Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Tristate Summary

At last, Federated projects increase

        After a long run of monthly sales declines and disappointments, Federated Department Stores finally expects sales to climb in September.

        Excluding stores that have opened or closed in the past year, the Cincinnati-based retailer is expecting an increase of 3 to 5 percent during the five-week period that runs from Sept. 1 through Oct. 5.

        If the expectation holds up, it will be Macy's and Lazarus' parent's first increase in same-store sales since last November.

        Same-store sales for August fell 5.8 percent. For the first seven months of Federated's current fiscal year, same-store sales are down 3.3 percent.

        Federated shares perked up after the announcement. The stock closed Monday at $36.88, up 37 cents.

Great American out in New Jersey

        American Financial Group Inc. said Monday that its Great American Insurance Co. unit would transfer renewal rights for its personal auto insurance business in New Jersey to another company, effectively ending its auto-insurance business in the state. As policies renew, Great American will transfer them to Palisades Insurance Co. AFG, the umbrella for Carl Lindner's financial interests, will take a $7 million loss, or 10 cents per share, on the transaction in its third-quarter earnings.

Convergys grows Time Warner deal

        Cincinnati's Convergys Corp., leading provider of billing and customer management services, said Monday it has signed an expanded billing services agreement with Time Warner Cable, division of AOL Time Warner Inc.

        Financial terms weren't disclosed, but Convergys said it would use its ICOMS software to provide end-to-end billing and customer care to Time Warner Cable customers. Convergys provides services to 20 of Time Warner's 39 divisions.

        Compiled from staff reports


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