Apple Computer profits, stock riseApple Computer Inc.,...


Apple Computer profits, stock rise

Apple Computer Inc., which recorded steep losses a year ago due to a restructuring, yesterday reported better-than-expected profits for the latest quarter, sending its stock sharply higher.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple cited strong sales of its new Power Macintosh computer for a 15 percent boost in revenues, as well as the effect of lower costs associated with the restructuring.

Apple said its net income for the third fiscal quarter was $138.1 million, or $1.16 a share, compared with a net loss of $188.3 million, or $1.63 a share, after restructuring charges a year ago. Apple rose $3, to $31, on the Nasdaq system.

Bethlehem to begin 401(k) plan

Bethlehem Corp. said yesterday that it will change the end of its fiscal year to May 31 from Dec. 31, to better track business activity.

The Easton, Pa.-based maker of industrial and military equipment said it also reached a new labor agreement with its employee association, under which existing pension agreements will be frozen as of Dec. 31 this year.

After that, the company said, it will establish a 401(k) plan for all employees.

U.S. probes possible MTV rival

The Justice Department has begun an antitrust inquiry into an effort by five of the world's biggest recording companies to start a music video channel for cable television that would rival MTV.

The inquiry is believed to center on whether the companies might prevent MTV from using their videos or might charge excessive licensing fees on artists under contract with their studios.

The five studios are owned by Time Warner Inc., Sony Corp. of Japan, Thorn EMI of Britain, Polygram Holding NV of the Netherlands and Bertelsmann Music Group of Germany.

Fort Washington group gets grant

The Department of Energy has awarded a $1.6 million grant to the National Tooling and Machining Association of Fort Washington to assist small manufacturers in using advanced technology.

The grant is part of the federal government's effort to help business convert from defense to civilian production.

Kidder supervisor resigns

A government bond trading scandal at Kidder, Peabody & Co. claimed another victim yesterday as the supervisor of the central figure in the saga quit.

Edward A. Cerullo, executive managing director, head of Kidder's fixed-income division and a 15-year veteran of the Wall Street investment firm, said he'd decided to resign because of what he called "the events of recent months."

Mr. Cerullo supervised Joseph Jett, a former star bond trader fired from Kidder three months ago after the firm accused him of concocting $350 million in phony profits from bond trading.

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