Wal-Mart wins suit on pricesWal-Mart Stores Inc. won an...

BUSINESS DIGEST

January 10, 1995

Wal-Mart wins suit on prices

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. won an Arkansas court victory yesterday in a case charging the nation's largest retailer with engaging in predatory pricing.

In a 4-3 decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court dismissed a 1993 ruling that Wal-Mart's pricing policies were intended to drive competitors from the marketplace. In the suit, three Arkansas druggists argued that Wal-Mart was pricing items below cost in an effort to force them out of business.

Patent victory short-lived

A federal court yesterday threw out a patent for a navigation and guidance device held by Litton Systems Inc., nullifying a $1.2 billion jury award that Litton had won from Honeywell Inc.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer reversed the jury decision, which found Honeywell had infringed on the patent.

Honeywell's stock jumped $2.625, to $34, on the New York Stock Exchange, while Litton Industries lost $1.75, to $36.

Maryland Federal earnings fall

Maryland Federal Bancorp Inc. of Hyattsville reported an 18 percent decline in earnings for its fiscal third quarter, which ended Nov. 30, 1994. The company, parent of Maryland Federal Savings and Loan Association, earned $2.4 million, or 75 cents a share, during the quarter, down from $3.0 million, or 89 cents a share, a year ago.

Comsat unit buys out partner

Comsat International Ventures, a unit of Bethesda-based Comsat Corp., said yesterday that it has bought out its partner in a Brazilian communications company, Comsat VIC S.A.

The Brazilian company, which has been renamed Comsat Brasil, operates satellite earth stations and provides telecommunications services to companies in Brazil and other countries.

America West plans layoffs

America West Airlines Inc. said yesterday it would lay off 1,100 people, about 10 percent of its work force, to cut costs and make the company more competitive with other no-frills carriers.

Many of the remaining employees will get raises to bring their pay in line with competitors.

The layoffs are part of a program to reduce America West's annual operating expenses of $1.3 billion by $31 million this year, the company said.

Jews joins Ryland board

The Ryland Group yesterday announced the election of William L. Jews, 42, to its board of directors. Mr. Jews, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of pTC Maryland Inc., replaces Alan P. Hoblitzell Jr. on the board.

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