Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, January 28, 1999

Nimitz dealership selling Kia cars

Korean-made Kia automobiles have their first dealership in Hawaii, Aloha Kia, which opened last week at 2841 Nimitz Highway. The brand was introduced to the United States in August 1993. Aloha Kia is owned by William van den Hurk, owner of another Korean-car dealership, Aloha Hyundai.

Safeway earnings beat expectations

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Safeway Inc., North America's second-largest food and drug retailer, today posted a 19 percent gain in fourth quarter profits on strong store operations, beating Wall Street estimates by 2 cents. For the fourth quarter, the grocery chain had net income of $255 million or 50 cents a share compared with $214.9 million or 43 cents a share in the same period last year, despite an extra week in the 1997 quarter. Total sales were $7.9 billion in the 16-week fourth quarter 1998 compared with $7.8 billion in the 17-week fourth quarter 1997.

Intel splits stock; raises dividend

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Intel Corp., the No. 1 computer-chip maker, said it will split its shares two-for-one and increase its quarterly dividend 50 percent, after the stock more than doubled since June.

Intel shares rose on the news. The new shares will be distributed April 11 to shareholders of record March 23. The dividend increase, to 3 cents a share from 2 cents, is payable June 1 to holders of record May 7. Intel has benefited as consumers bought about 27 million computers in the fourth quarter.

Auto supplier bids for London company

CLEVELAND -- TRW Inc. today agreed to acquire LucasVarity PLC for $7 billion, but a rival automotive supplier, Federal-Mogul Corp., said it might raise its earlier bid. LucasVarity, a London-based maker of auto brake systems, aerospace and missile equipment, this week rejected a $6.5 billion cash-and-stock offer from Federal-Mogul. TRW, based in Cleveland, called its deal the largest cash transaction in the automotive supply industry. The offer amounts to about $47.35 per share.

30-year mortgages average 6.74%

WASHINGTON -- The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a six-week low of 6.74 percent this week from 6.78 percent last week, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 6.37 percent this week, down from 6.42 percent. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged an initial rate of 5.57 percent, the same as last week.

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