Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

WorldCom reduces sales, spending forecasts

Clinton, Miss. >> WorldCom Inc., the second-largest U.S. long-distance telephone company, reduced its 2002 sales forecast as companies spend less for data and Internet services.

Shares, which closed down 35 cents yesterday at $5.98, fell an additional $1.08 to $4.90 in after-hours trading following the announcement.

Sales will be $21 billion to $21.5 billion, less than an earlier forecast of $22.2 billion to $22.6 billion, WorldCom spokesman Brad Burns said. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will be $7 billion to $7.5 billion compared with a previous range of $8.4 billion to $8.5 billion.

WorldCom joins Qwest Communications International Inc. and BellSouth Corp. in lowering 2002 sales forecasts this week. Sales at WorldCom and its rivals have slowed as corporations reduce spending for phone and data services and competition drives down prices. WorldCom said capital spending will be about $4.5 billion this year, compared with an earlier forecast of $5 billion to $5.5 billion. The company plans to release first-quarter results Thursday.

Boeing to lay off 800 at Calif. satellite facility

LOS ANGELES >> Boeing Co.'s division that builds commercial and nonclassified military satellites will lay off 800 workers at its El Segundo, Calif., facility by the end of July, with the possibility of another 500 cuts by the end of the year, the company said yesterday.

The numbers are in addition to 1,050 job cuts announced in February at El Segundo and nearby Torrance. Those workers, who were given 60-day notice, will lose their jobs at the end of May. The layoffs were across the board, including administrators, managers, engineers and assemblers. About 8,100 people work in El Segundo, including the workers scheduled to lose their jobs in May.

The announcement comes two days after Boeing announced its first unprofitable quarter since 1997, due mostly to a 50 percent drop in profits at its space and communications division.

Earlier yesterday, Boeing handed out another wave of 60-day layoff notices to 2,383 commercial airplanes workers in Seattle, and 1,327 employees who received their pink slips in February spent their last day at the aerospace giant.

That put the layoff total since December at 19,596, nearly two-thirds of the way toward company's goal of cutting 30,000 commercial airline jobs by the middle of this year.

Equity Office CEO quits; Chairman Zell takes over

Chicago >> Equity Office Properties Trust President and Chief Executive Timothy Callahan unexpectedly resigned from the largest U.S. office-building owner, and is being replaced on an interim basis by Chairman Sam Zell.

Callahan, 51, quit for personal reasons, said Diane Morefield, a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based real estate investment trust. Callahan, who oversaw about $17 billion of acquisitions since the REIT went public in 1997, also quit as a director. Two acquisition officers have also resigned.

Callahan's departure leaves Equity Office with voids in two of its senior management positions. The company has been searching for a chief financial officer for six months after promoting Richard Kincaid to chief operating officer. Investors said Callahan hadn't indicated an intention to leave, and spoke at an investor conference last month in Palm Beach, Florida.

The company will hold its first-quarter conference call on April 29.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin