H&R; Block CEO resignsH&R; Block Inc. President...


H&R; Block CEO resigns

H&R; Block Inc. President and Chief Executive Thomas Bloch announced his resignation yesterday, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.

After 19 years with the tax preparation company his father and uncle founded, Mr. Bloch, 41, said he is considering opportunities outside business.

Mr. Bloch has served as chief executive since 1992, when he replaced his father, Henry Bloch.

F&M; Bancorp. earnings up 4.3%

F&M; Bancorp., parent company of Farmers and Mechanics National Bank of Frederick, reported its net income in the first quarter increased 4.3 percent, to $1.9 million, or 48 cents a share, from $1.8 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the previous first quarter.

The bank holding company also announced a 5 percent stock dividend and said it should complete its merger with the Bank of Brunswick and acquire two branches from First Union by summer.

At Citizens, profits rose 19.4%

Citizens Bancorp., the owner of Citizens Bank of Maryland as well as banks in Virginia and Washington, said yesterday that growing loan demand pushed its first-quarter earnings up 19.4 percent to $8.6 million.

Interest and fees from loans reached $40.5 million in the period that ended March 31, up 21.4 percent from the same period a year ago, even though the net interest margin fell from 4.23 percent last year to 4.04 percent this year.

The Laurel-based bank holding company said deposits rose 2.5 percent, to $2.8 billion.

Harbor Federal to buy back stock

Harbor Federal Bancorp Inc. said yesterday that it plans to repurchase up to 5 percent of its outstanding common stock.

The open-market buyback, which the Baltimore-based parent of Harbor Federal Savings and Loan expects to complete within four months, could involve as many as 109,000 shares. Harbor Federal's shares closed yesterday at $12.75, up 12.5 cents.

Woolworth to scrap dividend

Discount retailer Woolworth Corp. said yesterday that it will eliminate its dividend and cut capital spending to save about $113.5 million and chop debt.

The moves are part of an effort by new Woolworth Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Farah in a bid to reverse years of sluggish performance.

The retailer expects to save roughly $113.5 million by scrapping its quarterly, 15 cents-a-share dividend and cutting capital spending to $163 million, or $55 million less than last year.


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