The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on January 30, 1981 · 82
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The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 82

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Friday, January 30, 1981
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82
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THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION ;Tj) : o Friday, January 30, 1981, Page 14-D 3 I-1 ' r ' , IT '"-T"! eTkker 11.. .XJUUI .... .11 .m 1 .41 .iu.u,...x...,.iu.Ju,i .... -J , Eef inters' Boost Gasoline Prices j CityState National ! FCC Gives CNN ! Deadline In I Satellite Case ; The Cable News Network, locked in a court battle over its right to continue i using the cable television industry's pri-I mary satellite, was told Thursday that if it loses the court fight it will have to I find other satellite facilities by Sept 30. S The commission ruled that . Atlanta ; sports-media magnate Ted Turner, who started the cable network last June, J would be granted six months to find an. J alternative means to broadcast its signal - should he loose his court battle in U.S. j District Court in Atlanta. ; -But since a court ruling is expected by ' ntjd February, the FCC added, it will not aHdw the six-month timetable to run be-J ydnd Sept 30, 1981. -Turner's lawsuit is aimed at keeping 5 the Cable News Network on the primary Icable TV satellite, currently SATCOM 1. , That satellite is owned and operated by RCA American Communications Inc. and "is now used exclusively by cable TV programmers. While complex, the problems facing ,.Turner ultimately stem from a single .technological problem: the satellite antennas used by cable operators to import such services as Home Pox Office or the Cable News. Network can be pointed at only one satellite at a time, 'and most of them are pointing at SATCOM 1. : "Ted Turner is in a very precarious , stage right now and the last thing he can afford is to be kicked off the primary cable satellite," said one FCC official Who asked not to be named. "If he loses 'that satellite, he's got to convince all jthose cable operators to buy another ".antenna, find some money to help them "buy one or buy out some other program-miner's channel on SAT-COM 1." ii ' . 'Site To Be Geared "? Atlanta-based Portman Properties announced Thursday that it has sent lease ' termination notices to all tenants occupying the site of its proposed Times Square hotel in New York City. The tenants, including those within the Picadilly iJJotel, are asked to vacate within six to ..nine months. Portman announced earlier (this month that it would proceed with land acquisition fcr the $261.5 million, 50-story hotel, although New York City's request for a $22.5 million federal grant t the project was turned down by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development The development Uiim said the rejection was for a technical reason and that it had been assured "of a recommendation for funding in -March. Construction is planned to start in the summer. Atlanta Native Chosen ... . ' Economist Paul Craig Roberts, a proponent of supply-side economic Hheoiy, has been selected as Assistant 'Secretary of the Treasury for Economic -Policy, pending a confirmation hearing. Roberts, born in Atlanta, received his "bachelors degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and his doctorate in eco- nomics at the University of Virginia. He currently is a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Strategic jand International Studies. He was an editorial page editor for the Wall Street Journal from 1978-1980 and continues to ?serve as a columnist CPI Change Not Certain Janet L Norwood, the commissioner of labor statistics, said Thursday that she has made no final decision about deleting the house-purchase component of the Consumer Price Index and replacing it with an estimate for rents. Mrs. Norwood took issue with a New York Times story, also published in the Constitution, that said the Bureau of Labor Statistics would make such a change in 1985. Blue Dell Mulls Offer Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Ludlum Industries Inc. has offered to acquire Blue Bell Inc. of Greensboro, N.C., the nation's second largest manufacturer of blue jeans, for a combination of securities which Allegheny Ludlum values at $40 a share. However, Blue Bell disputed the offer