Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Purchases by check up 5.8% in Hawaii

Hawaii had the highest gain over last year in retail sales for the 17 days after Thanksgiving, according to the national check-approval company, TeleCheck Services Inc. The value of purchases paid for by check in Hawaii was up 5.8 percent compared with the equivalent period of 1998, TeleCheck said. Nationally, such purchases were up 4.2 percent for the Nov. 26-Dec. 12 period.

Cyanotech signs manufacturing deal

Kona-based Cyanotech Corp., which makes food and pharmaceutical products from microalgae, has signed an agreement with a North Carolina firm, Banner Pharmacaps Inc., which will manufacture capsules of Cyanotech's natural astaxanthin to sell to nutritional products businesses.

In that form, astaxanthin is used as an antioxidant in the human diet.

Microsoft, Justice deny deal imminent

Microsoft Corp. and government antitrust enforcers aren't close to an antitrust settlement, a Justice Department spokeswoman said, debunking speculation that had sent shares of the world's largest software maker to an all-time high.

Microsoft shares closed up $2.06 to $98.69 -- after earlier rising $4.50 and touching $101.12 --on volume of nearly 72 million shares, triple its daily average over the past six months. It was the most active stock on U.S. exchanges. Microsoft, the Justice Department and 19 states are meeting his week in Chicago with a mediator, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner, to explore the possibility of a settlement in the antitrust case filed against the company in 1998.

IPO plan for Palm boosts 3Com stock

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- 3Com Corp. shares soared after its Palm Inc. unit, the No. 1 maker of electronic organizers, filed for an initial public offering and said Nokia Oyj, Motorola Inc. and America Online Inc. will buy shares. 3Com, the No. 2 computer-networking equipment maker, rose $5.81 to $50.62 on the Nasdaq.

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