Conrail may unload some routesConrail Inc. might sell or...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 19, 1995

Conrail may unload some routes

Conrail Inc. might sell or abandon a large part of its marginal Northeastern routes as it shifts investment toward its most profitable and growing lines, a senior executive of the freight railroad said yesterday.

Charles Marshall, senior vice president for development for Conrail, said in an interview that the company needed money to grow on many of its main lines, such as Chicago to New York.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the railroad could rid itself of up to 4,000 miles in its system of 11,700 miles of track.

Ice cream workers join union

Workers at the Good Humor/Breyer's ice cream plant in Hagerstown have voted to join the United Steelworkers of America, the union said yesterday.

The 224-116 vote, which took place on April 12, will result in a newly chartered USWA local. The new unit will represent about 400 workers.

WMS to acquire Bally Gaming

WMS Industries said yesterday that it had agreed in principle to acquire Bally Gaming International Inc., a Las Vegas-based producer of slot machines and video poker equipment, in a deal valued at $127 million.

Under a stock exchange agreement, Bally Gaming shareholders will receive six-tenths of a share of WMS stock for each share of Bally Gaming, although the exchange ratio could increase if warranted, the companies said. Based on yesterday's closing stock prices, Bally Gaming stock would be worth about $11.85 a share under the plan.

Chicago-based WMS also makes gambling machines and coin-operated amusement equipment.

Storage USA plans stock sale

Storage USA Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday to sell as much as $250 million of common or preferred stock.

According to its shelf registration, the Columbia-based company plans to use the proceeds from the stock sale for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of debt, property improvement or acquisition of properties.

Philip Morris earnings rise

Buoyed by significant gains in international tobacco sales and surprising market-share advances in its domestic food operations, Philip Morris Cos. posted strong first-quarter earnings yesterday.

Earnings rose 14 percent, to $1.3 billion, or $1.57 a share, from $1.2 billion, or $1.34 a share, in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

But before a charge of $28 million, or 3 cents a share, to reflect a change in accounting methods and excluding results from businesses that were sold, the most recent earnings amounted to $1.4 billion, or $1.60 a share, higher than analyst estimates of $1.58.

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