as "worth much less than $40 a share" and asserted that the offer "seems totally inadequate." Bluet Bell president and chief executive L Kimsey Mann said he has called a board meeting for this weekend to discuss the offer. Robert Buckley, chairman of Allegheny Ludlum, said the company would withdraw the offer effective Feb. 2 if it is rejected by Blue Bell's board. One analyst said Blue Bell was a good takeover target for a company with resources, since it has performed extremely well and is selling at stock price below its book value $37 per share. Blue Bell, stock rose on the New York Stock Exchange by ZVt points to ZIV on Thursday. Allegheny Ludlum stock was off 1 to 37. Robin Schatz Gulf , Westinghouse Settle Gulf Oil Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Corp., corporate giants which have traded charges of monopoly and price-fixing involving nuclear power plant fuel and equipment said Thursday they have settled their argument out of court Gulf and its subsidiary, Gulf Minerals Canada, are at the center of the billion-dollar litigation that originally involved Westinghouse and 25 U.S. and foreign uranium producers, and the settlement moved the entire case towards resolution, trade diplomats said. Under the agreement, Gulf will pay Westinghouse $25 million in cash within 30 days and will supply 13 million pounds of uranium to certain utilities that had sued Westinghouse for reneging on contracts to supply the fuel. Gulf Oil Profits Drop Gulf Oil Corp., the nation's 5th largest refiner, Thursday reported its fourth-quarter profits fell 17 percent primarily , because of a sharp drop in U.S. sales of petroleum products and higher exploration costs. For the year, Gulf profits were up 6 percent In the fourth quarter Gulf earned $304 million, or $1.56 a : share, down from $366 million, or $1.88 a share, a year earlier. Revenues fell 2 Eercent to $7.60 billion from $7.73 bil-on. International Gold Falls, Rebounds ' A selling wave Thursday sent gold , . prices sliding below $500 an ounce for the first time in almost 10 months, but by the end of the trading day in New York gold prices had rebounded on fresh fears of unrest in Poland. After dropping as low as $485 a troy ounce during the day, the price of gold for February delivery on New York's Commodity Exchange Inc. closed at' $515.80, a rise of $8.80 - from Wednesday, but more than $75 lower than at the end of last year.. By Chris Jennewein Constitution SIH Writ?1 Several major refiners,' at least one citing decontrol, boosted wholesale gasoline prices as much as 6 cents a gallon Thursday, and a spokesman for Georgia's independent gasoline dealers said they would have little choice but to pass on the increases. "These people cannot survive without passing it directly to the consumer immediately,'' said Jack Houston, executive directors of the Georgia Association of Petroleum Retailers. "This is just the tip of the iceberg of decontrol." On Wednesday, President Reagan ordered an immediate end to federal price controls on crude oil, gasoline and other petroleum products eight months ahead of schedule and nine years after the first controls were . imposed. Standard Oil Co. of California, whose Chevron Steel, Precious Metals lEead Stock Price Rise NEW YORK (AP) A mid-session tally led by steel and precious-metals issues pushed stock prices higher Thursday and offset most of the previous day's Recline. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks, which had dropped 6.91 points on Wednesday, rose 6.31 to 948.89. . The', blue-chip barometer opened lower and moved in a narrow range before the Jnid-afternoon buying spree. Advances held a narrow lead over declines among New York Stock Exchange-listed issues as volume rose to 38.17 mil- lion shares from 36.69 on Wednesday. The NYSE composite index slid 0.09 to 74.69. Standard & Poor's index of 400 Industrial stocks fell 0.16 to 147.86, and JBiP's 500-stoek index lost 0.10 to 130.24. j r On the American Stock Exchange, the fnarket value index was up 3.16 to (346.59. The NASDAQ composite index iorl the over-the-counter market closed 1 157.88, up 0.51. The market had stagnated in recent espions amid uncertainty over the impact of President Reagan's proposed economic program and prospects for lower Jnterest rates. 