ARCO to cut 2,000 jobs in '94Atlantic Richfield Co., in...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 19, 1994

ARCO to cut 2,000 jobs in '94

Atlantic Richfield Co., in the midst of revamping its U.S. oil operations, said yesterday that it will cut 2,000 jobs this year and next and take $150 million in after-tax charges to pay costs related to the move.

The job cuts are the second phase of a major restructuring that will result in the loss of about 3,300 jobs, the oil company said. In 1993, ARCO employed about 25,000 people worldwide, with about 20,000 based in the United States.

News of the move sent ARCO's stock to $107.875 a share, up $2.125.

Microsoft stock up 4%, to $50.50

Microsoft Corp.'s stock rose 4 percent yesterday, as investors saw no harm to the software giant from a weekend settlement with the Justice Department of allegations that its licensing methods hindered competitors.

Microsoft shares closed up $1.875, or 4 percent, at $50.50, in Nasdaq trading totaling 9.5 million shares, compared with the three-month daily average of 4.75 million. The shares traded as high as $51.75, during the day.

The Justice Department late Friday reached an agreement with Microsoft on halting a controversial licensing practice, instead of pursuing a case that could have broken up the world's largest independent software company.

A&A looks to pare its costs

Alexander & Alexander Services Inc. said yesterday that it had begun looking for ways to reduce costs, but a company spokesman said it was too early to say whether layoffs were possible.

About 650 of the company's 1,400 employees work at its Owings Mills and Baltimore operations, and spokesman Gary Sullivan said employees would be involved in the cost review.

The New York-based insurance broker also said yesterday that it has completed negotiations amending its long-term credit agreement. The agreement increased the company's available credit from $75 million to $150 million.

The actions follow Friday's announcement that A&A had completed a transaction in which American International Group, Inc. purchased 4 million shares of newly issued Series B convertible preferred stock for $200 million.

Oil prices retreat from gains

As the oil-worker strike in Nigeria continued without affecting exports, oil prices yesterday retreated from gains registered in recent weeks on concerns the strike would upset supplies.

Light sweet crude oil settled at $19.51 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 38 cents. The drop put oil prices back to where they stood just before the Nigerian strike started July 4.

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