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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Lanai ferry firm now employee owned

Expeditions, the company that operates the only passenger ferry running between Lahaina, Maui, and Manele Harbor, Lanai, is now owned by its employees. After founder Craig Newnan died a year ago, his mother, C. Jean Shewey, inherited the business and recently offered it to the employees, the company said. Fourteen of the employees agreed to buy shares.

Expeditions is now headed by Steve Knight, president and general manager. He said the two-deck, air-conditioned Expeditions 3, which can carry 99 passengers, is carrying more than 10,000 passengers a month between Maui and Lanai. The company started the operation in 1989 with a 36-passenger vessel.

Cable companies offer grace period

Seeking to put an end to theft of cable television signals, the cable companies that make up the Hawaii Cable Television Association are asking people who have the illegal pirate boxes to turn them in to their local cable office.

No questions will be asked, said an association spokesman Kit Beuret, who is also the spokesman for Hawaii's biggest cable operator, Oceanic Cablevision.

Through August, the offices of Oceanic, Hawaiian Cablevision of Maui, Sun Cablevision in Kona, Hawaiian Cablevision in Hilo and Garden Island Cable on Kauai will accept the boxes. Beuret said the use of pirate boxes to tap into cable TV without paying fees is theft and the cable companies can, and do, seek civil court damages and criminal indictments.

Xerox profit warning sinks stock again

NEW YORK -- No. 1 photocopier maker Xerox Corp. posted second-quarter operating earnings that met lowered Wall Street forecasts today but another in a series of profit warnings sent the stock to a five-year low.

The company, which has seen its stock pummeled amid accounting and reorganization woes, said its turnaround would take longer than expected.

Xerox earnings before one-time items fell more than 50 percent to $222 million, or 30 cents a share, from $448 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts on average had expected Xerox to earn 30 cents per share, according to research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

Second-quarter revenue fell 4 percent to $4.69 billion from $4.86 billion.

Xerox closed down $3, or 16.5 percent, to $15.19 today on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares in the Stamford, Conn., company were among both NYSE volume leaders and biggest losers in percentage terms.

In other news . . .

Bullet WILMINGTON, Del.-- DuPont Co., the world's largest chemical maker, said it's expanding its share repurchase program by $1.8 billion, after its stock fell by about a third this year.

The plan would expand a December 1998 board authorization to acquire as many as 20 million DuPont shares.

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