1 Analysts attributed the market's Jbursday gains to anticipation' shout what Reagan would say at his news con- U.S.A. division is the No. 1 gasoline marketer in the Southeast raised its wholesale gasoline price by 6 cents per gallon nationwide. A spokesman for Chevron's Atlanta office said the increase is not effective until this morning, but noted, "We're in the free market now and (Chevron dealers) are independent businessmen and they set they're own prices." Gulf, Chevron's closest competitor in Georgia, did not raise its wholesale price. "Gulf has not increased its gasoline prices," said Robert Boone, regional director of public affairs for Gulf Oil Corp. "That is not to say that possibly some of the dealers may not have increased their prices." . Another Chevron spokesman said his company's move was "necessary because of the increased costs of crude oil resulting from the government's decontrol program," . Other refiners confirming wholesale price increases of 0.5 to 3 cents a gallon, depending on region and fuel type, included Exxon Corp., the nation's largest oil company, No. 2 Mobil Corp., No. 8 Shell Oil Co. and No. 11 Sun Co. Inc. and No.14 Standard Oil Co. (Ohio). Industry sources said, meanwhile, that Ashland Oil Inc. was boosting gasoline prices 4 cents a gallon. Houston, who represents dealers who own their own stations but operate under the brand name of a major oil company, said competition might force some dealers to dely passing through increases. Most dealers, however, would raise prices as quickly as possible to make enough money to pay for their next delivery of gasoline, he said. "We recognize that the government had to get out of controls at some point" Houston said, but added that decontrol will put a squeeze on independent full-service dealers. ference, which started after New York trading closed. Indications of a possibly widespread decline in banks' prime lending rates has done little to perk up the market On Wednesday, Marine Midland Bank cut its rate by one-half point to 19.5 percent although no other banks followed. Among Thursday's prices, precious-metals issues were sharply higher as gold prices rose in New York after earlier losses in Europe. Helca Mining was unchanged at 31, but Campbell Red Lake rose 2tt to 50 .and Homestake Mining was up 3 to 55V4. One day after Reagan ordered the lifting of remaining price and allocation controls on domestic crude oil, energy stocks were generally lower. Mobil was off 1V at 74V and Atlantic "Richfield fell 1 to 59. Exxon, how-, ever, gained seven-eighths to 11 Vt after falling 1 the previous session despite a "imposed 2-lor-l stock split Steel issues posted sharp gains for the second consecutive session, led by Bethlehem Steel, up 1 to 25. Republic Steel, which announced a joint coal venture with Gulf Oil rose 1 to 25. U.S. Steel was up 1 to 27, adding to its string of gains since announcing dramatically higher earnings for the f ina quarter of 1980 and raising its dividend.1 Top Atlanta Banks Well-Positioned9 Outlook Good For Growth, Analysts Told By Nick Ponlos Constitution Bushwss Editor Responding to an unusual invita tion by the First Boston Corp., the chief executive officers of Georgia's three largest bank holding companies outlined the growth prospects of their respective institutions at an analysts meeting in New York Thursday. . First Boston, one of Wall Street's prestigious securities firms, paved the way for the appearance of the three bankers by issuing detailed, objective reports on their companies . Citizens & Southern Georgia Corp., First Atlanta Corp. and Trust Company of Georgia. The First Boston report concluded that despite some potential problems, the three Atlanta-based bank holding companies "are well-positioned to show above-average earnings growth and superior market performance over the next few years." v The chief executive officers who ' addressed the First Boston- meeting are Bennett A. Brown, chairman of C&S; Thomas R. Williams, chairman of First Atlanta; and Robert Strickland, chairman of Trust Company. In its study of the three banking institutions, First Boston noted that problem loans reminiscent of the mid-1970s could surface . again, although this appeared to be unlikely. "The bulk of earnings in the past were real estate related, and the banks have been exceedingly cautious in this area in the last five years," the report said. But the First Boston study went on to note that the three banks should profit by Georgia's economy, which is expected to grow at a rate comparable to other rapidly