Originally created 11/13/97

Additional business news

Stocks take 157 point drop

NEW YORK -- The global financial fire flared up again Wednesday, burning 157 points off the Dow Jones industrial average as investors dumped banking and technology shares perceived as most vulnerable to the turmoil abroad.

The Dow, which nearly recovered from an opening 88-point slide before an afternoon selloff, sank 157.41, or 2.1 percent, to 7,401.32, the blue-chip barometer's lowest finish since its 554-point plunge on Oct. 27.

Martin Color-Fi earnings fall

Lower demand and higher material costs resulted in a 6 percent decrease in third quarter earnings for Edgefield-based Martin Color-Fi, compared to the same period a year ago.

In response, the company raised prices on fibers it produces in the latter part of the quarter. Increasing sales of its Colorfine polyester product line should improve the bottom line, according to James F. Martin, chairman and chief executive officer.

Comparing company third quarter performance of 1996 to 1997, net sales dropped from $31.5 million to $29.5 million, net income dropped from $2 million to $471,000, and earnings per share dropped from 30 cents to 7 cents.

Results for the first nine months shows a brighter picture comparing this year to the one prior, which was a record year for the company. Net sales are up to $89 million from $87 million, net income is up to $3 million from $2.9 million, and earnings per share are up to 45 cents from 43 cents.

Trading in the company's stock on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Wednesday closed at $5.50, unchanged from the day before, but down 30 percent from its close on Oct. 31.


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