U S West, AirTouch in joint ventureU...


U S West, AirTouch in joint venture

U S West Inc. and AirTouch Communications Inc. said yesterday that they will combine their cellular phone operations, in a deal valued at $17 billion.

The combined U S West-AirTouch operation will cover most states west of the Mississippi River as well as the Atlanta area and some cities in Michigan and Ohio. AirTouch initially will own 70 percent of the venture, while U S West will own 30 percent. No cash is changing hands in the deal, which both companies expect to complete in the second quarter of 1995.

To keep AirTouch away from the court-monitored rules that have governed the "Baby Bell" carriers since their formation in 1984, AirTouch and U S West won't formally merge their wireless businesses immediately.

They will continue to own them as individual entities but run them jointly with a committee of four AirTouch and three U S West executives.

Cerullo faults Kidder's audits

Edward A. Cerullo, who stepped down as Kidder, Peabody's No.2 executive Friday, went on the offensive yesterday to counter questions about whether he had provided adequate supervision of Joseph Jett, the government bond trader who is said to have inflated his profits -- and Kidder's -- by $350 million through fictitious trades.

Mr. Cerullo, who reportedly earned more than $20 million last year as the head of Kidder's 750-member fixed-income trading department, said that he continually monitored Mr. Jett's performance but that he had to rely on the firm's internal audit reports, which gave no hint of irregularities.

Mr. Jett denies that he did anything wrong.

Mr. Cerullo also said that it was he who had first set the firm to looking into Mr. Jett's trades.

Ford says exports surged 75%

Ford Motor Co. said yesterday that its North American vehicle exports surged 75 percent in the first six months of the year, with shipments to Mexico, Europe and Japan leading the way.

The nation's second-largest automaker said it exported 57,215 cars and trucks from North America in the first six months of 1994, vs. 32,569 vehicles a year ago.

Ford said the single largest increase was to Mexico. Through June of this year, Ford shipped 8,470 cars and trucks to Mexico, up from 698 a year ago.

U.S. Healthcare profits rise 39%

U.S. Healthcare Inc. posted a 39 percent increase in second-quarter profits yesterday, thanks largely to surging enrollment in its health maintenance organizations and lower costs.

The Blue Bell, Pa.-based company, which operates HMOs in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states, reported earning $93.3 million, or 58 cents per share, compared with $67.1 million, or 41 cents per share, in last year's second quarter.

Revenues rose 12 percent to $726.9 million, compared to $650.2 million last year.

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