RTC unveils plan for investorsFederal thrift regulators...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 14, 1993

RTC unveils plan for investors

Federal thrift regulators unveiled a program yesterday to give small investors a better crack at buying properties and other assets seized from bankrupt savings and loans.

The Resolution Trust Corp. said the plan will minimize the taxpayer cost of the S&L cleanup by attracting more competitive bidding for $100 billion in real estate, loans, securities and other assets being sold by the agency.

Under the plan, individual investors will be able to buy a foreclosed residential property from a government-seized thrift, rather than the thrift's entire portfolio of assets.

CBS operating profits up 210%

CBS Inc. said yesterday that operating profits jumped 210 percent in the first quarter, giving the top-ranked network's stock a sharp boost.

Profits from continuing operations surged to $54.2 million, or $3.50 a share, from $17.5 million, or $1.14 a share, a year earlier. The results exclude a charge last year for accounting changes.

Merrill Lynch earnings surge

Merrill Lynch & Co. surprised Wall Street yesterday by reporting a 57 percent surge in first-quarter earnings, a record that was far above analysts' estimates for the nation's largest securities firm.

The robust increase reflected strong gains for retail brokers as individual investors fled the low returns from bank accounts and poured large amounts into stocks and mutual funds during the quarter. Wall Street also profited as corporations refinanced debt at lower interest rates.

Coca-Cola's profits up 18%

Coca-Cola Co. said yesterday that its first-quarter earnings rose to $454 million helped by improved sales trends in both the United States and key international markets.

It was an 18 percent gain over a year ago, excluding special charges for accounting changes.

The results for the world's biggest soft-drink company were at the high end of Wall Street analysts' estimates and equaled 35 cents a share.

A year ago, Coke earned $386 million, or 29 cents a share, before a $219 million, or 16 cents a share, charge to cover mandatory changes in accounting for employee post-retirement benefits.

Biotech firm elects chairman

Life Technologies Inc. of Gaithersburg, one of Maryland's largest biotechnology companies, elected K. Grahame Walker chairman of the board of directors yesterday.

Mr. Walker is president of Dexter Corp., a specialty materials company in Windsor Locks, Conn., which owns 55 percent of the common stock of Life Technologies. He was elected to the board in 1989.

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