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Digest

In brief

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 23, 2006


HP chairwoman resigns early

Hewlett-Packard Co. chairwoman Patricia Dunn resigned from the board Friday, effective immediately, in the wake of the company's ill-fated investigation of boardroom media leaks. HP chief executive Mark Hurd succeeds Dunn as chairman and will retain his position as president and CEO. HP had earlier said Dunn, who authorized the leaks investigation, would step down from the chair in January.

Tribune Co. looks at drastic steps

Directors of the embattled newspaper and TV station owner Tribune Co. said Friday they are reviewing options that include a sale, breakup or buyout. That amounts to an acknowledgment that a stock buyback strategy it implemented in May isn't paying off fast enough and more action is needed to satisfy frustrated shareholders after a three-year stock slide. The company is parent to the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and television station WSFL in Miami. It also owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

Most upbeat on economy, says poll

A majority of Americans - 54percent - say the U.S. economy is doing well, according to a new Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll. That's up 4percentage points from the beginning of August, when the price of a gallon of gasoline was an average of 54 cents higher and the Standard &Poor's 500 stock index was 4percent lower.

 

Florida citrus sales pass $1-billion mark

Florida's citrus farmers reported more than $1-billion in sales this harvest for the first time in six years, even though a large chunk of their crop was destroyed by last fall's Hurricane Wilma, a U.S. Department of Agriculture report said. Higher prices pushed up revenue 38percent from the previous year, said the report.

Pressures keep oil prices falling

Oil prices fell Friday and many analysts said ample worldwide supplies at a time of year when demand is weak could keep downward pressure on crude futures. Concerns about slowing economic growth in the U.S. and receding fears about this year's Atlantic hurricane season are also influencing selling that has taken oil down by more than 20 percent since the middle of July.

Executive got stock options after death

In one of the more unusual twists in the current wave of stock options irregularities, cable TV operator Cablevision Systems Corp. said it granted options to an executive after he died. Cablevision restated its financial results Thursday because of improper stock options practices. In a regulatory filing, Cablevision said it recorded the date of the grant to a time when the executive was alive. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, said the options were given to Vice Chairman Marc Lustgarten, who died in 1999. The Journal said Lustgarten's estate was entitled to exercise the options upon his death.

[Last modified September 22, 2006, 23:57:13]


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