In the Region US Airways Express adds Shuttle America...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 10, 2001

In the Region

US Airways Express adds Shuttle America as new carrier

US Airways Group Inc. said yesterday that closely held Shuttle America Inc. will become a carrier for US Airways Express starting Oct. 24, with service to Trenton, N.J., and Philadelphia from Bedford, Mass.

The nonstop service will be offered from Hanscom Airfield in Bedford, a suburb of Boston.

Windsor Locks, Conn.-based Shuttle America will offer six nonstop round-trip flights each business day between Hanscom Field and Trenton/Mercer airport in Trenton and five round-trip flights between Hanscom Field and Philadelphia.

Harley-Davidson roars through economic slump

Harley-Davidson Inc., the famed motorcycle manufacturer, said yesterday that its third-quarter profit climbed 34 percent as demand for its distinctive models surged through the lingering economic downturn.

Harley-Davidson - which makes the popular Fat Boy and Road King motorcycles - said it had increased its production targets for the year even as U.S. automakers have signaled they will slow production to match weaker sales.

The company, which operates a plant in York, Pa., reported earnings of $111 million, or 36 cents per share, compared with $83 million or 27 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts had expected third-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share.

Harley's sales for the quarter increased 19.1 percent, to $850.8 million compared with $714.1 million a year earlier. The manufacturer increased motorcycle production targets for 2001 to 232,500 from 231,000 units.

Elsewhere

SEC commissioner is expected to quit, joining staff exodus

Laura Unger, a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is expected to announce her resignation - leaving the market watchdog agency with only two commissioners out of its full complement of five.

Unger, a Republican attorney named to the SEC by President Bill Clinton in October 1997, was expected to step down soon to join the private sector, an agency source said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity. Her five-year term expired in June.

Unger would join a stream of attorneys, accountants and examiners who have left the SEC in recent years for more lucrative jobs outside government - an exodus that Unger herself recently said had created a "staffing crisis."

Visa, MasterCard ordered to end ban on other cards

Visa International Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. were ordered yesterday by a federal judge in New York to abolish a rule that bars member banks from distributing credit cards issued by American Express Co. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.

The Justice Department had sued to force the top two credit card companies to allow their 6,000 member banks to distribute other credit cards, such as American Express and Discover. The government also sought to end joint control of Visa and MasterCard by some of the nation's largest banks.

Visa and MasterCard together control 75 percent of the $1.3 trillion card market. American Express has 18 percent of the market, followed by Discover, which is owned by Morgan Stanley.

GM to cut production at Belgian, German plants

General Motors Corp. confirmed yesterday that it will cut production at two of its largest assembly plants in Europe as it restructures its operations on the continent.

GM, the world's largest automaker, said it would cut production at vehicle assembly plants in Antwerp, Belgium, and Bochum, Germany, as part of its previously announced plans to cut capacity across Europe by 350,000 vehicles a year.

Combined with measures announced last year, including ending car production at Britain's Luton plant, GM aims to cut capacity in Europe by about 750,000 units from 2.4 million to 2.5 million.

IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer to launch health venture

Three industry giants are slated to formally launch a health care firm today that will sell software and services for doctors' offices. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

International Business Machines Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced their intention earlier this year to jointly create an independent company to help automate physicians' offices.

This column was compiled from reports by Sun staff writers, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters.

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