Digicon acquires Florida firmDigicon Corp., a Bethesda-based...


Digicon acquires Florida firm

Digicon Corp., a Bethesda-based computer systems integration and database management company, has acquired Digital Technology Exchange, a producer of customized computer systems. Digicon said the Melbourn, Fla.-based company had 1994 revenues of $8.6 million.

Emma Shiaw, executive vice president of Digicon, said she expects the acquisition to boost revenues next year to more than $50 million.

Judge clears Philip Morris

A federal judge yesterday dismissed two class-action investor suits against Philip Morris Cos. Inc. that alleged the company hid information that nicotine is addictive.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mukasey said the plaintiffs, which include the State Board of Administration of Florida, have no viable claim under securities fraud laws because the statements the cited are "non-actionable expressions of opinion."

The plaintiffs alleged the tobacco giant concealed evidence from internal and industry studies that indicated nicotine was addictive in order to avoid the financial repercussions of Food and Drug Administration regulation.

Profits still rising for S&Ls;

The nation's 1,478 savings and loans earned $1.35 billion in the second quarter, the best performance in more than three years and up from $1.16 billion in the first quarter, regulators said.

The Office of Thrift Supervision said the profit gain stemmed from healthy mortgage lending activities, fees and a drop in long-term interest rates, which boosted the value of the mortgage-backed securities held in thrifts' portfolios.

Ex-Lockheed official sentenced

Richard A. Pope, 68, a former Lockheed Corp. employee, has been sentenced in Atlanta to 30 months in federal prison and fined $150,000 for taking kickbacks from a North Carolina subcontractor in a business-steering scheme.

Over some 20 years, Pope received $150,000 in payments from Equipment and Supply Inc., an aircraft parts subcontractor based in Monroe, N.C., federal prosecutors said. He was convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud and related charges.

Japan shifts economic outlook

In a significant shift, the Japanese government said yesterday that Japan's economy is not going to get better soon and may even get worse.

The government's Economic Planning Agency acknowledged that business conditions are worsening, and for the first time since August 1994 deleted the word "recovery" from its carefully-worded monthly report.

Japan's industrial output and shipments fell steeply in July from June, while inventories rose to the highest level in nearly two years.

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