Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Cheap Tickets stock ascends 26 percent

Shares of Honolulu-based Cheap Tickets Inc. soared to new heights today on news that its second-quarter profits rose roughly 400 percent from a year earlier.

In heavy Nasdaq trading today, stock in the seller of discounted airline tickets rose $10.44 to close at a record $50.50. Cheap Tickets shares have more than tripled since the initial public offering of $15 in March.

After the market closed yesterday, Cheap Tickets said its second-quarter net was $3.2 million, or 15 cents a share, in the three months through June 30, up from a net of $644,000, or 3 cents a share, from a year ago.

Building contracts decline in Hawaii

Contracts written last month for future construction in Hawaii were down 16 percent in value from June 1998, according to the F.W. Dodge division of the McGraw-Hill Cos.

The June total of $100.8 million, down from $120.3 million in June 1998, went mostly into nonresidential construction, such as commercial buildings and hotels. That area produced $52 million worth of future work, up 86 percent from $28 million a year ago, said F.W. Dodge, which monitors construction nationwide.

Nonbuilding construction, such as highways and bridges, was down 84 percent at $7.4 million, from $47.6 million. Residential contracts in June, worth $41.4 million, were down 7 percent from $44.7 million.

For the half-year, total Hawaii construction contracts equaled $758.9 million, up 1 percent from $749 million in the first six months of 1998.

In other news . . .

Bullet WASHINGTON -- Bell Atlantic Corp. is likely to clear all regulatory hurdles for its $91 billion purchase of GTE Corp., parent of Hawaiian Tel, in January, a Bell executive said today. The Justice Department approved the transaction in May. The deal still needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission and several states.

Bullet BALTIMORE -- Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. plans to sell 43 radio stations in nine markets to Entercom Communications Corp. for $821.5 million in cash.

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