Business inventories rise 1.5%Business inventories rose in...


Business inventories rise 1.5%

Business inventories rose in February for the sixth time in the last seven months, but were outpaced by sales as both indicators scored their biggest gains since November.

Analysts said yesterday's Commerce Department figures are a sign that there is room for manufacturing expansion in the months ahead.

Business inventories rose 0.5 percent in February, while sales increased 1.2 percent.

In another report, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits jumped by 12,000 last week, to the highest level in more than a month.

IBM, Cyrix enter joint venture

In a major threat to Intel Corp.'s dominance in the microprocessor market, International Business Machines Corp. and Cyrix Corp. signed a five-year agreement to manufacture advanced X86-compatible chips.

IBM's Microelectronic division said that it will become a primary manufacturer of Cyrix's 486-compatible chips, as well as Cyrix's M1 microprocessors. The Cyrix chips are clones of Intel Corp.'s widely used 486 and Pentium chips.

Pizza chain exec steps down

Joseph Simone, who helped expand the Mamma Ilardo's Corp. pizza chain from 38 stores to 59 in the last two years, has resigned from the Baltimore-based company to "review several professional opportunities," according to a company news release.

There are no immediate plans to replace Mr. Simone, and his duties will be assumed by Rosario "Harry" Ilardo, chairman and owner of the company, a spokeswoman said.

BWI Marriott sold for $22 million

The BWI Marriott Hotel was bought by a Connecticut hotel owner for an estimated $22 million, company officials said yesterday.

HEI Hotels Inc. bought the 10-story, 310-room hotel one year after Citicorp Real Estate Inc. obtained the property through a loan workout, according to Anne Arundel County records.

The hotel had been owned by an affiliate of Auger Enterprises Inc., a company controlled by Washington developer Ulysses G. Auger.

First Union profits up 11%

First Union Corp., the nation's ninth-largest banking company, posted an 11 percent rise in first-quarter profits, the company said yesterday.

Net income for the quarter was $222.5 million, or $1.27 a share, compared with $199.9 million, or $1.17 a share, in the 1993 first quarter.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company operates 1,308 banking offices in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland and Washington, D.C.


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