Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Wall Street peruses

NEW YORK -- Inc., the online book retailer owned by Barnes & Noble Inc. and Bertelsmann AG, rose 27 percent in the first day of trading on optimism it will grab customers from larger rival Inc., the No. 2 Internet book retailer behind, rose $4.94 to $22.94, giving it a market value of about $3.2 billion, or about two-thirds more than Barnes & Noble. The online unit, which yesterday sold an 18 percent stake at $18, earlier today traded at $26.50.

The $450 million raised from the IPO, Barnes & Noble's well-known name and the partnership with German publisher Bertelsmann could help better compete with for online book customers, analysts said.

McKesson to restate 1999 earnings again

SAN FRANCISCO -- Medical supplies distributor McKesson HBOC Inc. says it will revise downward its fiscal 1999 earnings for a second time in two months after finding more accounting problems in its recently acquired health information company HBO. The news sent its stock sharply lower.

The restatement may also include previous years' earnings reports, McKesson disclosed today. The company blamed "improper revenue recognition matters" involving software sales at HBO, which provides computer solutions to help health care providers manage their businesses.

AOL in pact to create TV listings service

PASADENA, Calif. -- America Online Inc. said today it entered into a licensing pact to use Gemstar International Group Ltd.'s technology to develop AOL's electronic programming guides for television.

AOL said its electronic programming guides will enable members to sort TV programs by themes or categories and to select shows for viewing or recording. AOL plans to launch its interactive service on TV next year.

The set-top boxes initially will be connected to AOL through built-in modems over standard phone lines.

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