Originally created 04/21/00

Business briefs: Corporate strength boosts Dow average



NEW YORK -- Blue-chip stocks rose sharply Thursday on the latest round of strong corporate profit reports. Technology stocks ended modestly lower as investors took some profits from the big gains of Monday and Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 169.09 to close at 10,844.05. The Dow ended the four-day week with a gain of 538.28 points, or 5.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite index fell 62.53 to close at 3,643.88. Even with losses, the Nasdaq rose 322.59 points, or 9.7 percent, for the week after plummeting a record 25.3 percent last week.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 4-to-3 margin on the NYSE.

Morris buys Monaco radio station

Morris Communications Corp., which publishes The Augusta Chronicle, has purchased Riviera Radio, the only full-time English-language FM station covering the French Riviera.

Morris Communications assumed management April 13. The station is licensed to the principality of Monaco.

Riviera Radio is the only international broadcast property owned by the company.

Real estate firm sees funds fall

Augusta-based Merry Land Properties Inc. said funds from operations, a key measure of cash flow growth for real estate companies, fell slightly in the first quarter to $709,000, or 31 cents per share from $809,000, or 36 cents a share a year ago.

Net operating income for the first quarter of 2000 for the Merry Land's eleven apartment communities was up 3.4 percent over the first quarter of 1999, the company said.

The company also announced it had entered into a joint venture with a real estate investment fund in March to buy part of the 326-unit Cypress Cove apartments in Melbourne, Fla., for $18.8 million. Merry Land will own 10 percent of the venture.

Plagued company states profit

SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp.'s third-quarter earnings rose 24 percent from a year ago amid analysts' concerns over lagging computer sales and investor worries about its ongoing legal woes.

The software company had profits of $2.39 billion, or 43 cents per share, on sales of $5.66 billion -- a 23 percent increase in revenues -- in the three months ending March 31.