USF&G Corp.USF&G Corp. shares slumped yesterday as its...


December 22, 1992

USF&G Corp.

USF&G Corp. shares slumped yesterday as its biggest bull, Kidder Peabody & Co.'s Steven Gavios, widened his 1992 loss estimate on the property and casualty insurer and slashed estimates for 1993 and 1994.

Mr. Gavios cited lower-than-expected investment income that will be only partially offset by improved underwriting performance. He expects USF&G to post an operating loss of $1.30 a share in 1992, wider than his earlier estimate of $1.15. For 1993, he slashed his estimate for operating profit to 45 cents a share, from 90 cents.

Still, he maintains a "buy" rating, noting a continuing decline in expenses and a narrowing in losses.

!USF&G fell $1, to $12.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Stock in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell sharply yesterday on advance publicity about an NBC News report alleging that the leading retailer's commitment to sell American products is phony and hypocritical.

Despite its fervently patriotic image, the "Dateline NBC" telecast says, Wal-Mart imports increasingly vast quantities of merchandise, exploits child labor in Bangladesh to produce private-label clothes and displays foreign-made clothes on racks that proclaim "Made in the USA."

Wal-Mart denied the allegations in the "Dateline NBC" report, which is scheduled to air at 10 tonight.

Company spokesman Don Shinkle said that imports account for only 5.8 percent of the chain's total marketed goods. He also pointed out that some of the NBC report was attributed to organized labor, which has fought Wal-Mart over its nonunion policies.

In New York Stock Exchange trading, Wal-Mart dropped $1.75 a share, to $63.875, on volume of nearly 1.58 million shares, much higher than the normal trading flow.

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