Business Digest


April 19, 2005

In The Region

Lockheed gets OK to boost production of F/A-22 Raptors

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, has received approval from the Department of Defense to begin full production of its F/A-22 jet, clearing the way to raise output of the most expensive fighter plane ever built.

Michael W. Wynne, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, signed the approval April 15, the Pentagon said in a one-sentence statement yesterday. It gave no details on when production increases would begin, and Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said no additional details were available.

The approval could result in the purchase of as many as 96 of the Raptor stealth fighters through 2008, a decision worth as much as $11 billion, according to Air Force figures.

Two Md. firms release data on cancer drug tests

Two Maryland biotechnology companies released promising test results yesterday for separate anti-cancer treatments. The data were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference going on this week in Anaheim, Calif.

Celera Genomics Group said preclinical studies show its "histone deacetylase inhibitor" -- dubbed CRA-024781 -- may slow the progress of tumors, reduce their size and possibly kill some cancerous cells. The company has offices in Rockville and San Francisco and is owned by Applera Corp., in Norwalk, Conn.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. of Rockville said early clinical trials of "HGS-ETR1" show it to be safe and well-tolerated by patients with advanced, solid, cancerous tumors. The findings support further study of the treatment in a second round of clinical testing, which has begun, the company said. A second version of the therapy under its first clinical phase of testing was also shown to be safe, though a "maximum tolerated dose" has yet to be determined. That trial will continue.

SunTrust posts 36% gain in 1st quarter net income

SunTrust Banks Inc., which operates more than 60 branches in the Maryland region, reported its first-quarter net income rose 36 percent to $492.3 million.

The Atlanta-based banking company, which recently acquired Memphis-based National Commerce Financial Corp., said its quarterly earnings per share rose to $1.36 from $1.28 in the corresponding period a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected SunTrust to earn $1.32 a share.

Average loans for the quarter were up 29 percent to $103 billion, while average consumer and commercial deposits also grew 29 percent to $91 billion.

Jordan-Howard is COO at Baltimore Development

Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm, said yesterday that Nancy Jordan-Howard is its new chief operating officer. She is filling a position that Sharon Grinnell vacated this year.

Jordan-Howard's previous employers include Johns Hopkins Hospital, Verizon Communications Inc., the University of Maryland Baltimore and TESST College of Technology.

Eisner lands account for Fortune Lounge

The Fortune Lounge Group has hired Baltimore-based Eisner Communications to create an advertising and marketing campaign for Royal Vegas Poker, an online gambling site.

Spending on the account is expected to reach $20 million to $60 million. Fortune Lounge casinos and poker rooms are independently licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada.

Eisner's other clients include US Airways, Lenox, Dansk, Maryland State Lottery, Voice of America, The Ad Council, AMF Bowling Worldwide, STAR Systems Inc., The Century Council, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Washington, D.C. Convention and Tourism Corp.

Carrollton Bancorp net is up 35% for quarter

Carrollton Bancorp, a Baltimore-based banking company, reported yesterday that its net income increased 35 percent in the first quarter.

The bank said its net income rose to $413,000, or 14 cents a share, from $307,000 or 11 cents a share in the same period in 2004. Commercial real estate and business loans totaled $166 million at the end of the quarter compared with $136 million at the corresponding time last year.

The bank also announced it will pay a quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share June 1 to shareholders as of May 12.


Kozlowski, wife spent $14 million on art, dealer says

L. Dennis Kozlowski, Tyco International Ltd.'s former chief executive, and his wife, Karen, bought more than $14 million worth of artwork for a Manhattan apartment in 2001, including oil paintings by Impressionist masters Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, an art dealer testified yesterday.

In each case, the invoices for the paintings were sent to Tyco's offices in New Hampshire, dealer Christine A. Berry said.

Prosecutors have argued that Kozlowski and Mark H. Swartz, the Bermuda conglomerate's former chief financial officer, improperly used the company's so-called Key Employee Loan Program as a personal line of credit.

2 Citgo refineries in U.S. for sale, Venezuelan says

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