AT&T; hoping to force meetingAT&T; said yesterday...


AT&T; hoping to force meeting

AT&T; said yesterday it has gotten enough requests from NCR Corp. shareholders to force a special stockholder meeting at which AT&T; hopes to gain control of NCR's board and clear the way for a takeover.

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. said requests from the holders of 33,076,473 shares of NCR stock -- or about 51 percent -- have been delivered to NCR.

AT&T; has mounted a $6.1 billion bid to take over the Dayton-based computer maker. NCR officials have said the offer is inadequate.

Last Tuesday, AT&T; announced that about 70 percent of NCR's shares had been tendered. At the same time, AT&T; said it appeared to be winning a proxy contest to force NCR directors to call a special meeting.

At the meeting, AT&T; would seek to replace a majority of NCR's board, which has blocked the takeover. AT&T; needed approval from the owners of 25 percent of NCR's shares to call the meeting. NCR spokesman Mark Feighery confirmed that the requests have been received by NCR. The requests ask that NCR hold the meeting "as soon as practicable" after receiving them and to give stockholders 30 to 40 days notice before the meeting.

Maryland harvest bountiful:

Maryland farmers gathered one of the most bountiful harvests in the state's history in 1990, according to figures recently released by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Growers produced 17.8 million bushels of soybeans -- up 8 percent from the previous record harvest of 16.5 million bushels in 1989. Although fewer acres were harvested, the average yield per acre increased.

Hay production of 678,000 tons was 8 percent above production 1989. The average yield of three tons an acre was the highest on record.

Corn production averaged 118 bushels an acre, which tied the record set in 1985. The crop increased 21 percent from 1989 to a total of 53.1 million bushels.

Production of potatoes, sweet potatoes and small grains also was up from 1989 levels. Tobacco production increased slightly, but the 9.4 million pounds harvested was still the second smallest crop on record due to a sharp reduction in acreage.

War a mixed bag for airlines:

Fallout from the Persian Gulf war has been a mixed bag for the troubled airline industry, which likes the lower fuel costs but not the drop in trans-Atlantic bookings.

Before the war started, Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines suspended service to the Middle East and Athens, Greece, because of the threat of terrorism and sharply higher insurance costs.

Yesterday, as the combat with Iraq intensified and the airlines' problems worsened, TWA said it was halving service to Europe by canceling some departures and using smaller planes, while laying off up to 3,000 workers.

The airline issued a terse statement that said European bookings "have fallen to all-time low levels," and it was unsure when full service could resume.

Pan Am, the nation's other major trans-Atlantic carrier, said its executives were meeting to determine whether they should do likewise.

Other carriers, including American Airlines, United Airlines and Northwest Airlines, said yesterday they had no immediate plans to scrap any service.

Airline industry analysts said that the fall in traffic to Europe is an unwelcome problem that could persist if the war drags on. Otherwise, the immediate consequences of the Gulf war have not all been bad for the airlines.

Oil prices took many business strategists by surprise last week by falling more than $10 per barrel to levels unseen since before Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2. Even though the price of crude rebounded a bit yesterday, Tim Smith, a spokesman for American, said, "We're very encouraged by the downward trend."

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