expanding regions. "In addition, Georgia would be an attractive state for interstate banking, especially if it permits bank holding companies to make acquisitions in contiguous states," First . Boston said. The report said Trust Company often referred to by some analysts as the "Morgan . Guaranty of the South" has compiled the best record among the three banks as measured by earnings growth, return on assets, and return on equity. Earnings of both Trust Company and First Atlanta are expected to increase about 10 to 20 percent in 1981, while C&S management anticipates a modest 5 percent gain, the investment firm said. However, C&S probably has more long-term potential than the other two institutions, the re- k -? 1 uA i gU-JI sJk. L..J i... J4 - iLJ f3Li m J -. I - Gtizen and Southern Georgia Corp. F27SST ATLAUTA Hj First Trust Atlanta Company Corp Of Georgia STOCK PRICE Latest Bid 1980 Bid Range 5-9 j- 19H f 22 I NET EARNINGSSHARE 1980 I $1.23 1979 I .92 $3.33 '2.53 V: f $149 271 CURRENT DIVIDEND $.40 $1 $1.05 CURRENT YIELD 4.8 5.1 U. 4.5 i PRICEEARNINGS RATIO; AT YEAR'S END 1980 i 1979 ' I 7.0 5.4 5.5 4.5 6.4 5.1 RETURN ON ASSETS 1980 I .87 .82 1979 f' .64 4 .64 1.03 RETURN ON EQUITY J 1980 ? , , I 15.8 I f 14.6 1979 ; I M.8 . j I 12.30b 18.8 Formerly tho Citizens and Southern National Bank. Figures adjusted to reflect 100 stock dividend on Dec. Based on income before securities transactions. 23. Gas Prices A Boon To SMI GmihlcVimon Cam (L-r) Brown, Williams, Strickland Spoke To Analysts port said. "Loan growth of all three banks has been very slow in the five-year period, reflecting high levels of problem loans and contractions in the real estate area," the report continued. "In addition, loan problems have been a burden for all the Georgia banks and particularly for C&S. Even with improvement in recent years, loan losses as a percentage of loans remain highest at C&S and First Atlanta." . Williams told the analysts that First Atlanta expects to roughly dou-. ble the number of counties it serves over the next several years. This would give First Atlanta a local presence in counties representing 70 percent of the total banking market in Georgia, he added. First Boston said Trust Company must expand its banking network if it is to increase its presence statewide. Strickland told the analysts that Trust . Company wants profitable growth, that "we will not sacrifice profits to grow just for growth's sake." Nonetheless, Strickland said the strongly-capitalized institution will grow on a competitive basis. Strickland added that Trust Company has an unusual capital cushion about $67.1 million worth of Coca-Cola stock. Back in 1919, Trust Company and Morgan Guaranty Jointly were, underwriters for the first public offering of Coca-Cola stock. For its efforts, Trust Company received for its own account Coca-Cola securities valued at $110,000 at that time shares which now total 2 million as a result of stock splits and dividends. Pilots Warn Of March 1 Strike By John Maynard ' Cwutltulion SlaH Wrlltr The Air Line Pilots Association Thursday kicked off its local version of "Operation U.S.A." to warn that unless the union's demands for changes in air safety standards are heeded by the Federal Aviation Administration, pilots will stage a 24-hour to 72-hoar walkout cn March 1. A press conference bv the local branch of the AFL-CIO affiliate followed a Yvednpsday meeting where about 450 pilots based in the Atlanta area listened to John O'Donncll, president of the ALP A, discuss the air safety issues. Union leaders are to meet Feb. 11 to vote whether or not to strike. "In the meantime, we will be talking to the people to explain the complexities of the air safety problems pilots see and to encouraga the people themselves to speak out and to contact the White House," said Duane Gordon, an Eastern Airlines captain and spokesman for the association's Atlanta off ice. Union pilots here stressed that the intent of the publicity campaign is to attract the attention of the Reagan administration. "How it reacts will determine the outcome," said Dick Stone, a captain for Delta Air Lise3 end chairman of the local effort Of the 450 pilots who attended Wednesday's meeting, Stone said about 95 percent indicated they would join the jcb action. But, Stone said, "Our purpose is not to have a suspension of service. It is to correct present conditions." Union pilots would like to become