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Briefs

Countrywide Financial denies it's bankrupt

By Times wires
Published November 21, 2007


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LOS ANGELES - Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender, sought to reassure investors Tuesday, declaring it has ample capital, access to cash and is well-positioned to benefit from the financial turmoil rocking the mortgage sector. The company's statement came amid rumors the company, based in Calabasas, Calif., could be looking to seek bankruptcy protection and as its stock tumbled, at one point down more than 15 percent. Countrywide shares fell 29 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $10.28. At one point, the stock had dropped to a low of $8.21. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock price has been as high as $45.26.

Top exec resigns from H&R Block
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - H&R Block Inc. said Tuesday that Mark Ernst has resigned as chairman, president and chief executive of the tax preparation and accounting services company. He is being replaced as chairman by former Securities and Exchange Commission boss Richard Breeden, who led a dissident shareholder group that won three seats on the board. Former Aetna Inc. executive Alan Bennett was named interim CEO while H&R Block looks for a permanent replacement.

Florida firm sues FedEx over patents
ORLANDO  - FedEx Corp., the world's largest air-cargo company, was sued by communications-equipment maker Harris Corp., of Melbourne, over eight patents covering technology used to track and analyze aircraft-performance data. FedEx is using Harris' innovations without permission and should be blocked by court order from using the patented technology, Harris said in the complaint filed in federal court in Orlando. Harris is also seeking cash compensation for the alleged infringement.

Burger King wants bite of McDonald's
DES MOINES, Iowa  - Burger King Corp., in a move that could ignite a fast-food discounting war, plans to test a $1 double cheeseburger that would challenge one of McDonald's Corp.'s best-selling items. The nation's No. 2 hamburger chain said it will feature a larger double cheeseburger than McDonald's at a heavily discounted rate in three unnamed U.S. markets early next year.

UPS workers okay five-year contract
ATLANTA- The union representing the majority of UPS Inc.'s employees said Tuesday that members have approved a new five-year contract with the world's largest shipping carrier. The agreement, which was reached Sept. 30 between UPS and Teamsters representatives, was approved by rank-and-file members by a 65 percent vote, according to a preliminary count released in a statement from the Teamsters.

[Last modified November 20, 2007, 23:08:17]


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