Rise surprises General KineticsOfficials at General...

BUSINESS DIGESt

December 29, 1992

Rise surprises General Kinetics

Officials at General Kinetics Inc. said yesterday that they did not know any reason for the stock's sharp rise. David Shaw, president of the Rockville-based technology concern, said the company hasn't made any announcements that would cause its issue to climb. "Nothing has happened, not that we know of," he said.

Shares of General Kinetics closed yesterday on the American Stock Exchange at $3.25, up $1, on volume of 40,300 shares. Average daily volume is 4,600 shares.

Lerner cuts stake in Progressive

Progressive Corp. Chairman Alfred Lerner cut his stake in the Mayfield Heights, Ohio, insurance holding company by 7.7 percent and now holds 5.7 percent, or 3.83 million common shares. He sold 5.2 million shares for $27 each in a public offering conducted by the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Mr. Lerner also serves as chairman for Baltimore-based MNC Financial Inc. and as chairman and chief executive of MBNA Corp. in Delaware.

Executives' outlook positive

U.S. business executives continue to hold a fairly rosy view of the economy, the Conference Board said yesterday.

The board's measure of business confidence edged down 1 point in the fourth quarter, to 61, following an 8-point drop in the third quarter. A reading over 50 indicates positive responses outnumbered negative responses.

Sport Supply woos Riddell

Sport Supply Group Inc., one of the country's largest suppliers of sporting goods, offered to buy football equipment -- maker Riddell Sports Inc. yesterday in a deal worth about $38 million.

Sport, based in Dallas, is the maker of MacGregor and Arnold Palmer sports equipment, as well as other lines. Chicago-based Riddell makes football helmets, pads and other protective equipment.

Estimated auto output rises

U.S. car and truck production for the first quarter of 1993 is now estimated at 1.579 million cars and 1.188 million trucks, up 1 percent from levels set by planners in late November, Ward's Automotive Reports said yesterday.

The combined first-quarter output of 2.767 million cars and light-duty trucks is up from a production estimate of 2.737 million cars and trucks about a month ago, the weekly newsletter said.

Bond defaults off sharply

Moody's Investors Service Inc. said 1992 corporate bond defaults are off sharply from 1991 levels. The rating agency said "the speculative-grade issuer default rate will likely close 1992 at 3.9 percent, well below the 9.7 percent rate of 1991."

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