Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Thursday, October 7, 1999

Sports Authority expects bigger loss

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Sports Authority Inc., the largest U.S. sporting-goods retailer, said it will have a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss because of low sales of shoes, clothes, and golf products.

The retailer said today it expects a loss from operations of 32 cents to 37 cents a share for the quarter ending Oct. 24.

That is wider than the average loss of 10 cents forecast by analysts polled by First Call Corp. In the year-ago quarter, Fort Lauderdale-based Sports Authority had a loss from operations of $10.2 million, or 32 cents.

30-year mortgages rise to 7.82 percent

McLEAN, Va. -- The benchmark U.S. 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 7.82 percent this week from 7.70 percent last week, according to mortgage broker Freddie Mac. It was the first increase in four weeks. The average rate on a one-year adjustable mortgage rose to 6.27 percent from 6.12 percent last week, and the 15-year mortgage average rate was up to 7.43 percent from 7.35 percent.

In other news . . .

Bullet CLEVELAND -- BP Amoco plans to post signs by year's end warning customers not to use cellular telephones near gas pumps at its U.S. stations. The precautionary measure is prompted by concerns that electronic impulses from a cellular phone could help ignite fires if gasoline or gas fumes are present. The risk is slight, but London-based BP Amoco doesn't want to take any chances, said a BP spokeswoman in Cleveland. A spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based Chevron Corp., said Chevron will place warning decals on gas pumps later this year.

Bullet BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- A federal grand jury has indicted rogue financier Martin R. Frankel on 36 counts of fraud and money-laundering, the U.S. attorney's office said today. If convicted of all charges, Frankel faces a maximum of 410 years in prison. Frankel, under arrest in Germany, is accused of absconding with more than $200 million in insurance company assets he was supposed to invest.

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