Wednesday, January 26, 2000

TRISTATE BUSINESS SUMMARY


Fifth Third managers predict stock winners

        Hoping to once again outperform the market, portfolio managers at Fifth Third Bank announced which stocks they think are hot for 2000.

        More than 600 investors attended Fifth Third's Investment Outlook 2000 on Tuesday. Apollo 13 commander Capt. Jim Lovell moderated the panel discussion among Fifth Third investment executives.

        Among their predictions:

        • Corporate profits will be up 10 to 12 percent and GDP growth 3 to 3.5 percent.

        • The Dow Jones Industrial Average will top 12,000 — or even 12,500.

        • Technology, health care and financial stocks continuing to dominate the market.

        Specific stock picks were Intel, Texas Instruments, MCI Worldcom, Microsoft, Schering-Plough, Medtronic, Freddie Mac, American International Group, Illinois Tool Works, Pitney Bowes, Lowe's and Cintas.

        “They are growth stocks, at reasonable prices,” Jim Berghausen, Fifth Third's chief investment officer, said. “They are all in a strong position in their industries.”

        Fifth Third's picks for 1999 returned 26 percent, compared with a 21 percent return for Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Fifth Third has more than $21 billion under investment management.

Newport Steel restarts melting furnace in Wilder
        The melting furnace at NS Group Inc.'s Newport Steel Corp. plant in Wilder was restarted Monday, five days after the unit was shut down.

        The steel minimill shut down the furnace Jan. 19 when bolts holding a movable roof over the unit broke. No one was injured, but the company estimated that it might take a week or two to get the furnace back in operation.

Cinergy names Vennemann VP-general counsel
        Jerome A. Vennemann, acting general counsel at Cinergy Corp., has been elected vice president and general counsel by the utility holding company's board of directors.

        Mr. Vennemann was named acting general counsel in February, succeeding Cheryl Foley, president of Cinergy's international business unit.

        Mr. Vennemann joined Cincinnati Gas & Electric in 1979.

Convergys to service hpshopping.com site
        Cincinnati's Convergys Corp. has agreed to provide Web-based sales and service to hpshopping.com, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s electronic commerce site for homes and home offices.

        Financial terms weren't disclosed. As part of the agreement, Convergys will supply hpshopping.com with its CybeResponse Internet technology and service to complement hpshopping's customer service programs.

Rex Stores completes buyback of stock
        Electronics retailer Rex Stores Corp. Tuesday said it completed the buyback of 1 million shares of its common stock.

        The company, based in Dayton, Ohio, also said it authorized the purchase of up to an additional 1.5 million shares. The purchases will be made from time to time in market or private transactions. Rex, which has 239 stores in 35 states, now has 8,210,382 shares outstanding.

        — From staff and wire reports

       



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EBay earnings exceed expectations
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