division of the Singer Co. Delta's new agreement with Link also includes an option for an additional 767 simulator and modifications on one of its. three existing 727 simulators to conform with the latest technology. The value of the equipment is about $20 million, industry sources said. Delivery of the new simulators is expected to start in September 1981. Earnings & Dividends Atlanta-based American Business Products reports that for first quarter ended March 31 it had earnings of $2.3 million, or 60 cents per share, from sales of $47.4 million, compared with earnings of $1.7 million, or 45 cents per share, from sales of $40.6 million a year ago. WJ. Biggers, president, said that the sales and earnings for the quarter were the highest ever. "The record results of the first quarter reflect gains throughout our operation," he said. "Both the demand for our products and their price levels continue to be good and our backlogs remain strong," he added. .. .' . Atlanta-based Lanier Business Products Inc. has declared a quarterly dividend of 11 cents, per share payable June 2 to shareholders of record May 15. Newsmakers Robert J. Greene has been appointed managing principal of the Atlanta office of A.S. Hansen Inc., consultants in the fields of compensation, benefits and actuarial programs. . Texaco Profits Rocket. 97 Pet. PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Texaco Inc., the third-largest oil company in the nation, said Tuesday its operating profits jumped 97.6 percent in the first quar-. ter from levels of a year ago as oil prices continued to climb. Standard Oil Co. (Indiana), ranked sixth in the industry, reported separately in Chicago that its first-quarter earnings gained 64.6 percent It also cited oil-price hikes as a main reason for the increase. The companies were the first major oil firms to report first-quarter earnings, with Exxon Corp., the nation's largest oil company, due to report Wednesday amid analysts' predictions of a gain of more than 70 percent. Texaco said it earned $600.6 million or $2.21 a share before an extraordinary $402.3 million gain on its sale of a 17 percent interest in Belridge Oil Co. A year ago, Texaco's first-quarter earnings were $303.9 million, or $1.11 a share. Its sales rose to $13.2 billion in the latest quarter from $8.4 million in the first three months of 1979. Including the profit on the Belridge sale, Texaco's first-quarter net income came to slightly more than $1 billion, or $3.69 a share the company's first billion-dollar quarterly earnings report ever. . Indiana Standard said it earned $576 million or $191 a share in the quarter, up from $350 million or $2.39 a share a year ago. Sales rose to $6.8 billion from $4.4 billion. Texaco said its sharp profit increase came "after several years of relatively low earnings" and was due in part to oil-price gains. "The world energy situation, including the pricing actions of oil-exporting governments, the initial effects of oil and gas decontrol in the United States, the general tightness of petroleum supply ... all have resulted in significantly higher petroleum prices throughout the world," Texaco President John K. McKinley told the company's annual meeting in Port Chester. "Although costs and expenses also increased, larger margins between revenues and costs have resulted," he said. World oil prices rose to around $30 per 42-gallon barrel by the end of the quarter. , - At Indiana Standard's annual meeting, Chairman John E. Swearingen said be expects the rest of 1830 to "continue to be good." ' - Texaco's greatest percentage earnings gain' was recorded overseas, where net income rose 106.5 percent to $344.5 million. U.S. net income gained 66.1 percent from a year ago to $256.1 million. . ' Texaco's return on equity net income as a percentage of shareholders' investment rose to an annual rate of 22 percent in the quarter. Its return was 17.7 percent in 1979, under the 1979 industry average of 22.9 percent As one of the four owners of Arabian American Oil Co., Texaco has enjoyed access to bargain-priced $25 barrel Saudi Arabian crude oiL The Wall Street firm of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Inc. estimated recently the "Aramco advantage" yielded a profit of $250 million in the first quarter for Texaco. ; Actors Angry 4" Ill i - Portman: Confident Of Backing Portman's Hotel Plans Draw New sition t - i I' - , . - - J :. 4 Oppo Model Of Portman's Planned Times Square Hotel ' : By Stephea Hesse Cnlllullon WuNnglon Buraau NEW YORK - Atlanta architect-developer John Portman may finally be closing in on a project he's waited nearly seven years to begin a 50-story hotel on New York's famed Times Square. Portman, who pioneered a flamboyant style of hotel design that's made him nationally recognized, has now met all the legal requirements for the project He doesn't have a first mortgage for the $250 million hotel yet and isn't likely to get one while the money market remains in turmoil, but he's now confident of financial baeking when interest rates fall, says a top associate, Glenn Isaacson. In short, according to Isaacson, "the ship is in the water." But opposition has popped up at the last minute from an unexpected quarter New York's legitimate theater community. The actors union and several allied groups have begun an effort to block the hotel, construction because it will involve demolishing three Broadway .theaters, two of them among the best in the city. The actors say this loss will seriously harm their industry's health, and they've portrayed the hotel as a classic instance of business interests trampling on culture. The resulting lively debate here has made the Port-man hotel "more controversial than ever " in the words of a leading N.Y. architecture critic, Paul Goldberger. The project has already been through one rise and faU. It was first announced with great fanfare in mid-1973 as the . dramatic start to a revitalization of Times Square. But it ' fell apart after the 1974 recession and New York's own subsequent financial crisis. Portman's firm resurrected the hotel plan last year. Portman and his associates are confident their project will succeed this time because it has passed all planning reviews. They believe the actors will come to accept it by recognizing that the project will benefit the entire theater district; in addition, the Portman hotel will in clude a new 1,500-seat theater to make up for those that will be torn down. At present the developers are worried mainly about the huge rise in interest rates since last fall that has left them temporarily unable to get financing and start work. The hotel is proposed for the block between 45th and 46th streets along Broadway at the north end of Times Square, New York's famous "Gieat White Way" entertainment district This is a bustling, somewhat seedy