Originally created 11/20/02

Business briefs

Merger will prompt sale of parts maker

LOS ANGELES - Northrop Grumman Corp. will sell control of the automotive parts segment of TRW Inc. for $4.13 billion to a private equity firm once its merger with TRW closes, the company announced Tuesday.

Northrop will finance part of the sale to the New York investment firm The Blackstone Group and will retain a 20 percent interest in TRW Automotive in the deal.

The defense giant will use the proceeds to pay debt. It agreed to acquire Cleveland-based TRW for $7.8 billion in stock in July.

Deere records gain for fourth quarter

MOLINE, Ill. - Deere & Co. posted a $68 million profit for the fourth quarter, citing stronger sales of agricultural equipment overseas and benefits from cost-cutting.

The company, which manufactures light tractors in Columbia County, said it expects further improvement in 2003, including a revenue increase of 8 to 10 percent.

Net income for the three months ended Oct. 31 amounted to 28 cents per share, compared with a loss of $320.1 million, or $1.36 per share, for the same quarter a year ago.

Home Depot's profit rises, but stock falls

ATLANTA - The Home Depot reported a 20.8 percent profit increase for its third quarter but acknowledged Tuesday that sales were slipping at older stores, sending stock prices down.

The nation's largest home improvement retailer earned $940 million, or 40 cents per share, in the three months ended Nov. 3, compared with $778 million, or 33 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Overall sales for the company increased with the opening of 34 stores.

Consumer prices rise, with some exceptions

WASHINGTON - Consumer prices rose modestly in October, especially hitting the wallets of motorists and Americans needing medical care. But falling prices for airfares, computers and other items provided some bargains.

The government's most closely watched inflation gauge, the Consumer Price Index, increased 0.3 percent in October from the previous month, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The latest reading on inflation, which matched analysts' expectations, followed a 0.2 percent advance in September and equaled the rise posted in August.


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