IBM nearer end of 1956 caseThe Justice...


IBM nearer end of 1956 case

The Justice Department tentatively agreed yesterday to end 39-year-old restrictions on IBM's marketing of the vast majority of its products, but sought more information before deciding whether the limits should apply to two computer systems.

The agreement came in a 56-page brief filed in U.S. District Court in New York, formalizing a position the department took last year when IBM began its latest attempt to be freed from a 1956 court decree.

That action settled allegations that IBM had taken illegal steps that allowed it to corner 90 percent of the market in tabulating machines.

Lockheed Martin forms energy unit

Lockheed Martin yesterday announced creation of a new Energy & Environment sector responsible for energy and environmental businesses, including the corporation's management of various U.S. Department of Energy activities.

The new sector will begin operations Aug. 15 and will be based in Albuquerque, N.M.

Energy & Environment is the fifth Lockheed Martin business sector created since the March 1995 merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta. Other sectors are Aeronautics; Electronics; Information & Technology Services; and Space & Strategic Missiles.

Ford blames profit drop on sales

Ford Motor Co. said yesterday that sagging demand for new cars broke a 2 1/2 -year string of higher earnings and sent profits skidding 8.1 percent in the second quarter to $1.57 billion.

The nation's No. 2 automaker said the earnings amounted to $1.45 per share, down from $1.71 billion, or $1.63 a share, in 1994's second quarter.

The company blamed the weak results on lower sales volumes in the American market, saying higher interest rates put an unexpected damper on last year's auto sales boom.

Conrail earnings up 22%

Conrail Inc. said second-quarter earnings rose 22 percent, reflecting lower operating expenses and reduced state income taxes, and raised its dividend 13 percent.

Net income rose to $123 million, or $1.52 a share, from $101 million, or $1.24, a year earlier. Revenue fell 2.9 percent to $923 million from $951 million.

The Philadelphia-based railroad's board raised the quarterly dividend to 42.5 cents a share from 37.5 cents, effective Sept. 15.

Tessco earnings rise 66%

Tessco Technologies Inc., a distributor of products to the wireless communications industry, said yesterday that its earnings increased more than 66 percent to $819,000, or 18 cents a share, for its fiscal first quarter ended June 30. Revenues rose 5.2 percent to $19.2 million. The Sparks-based company closed down 75 cents a share yesterday at $17.25 a share.

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