area of widely mixed use that is known world-wide for its lighted signs. Broadway itself is lined with movie bouses, pornography .shops, fast food restaurants and cut-rate merchandise stores. On the nearby side streets are most of New York's best known legitimate theaters, which draw large crowds of well-dressed playgoers into the gaudy neighborhood almost every night . The actors and their allies say they're not sure whether the proposed hotel, which will cater to convention customers and charge relatively high rates, belongs at all in the Times Square area. But if it has to be built it should be redesigned to spare the two highly-regarded theaters, the Helen Hayes and the Morosco, or moved to another site, they say. : . , Supporters of the hotel, who include many theater owners and the stagehands' union, concede the loss of the Helen Hayes and Morosco will be a blow, but say the project is vital to spark the still badly needed business revival of Times Square. They also stress that the new theater will make up for the existing ones. V: But the actors say no new theater can replace the rich tradition of the Helen Hayes and Morosco. And they believe Portman is vulnerable to pressure because he wants a $21.5 million federal Urban Development Action Grant as part of his financial package but hasn't secured it yet They're distributing leaflets to playgoers seeking signatures they plan to use in a bid to sway government officials against the grant Subpoena Of Hunts Ordered Panel Probing Collapse Of Silver Futures Mart WASHINGTON (AP) - A House subcommittee, spurred by its chairman's assertion that Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt "figure prominently" in the collapse of the silver market Tuesday ordered the two Texas bil-, lionaires to testify about their silver pur-. chases. . . : . The panel voted 7-0 to issue subpoenaes compelling the testimony of the two men next Tuesday. The vote came after the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal, D-N.Y., said the Hunts had information essential to the subcommittee's probe of silver futures but had so far declined to appear voluntarily. "We know from documents and other information made available to the subcommittee that the Hunts may have attempted to corner the silver market and actively Intervened in the federal regula-- tory process and in the self-regulating , activities of the commodity exchanges," Rosenthal said. Two federal regulators told the subcommittee last week they see no evidence that speculators such as the Hunt brothers caused the silver market crash by trying to manipulate the price; There was no immediate comment from the Hunts. Silver futures dropped from $50.35 an ounce in late January to $10.80 an ounce on March 27 with much of the decline coming in a one-week period. The collapse of silver futures prices at one point created public speculation about the solvency of a major brokerage firm with whom the Hunts.did the bulk of their silver business. It also sent stock market prices diving. . Rosenthal said the Hunts reportedly accumulated between $S billion and $6 billion in silver futures and, unlike most futures investors, actually took delivery of the valuable metal . The Hunts have agreed to voluntarily testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee on May 1 Rosenthal said lawyers for the two multi-millionaires had suggested that the Senate testimony could be used by the House panel as well .' But the House Government Operations subcommittee on commerce, consumer, and monetary affairs decided instead to command the Hunts' appearance. A failure to comply with congressional subpoenaes can subject citizens to a contempt of Congress citation. The subcommittee also issued a subpoena to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for tapes and transcripts of all meetings between Aug. 1, 1979, and April 22, 1980, in which silver trading was discussed. Rosenthal said evidence already assembled showed the commission discussed silver trading as far back as July of 1979 but took bo action "to prevent the price squeeze and collapse and even allowed conflicting exchange actions which increased market turbulence." . 1 ; FCC Breaks Monopoly On Overseas Communications WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission, in a move that surprised the international communications industry, proposed rules Tuesday that would shatter the existing monopoly enjoyed by a small handful of companies. ' The rules would allow, any business to fashion its own overseas communications network, using satellites, without dealing with the so-called international record carriers much as domestic companies can now obtain long-distance phone service without dealing with the Bell System. The rules would also eliminate restrictions enjoyed by the international carriers banning the resale or shared use of their circuits, regardless of whether those circuits involve satellite or under-seas cable transmission. FCC officials said the changes would not have as much impact on the individual consumer as recent efforts to spur competition domestically. But they added the changes should reduce, or. at least stabilize, the cost to businesses of transmitting information overseas and thus indirectly hold down the cost of services or products to consumers. The thrust of the new rules is in the area of data, or "record," transmission by businesses. The term "record carrier" is used to refer to a firm whose primary business is the transmission of written records, such ts telegrams, telex messages and computer data, as opposed to voice communications. The international record market is now dominated by four companies: the International Telephone & Telegraph Corp.; RCA Global Commuuications Inc.; Western Union International Inc., and the TRT Telecommunications Corp. The effect of the proposed rules on . consumers who place international phone calls will be negligible, officials said, because the average consumer will still have to use the facilities of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. Businesses, however, will have the option of banding together and sharing pri- vate phone circuits. Th decisions attracted the immediate ire of the international carriers, whose attorneys predicted a long legal Jight The eventual outcome is further ctouded by the question of how foreign governments will respond. , ' The commission's actions in terms W satellite links turned on the role of COMSAT the Communications Satellite corp. Currently, an American communications firm cannot gain access to' the world's satellite network without going through COMSAT. And since COMSAT, with a few exceptions, cannot offer transmission services directly to the public, the public must go to the intml-tiona carriers. '

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