Business

Business Notes

Kentucky

Parent of Evansville, Henderson papers to cut 32 more jobs

The Evansville (Ind.) Courier Co. says it will cut 32 jobs as part of a restructuring in response to rising costs. The company, whose publications include the Evansville Courier & Press and The Gleaner of Henderson, Ky., announced the cuts Thursday. The reductions follow cuts made in July when the printing of The Gleaner was moved to Evansville. Courier Co. President and Publisher Jack Pate said the combined cuts reduce the company's work force by about 70 to about 335 full-time employees. He said the cuts were due primarily to the rising costs of newsprint and health benefits. Employees who are laid off will receive severance pay based on their length of service with the company, and extended health care benefits.

national

Auto parts maker to close plants, cut more jobs on increasing net loss

Dana Holding Corp. said Thursday it will close up to 10 plants and cut 2,000 more employees than originally planned as the auto parts maker's net loss widened in the third quarter. The company said its loss available to common stockholders widened to $279 million, or $2.79 per share, from $69 million, or 46 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30 fell 9 percent to $1.93 billion from $2.13 billion.

Fidelity plans layoffs now and next year

Fidelity Investments said Thursday it will cut nearly 1,300 jobs this month, with more layoffs to come early next year, in response to declining markets that have eroded mutual fund assets along with the fees Fidelity earns from its core business. Layoff notices will go out to about 2.9 percent of Fidelity's overall work force of 44,400. The cuts will be spread across the company's far-flung U.S. operations, affecting management positions as well as lower-level jobs, and no fund managers or analysts are being laid off. A second round of layoffs is planned in the first three months of next year, with the number of those cuts and other details to be released in coming weeks.

Mattel to cut 1,000 jobs worldwide

Mattel Inc. said Thursday it is cutting about 1,000 positions worldwide because of the economic downturn that is clouding the holiday outlook for toy makers. Mattel, whose toys include Barbie, American Girl and Fisher Price products, said the positions amount to 3 percent of its worldwide work force and will reduce its professional and management staff by 8 percent. The company said the cuts will come from a combination of layoffs, attrition and retirements and will not affect holiday toy production.

Wells Fargo offers stock at $27 a share

Wells Fargo & Co. on Thursday priced an $11 billion offering of common stock at $27 per share, in an effort to maintain a strong capital position as it absorbs the operations of Wachovia Corp. The offering of 407.5 million shares was priced at a 6.2 percent discount to the stock's Thursday closing price of $28.77. Originally, Wells Fargo had projected it would raise $10 billion from the offering.

Profit drops but revenue rises for Busch

Anheuser-Busch Cos Inc. saw its third-quarter profit drop nearly 6 percent because of charges related to its pending sale to InBev, but revenue rose as it raised prices on the majority of its brands and gained market share. The brewer, like its rivals including Molson Coors Brewing Co., is seeing sales slump in some foreign countries such as Britain. But in the U.S., the taste for beer is growing.

International

Bank of England surprises world markets by cutting key interest rate by 1.5 percent

The Bank of England slashed its key interest rate by 1.5 percentage points Thursday to its lowest in more than 50 years in a dramatic bid to cushion the coming recession, while the European Central Bank settled for a more conservative half-point trim. The British central bank's move to bring the base rate down to 3 percent — the biggest single-day cut in 27 years — caught markets by surprise, and economists were divided over whether it was a bold pre-emptive step, or simply a sign that the bank had waited too long to address the crisis. The last time Britain's benchmark rate was at 3 percent was early 1955, when Winston Churchill was prime minister.

Compiled from Staff, wire reports

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