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TCStarbucks stock falls after telling of split,...



Starbucks stock falls after telling of split, possible bond issue

Starbucks Corp.'s stock fell sharply yesterday after the fast-growing coffee retailer said it would need to raise money in financial markets by year-end to fund its expansion.

Seattle-based Starbucks, which recently opened stores in the Baltimore area, made the comment in an early-morning conference call with industry analysts after it announced a two-for-one stock split on Dec. 1.

Investors, wary of a possible dilution of their stock or debt payments if Starbucks issues bonds, sent the stock down $4.375 to end at $37.875 in active trading on the Nasdaq market.

Starbucks said it would open 275 stores in 1996, up from its original plan of 250. By 2000, it expects to have 2,000 stores instead of the 1,500 the company forecast earlier.

Expansion overseas will kick off next spring when Starbucks opens its first store in Asia through a joint-venture with an Asian partner, the company said.

Closings by Crown Cork won't affect Md. plants

Crown Cork & Seal Co., one of the world's largest makers of aluminum, plastic and tin cans, yesterday announced it will close six of its 149 plants and reorganize five others as it restructures its North American container business.

The closings do not include any of its five Maryland operations, which have a total work force of about 500, the company said.

On Sept. 19, the company's stock plummeted 12 percent to $38.75 a share after it announced that earnings this year would be worse than last year. In 1994 the company had earnings of $131 million, or $1.47 per share, on sales of $4.5 billion. Yesterday, the stock closed at $38.75, up 37.5 cents, after the announcement.

Anthem invests $1.5 million in Life Sciences Corp.

Anthem Capital LP, a Baltimore-based venture capital fund, has made a $1.5 million investment in the Rockville-based Life Sciences Corp., which develops and operates ignition interlock programs for the prevention of drunken driving.

Ignition interlock systems, which test the breath of a driver before allowing operation of a car, are required in some jurisdictions for reinstatement of a license after a drunken-driving conviction.

Life Sciences has service centers in Maryland, Washington, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and New York. Anthem invests in growing companies in the mid-Atlantic region.

Integrated Health names 3 to board of directors

Integrated Health Services, Inc. of Owings Mills has appointed E. Mac Crawford, Kenneth M. Mazik and Robert A. Mitchell to the company's board of directors. The new appointments will fill two new board positions and replace Robert Walkingshaw, who resigned due to personal commitments.

Mr. Crawford is chairman of the board of Charter Medical Corp., an international behavioral health care company that operates more than 100 behavioral health systems nationwide. He is president of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems and a member of the board of directors at the Federation of American Health Systems.

Mr. Mazik is chairman of the Jovius Foundation and president of Au Clair Schools. Mr. Mitchell is a partner in the law offices of Robert A. Mitchell.

CSX will pay U.S. $5.9 million to settle overcharging claims

CSX Transportation Inc. will pay $5.9 million to settle claims that it overcharged the government for railroad crossing signals installed under a federal safety program.

The Justice Department said yesterday that the agreement settles civil claims that CSX inflated labor hours for wiring signals and failed to obtain the lowest prices for parts.

It also settles allegations that CSX overcharged for some parts by selling them at a profit to a third party and then repurchased them with federal money at higher prices, he said.

A. David Nelson, a former employee of CSX who brought the matter to the government's attention and filed a federal damage suit in Jacksonville, Fla., under the False Claims Act, will receive $1.8 million of the settlement, the Justice Department said.

IRS raises threshold for travel receipts

The Internal Revenue Service has raised, from $25 to $75, the dollar amount of many of the expenses for which business travelers must have receipts beginning Oct. 1.

IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson said the change will make recordkeeping easier for businesses and employees.

The law requires taxpayers to have adequate records for proof of expenses such as travel, entertainment or gifts, in order to claim them as deductions. Current regulations allow a deduction if taxpayers have a receipt for lodging on business travel and receipts for other expenses of $25 or more. The $25 threshold dates to 1962.

The IRS said it also may simplify other rules that require employers who reimburse workers for business expenses to get and keep their employees' receipts and to produce them on request by the IRS.

Coca-Cola, Vietnam agree on joint venture

Coca-Cola Co. said yesterday that Vietnam has approved its $48.8 million joint venture to produce the soft-drink giant's products in Ho Chi Minh City.

Coca-Cola Indochina Pte. Ltd. will hold 60 percent of the venture.

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