In the Region Baltimore's TBC awarded contract by...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 19, 2001

In the Region

Baltimore's TBC awarded contract by Yellow Book USA

Trahan, Burden & Charles Inc. said yesterday that it was awarded a multiyear contract by Yellow Book USA - among the largest U.S. publishers of yellow pages - to spearhead a new marketing campaign.

The contract for the Baltimore advertising and public relations firm will mean between $10 million and $20 million in annual billings, said Gordon Henry, Yellow Book's vice president of marketing.

TBC expects to hire additional employees to handle the increased work, but said it has not determined an exact number. The campaign will include television, radio, print, online and direct marketing.

CarMax says earnings will exceed estimates

CarMax Auto Superstores Inc., a subsidiary of Richmond, Va.-based Circuit City Stores Inc., said yesterday that it expects third-quarter earnings to be 40 percent higher than analysts have anticipated.

For the three months that ends Nov. 30, the used-car retailer forecast earnings of 14 cents to 15 cents a share, up from 7 cents a year ago and more than the 10 cents a share that analysts have been predicting.

Elsewhere

Class action status upheld for debit card antitrust case

A three-judge appellate panel in New York City has upheld class action status for a 15-year-old antitrust case filed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other U.S. retailers against Visa and MasterCard over debit cards.

Visa and MasterCard both said yesterday that they would seek a rehearing of the decision, issued late Wednesday by the judges from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The plaintiffs allege that Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. have tried to extend a credit card monopoly to debit cards, and that excessive transaction fees are being charged.

Chrysler further cutting production of vehicles

The Chrysler unit of DaimlerChrysler AG said yesterday that it is cutting October production by another 14,700 vehicles in response to slowing sales to rental car agencies as air travel has declined.

The company said it will idle its car plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., for two weeks, and its car plant in Brampton, Ontario, for one week. The two plants employ about 6,000 workers.

Chrysler already had scheduled a production cut of 26,000 vehicles for the month.

EToys.com reopens, run by K-B Toys Web unit

EToys.com, an online store that went bankrupt in March, is open again as new owner K-B Toys seeks to capture more sales of learning and educational items on the Internet.

EToys, which in 1999 was the top Internet toy retailer, became emblematic of dot-com failures when the site was shuttered in March after losing $429 million in three years.

K-B Toys, a closely held retailer that operates more than 1,300 toy stores, in May bought for $4.35 million most of EToys' inventory as well as its trademarks, logos and Web addresses.

TRW engine-valve plant closing amid slowdown

TRW Inc. plans to close an engine-valve plant in Cleveland by the middle of next year and fire all 500 workers there because of a slowdown in automobile production.

Work done at the plant will be shifted to other TRW facilities, the company said. The job cuts are in addition to the 3,500 automotive and aerospace workers TRW said earlier this week that it would fire.

TRW said yesterday that its third-quarter net income more than doubled as expenses dropped from plant closings and job cuts last year. Sales fell 4.7 percent, led by a decline in auto-related revenue.

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

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