Cable & Wireless OK'd to offer local phone service in...

Business Digest

March 29, 1996

Cable & Wireless OK'd to offer local phone service in Md.

Cable & Wireless Inc., the Vienna, Va.-based subsidiary of Britain's Cable & Wireless PLC, said yesterday that it has received permission to offer local telephone service in Maryland from the state Public Service Commission.

Maryland is the fifth state in which Cable & Wireless has won authorization to offer local as well as long distance service.

Cable & Wireless, which has operated in the United States since 1975, is a specialist in the business telecommunications market and has no plans to offer residential services.

FDA OKs excimer laser to fix nearsightedness

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved use of the VISX excimer laser to correct mild to moderate nearsightedness in the United States, and 20/20 Laser Centers, which sought the approval, immediately said it plans to put VISX equipment in its seven offices.

The company, based in Bethesda, operates laser vision correction sites in New York, New Jersey, South Florida and the Washington, D.C., area.

The excimer laser is used to perform photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, commonly known as laser vision correction, to reshape the cornea to improve distance vision. Other PRK equipment has been used since 1988.

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Chrysler boss Eaton got $4.2 million last year

Chrysler Corp. Chairman Robert Eaton got $4.2 million in salary, stock options and other compensation in 1995, nearly a third less than he was paid a year earlier, the company said yesterday.

Most of the decline occurred because Mr. Eaton exercised no stock options last year. He cashed in shares worth nearly $1.9 million and received total pay of $6.2 million in 1994, Chrysler's most profitable year ever.

Last year, Mr. Eaton was paid a $1.2 million salary, a bonus of nearly $2.4 million, an additional performance-based payout of $434,981 and other compensation of about $163,000, and was given stock options worth $3 million, according to a company proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mutual funds' assets fell, group says

Assets of the nation's 668 retail money market mutual funds fell $1.77 billion, to $567.14 billion, in the week ended March 27, the Investment Company Institute, an industry group, said yesterday.

It said assets of the 409 taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $1.10 billion, to $457.77 billion, while assets of the 259 tax-exempt funds fell $666.8 million, to $109.37 billion.

The ICI said assets of the 292 institutional money market funds fell $2.64 billion, to $243.43 billion. Of those, the 233 taxable money market fund assets fell $2.41 billion, to $217.17 billion, and assets of the 59 tax-exempt funds fell $221.8 million, to $26.27 billion.

Average daily volume up 27% for Nasdaq

The Nasdaq stock market continues to grow briskly, with average daily trading volume up 27 percent in the first quarter, according to preliminary figures released yesterday in Washington.

Nasdaq, the computer and telephone-linked stock market, said average daily share volume was estimated at 510.1 million for the first quarter, up from 401.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1995.

Market capitalization, which measures total value of stocks traded, was an estimated $1.18 trillion at the end of the quarter, up from a previous record of $1.16 trillion set on Dec. 4.

R.R. Donnelley to close 2 plants, lay off nearly 1,000

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. announced yesterday that it will close two U.S. printing plants and lay off nearly 1,000 workers as part of restructuring to cut expenses.

The Chicago-based company said it will take a one-time pre-tax charge of $512 million, or $2.67 per share after taxes, to pay for the restructuring.

Donnelley, the world's largest commercial printer, said it will close its Newton, N.C., plant late next year, cutting about 650 jobs. The Casa Grande, Ariz., plant will close in mid-1997 and will put 300 people out of work.

Chemicals made for IBM caused cancer, suit charges

Chemicals used to manufacture computer chips at an IBM plant in East Fishkill, N.Y., caused cancer in several employees, says a lawsuit filed yesterday in New York State Supreme Court.

The civil suit seeks damages from Union Carbide Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., J.T. Baker Chemical Co. and KTI Chemical Corp., a former Union Carbide subsidiary that has been dissolved. IBM was not named as a defendant.

The suit alleges that the companies failed to design, manufacture and test the chemicals to guard against worker injury, and failed to warn IBM of the products' hazards.

Mobil discharged wastes without permit, suit says

Mobil Oil Corp. was sued yesterday by U.S. prosecutors who allege that it discharged contaminated wastes without an Environmental Protection Agency permit.

The U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York said it's seeking civil penalties of $25,000 a day for each day Mobil is accused of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

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