Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, December 22, 1999

Bankoh parent gets 'buy' rating for stock

Shares of Pacific Century Financial Corp. should reach $26 next year, a San Francisco securities analyst said today. The stock was up today in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Initiating his company's coverage of Bank of Hawaii's parent with a "buy" recommendation, First Security Van Kasper analyst Eric E. Rothman predicted operating earnings of $2 a share next year, calling that a "very conservative" estimate.

That would be a 10.6 percent increase from this year's estimated $1.63 cents a share for Pacific Century. The report said economic conditions are improving in the company's Hawaii-Pacific area of operations.

Bell Atlantic wins OK to offer long distance

The Federal Communications Commission today authorized Bell Atlantic Corp. to sell long-distance service in New York, making it the first regional Bell company to get that right.

Bell Atlantic meanwhile is moving ahead with its plan to merge with GTE Corp. which, among other changes, will make GTE Hawaiian Tel part of the biggest telephone company in the country.

Hawaiian Tel has been offering long-distance service to the mainland since 1996.

S&P shuffling indexes' lineups

NEW YORK -- Standard & Poor's Corp. is doing some end-of-year housecleaning in its U.S. stock indexes. The company said it will add Transocean Offshore Inc., First Security Corp. and NCR Corp. to its S&P 500 index.

S&P will make room for two of the additions by moving two of the smallest companies in the benchmark to other indexes. Helmerich & Payne Inc. will be moved down to the S&P MidCap 400, taking Transocean's place in that index. First Security, meanwhile, gets the slot now occupied by Foster Wheeler Corp., the smallest S&P 500 company. Foster Wheeler will be moved down to the S&P SmallCap 600. The third addition, NCR, will replace Republic New York Corp., which is being acquired, according to Bloomberg News.

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