in- volved in the aircraft' certification process, which is currently limited to aircraft Chrysler manufacturers, the airlines and FAA officials. The organized pilots are also upset over a proposal that would give FAA investigators free access to cockpit voice recorders in order to conduct a study on pilot performance. Union pilots consider another FAA' proposal, which would increase penalties for the violation of federal air regulations from a maximum $1,000 fine to a $25,000 fine and one year imprisonment or both, as too harsh. They are also against a FAA proposal that would in-' crease flight and duty hours. The association is also lobbying to have collision avoidance systems installed on aircraft In addition, the union believes that $5.$ billion collected from an 8 percent tax levied on airline tickets for airport improvements should be spent more quickly. Executive Sees Efficient Car Fleet Selling Well By Steve Johnson ' ComlllulkM Slid WrHv Higher gasoline prices may be bad news for consumers, but they will help Chrysler Corp. sell cars, a top official of the troubled automobile manufacturer said Thursday. The decontrol of domestic oil prices and recent price hikes'by the Organization bf Petroleum Exporting Countries may add as much as 45 cents per gallon to gasoline prices currently averaging, about $1.30 per gallon, predicted John B. Naughton, Chrysler vice president for sales and marketing. - "That shakes out at $1.75 to $1.80 per gallon," Naughton said at an Atlanta news conference. "People are either going to start driving less, or they are going to come back into the marketplace to buy fuel-efficient cars." , Chrysler is in a good position to tell such vehicles, Naughton said, since the automaker's 1981 fleet averages over 25 miles per gallon, better than the cars of any other American car manufacturer. " However, Chrysler's immediate problem is to get an additional $400 million in loan guarantees from the federal government, he added. The company is "very close" to a final agreement with the government board which must approve the loans, Naughton said. v. Most of the $400 million will be used to pay the automaker's suppliers, the Chrysler official said.' The other immediate problem facing Chrysler is high interest rates, which make consumers reluctant to finance new cars. If interest rates ' can be brought down to the range of 13 percent to 15 percent, "then we're going to tee people coming back to the showrooms in droves," he said. Naughton dismissed as "a lot of rumors" news stories suggesting that ' Chrysler was considering a merger with another company. "There are no merger plans in the offing," he said. "Who wants to merge with a loser? We have to first show we can make money." Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motor Corp:, Chrysler's partner in Japan, turned down proposals for a "joint jndertaking" to bail out the financially ailing U.S. auto firm, Mitsubishi officials said Thursday.: Harland's Profit Tops $10 Million Bouyed by demand for new checks for NOW accounts, Atlanta-based business printer John H. Harland Co. reported 1980 sales topping $100 million and income exceeding $10 million for the first time in its history. . , The company, reported net earnings of $11,130 million or $2.70 per share on sales of $113.7 million for 1980, compared to earnings of $9 million or $2.20 per share on sales of $93.7 million in 1979. Harland officials indicated that prospects for continued growth looked good, In part due to the new NOW, or interest-bearing, checking accounts which have stimulated demand for new checks. ' For the fourth quarter, the firm reported a 25 percent jump in net earnings to $3.2 million or 76 cents per share on sales of $31.7 million. Charter Medical Corp, a Macon-based hospital management company, reported that net income for its first fiscal quar ter ended Dec. 31 increased 58 percent over the same period last year. The company reported earnings of $2 million or 49 cents per share, on sales of $50.5 million, the first time the company's revenues have topped the $50 million mark. . That compared to earnings of $U million or 30 cents per share on revenues of $34.3 million for the same period last year. Charter Medical owns and operates of has under development 28 psychiatric and general acute rare hospitals with 3,418 beds in the Unittd States and Lou- i -v .j

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