GM to limit shareholders' voiceGeneral Motors Corp...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 03, 1994

GM to limit shareholders' voice

General Motors Corp. Chairman John Smale, fed up with expensive annual shareholders meetings that are often disrupted by hecklers, said the automaker plans to limit the scope of such forums in the future.

Mr. Smale, in a speech yesterday to the National Association of Corporate Directors, said GM will limit the amount of speaking time allotted to each shareholder and focus the meeting on the business at hand -- electing directors and voting on company and stockholder proposals.

Duty Free to close 23 stores

Duty Free International Inc., which has an accounting and distribution facility in Glen Burnie, said yesterday that it will close 23 stores and lay off about 210 employees as part of a restructuring.

Duty Free anticipates the moves will save the company about $7.4 million annually.

Duty Free spokeswoman Dyan Cutro said none of the job cuts are expected to come in Glen Burnie, where the company has about 200 employees.

First Financial earns $621,000

First Financial Corp. of Western Maryland, parent of First Federal Savings Bank of Western Maryland, said yesterday that it earned $621,000, or 28 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with earnings of $664,000, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier, not including the impact of a change in accounting principle that added $1.7 million, or 78 cents a share, to the bottom line. The Cumberland-based banking company has $342 million in assets.

First Financial shares closed at $25, up 50 cents, in Nasdaq trading.

Alpha 1 names president

Alpha 1 Biomedicals Inc. said yesterday that Michael L. Berman has been named acting president and chief executive of the Bethesda-based biotechnology company.

Dr. Berman, formerly the company's vice president for new commercial programs, replaced Vincent F. Simmon, who is leaving to pursue other business interests, the company said. Dr. Simmon will serve as a consultant to the company.

East Stainless increases price

Eastern Stainless Corp., which operates a stainless steel plant in Essex, yesterday announced it will increase the price of its stainless steel plate by 4 percent and 5 percent, depending on the steel's grade. The company said the increase is necessary to offset rising costs of raw materials, energy and operating supplies.

Eastern is owned by Armco Inc. of Pittsburgh, which has a tentative agreement to sell Eastern to Swedish-based Avesta Sheffield AB.

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