Saturday, April 19, 2003

Tristate Summary

Engine maker reports $34M loss

Columbus, Ind.-based diesel engine maker Cummins Inc. said its first-quarter loss grew to $34 million because of a drop in demand for its power-generation equipment. The company, the world's largest maker of high-powered diesel engines, said it will earn less than analysts expected this quarter.

Cummins' first-quarter net loss grew to 86 cents a share, from $26 million, or 68 cents, in the same quarter of 2002. Sales rose 4 percent to $1.39 billion.

FirstEnergy Corp. returns shares

Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp., owner of New Jersey's second-largest utility, gave back its stake in Argentine power company Emdersa to its parent after failing to sell the investment.

Tendering the shares to Emdersa's parent, GPU Argentina Holdings, will reduce second-quarter profit by $63 million, or 21 cents a share, FirstEnergy said in a statement. The noncash costs represent the value FirstEnergy had placed on Emdersa and a related foreign-exchange loss, the statement said.

The charge does not reflect a $129 million tax benefit FirstEnergy expects from the transaction. Of that total, $50 million will boost profit during the quarter in which the gain becomes probable, and $79 million will reduce goodwill tied to FirstEnergy's 2001 acquisition of GPU Inc., the statement said.

Cooper Tire sees earnings decline

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported that first-quarter earnings declined 42 percent, blaming a weak demand and high costs of raw materials and energy.

The Findlay, Ohio, company said income for the three months ended March 31 fell to nearly $15.2 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $26.1 million, or 36 cents per share, for the same period last year. First quarter sales were $795 million, down from $813 million in the first quarter of 2002.

- Wire reports

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