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Bsquare

Bellevue-based Bsquare said yesterday that its board approved a 1-for-4 reverse stock split in a bid to push its stock price to at least $1 a share to bring it into compliance with Nasdaq listing rules.


Shareholders will receive one share of stock for every four shares owned in the company, which provides consulting services for smart devices, like handheld computers. Bsquare’s total number of shares will drop from 38.1 million to 9.5 million. The adjusted stock will begin trading today.


The last time Bsquare’s stock traded at $1 — the minimum required for a Nasdaq listing — was Feb. 17. Yesterday, its stock closed at 59 cents, down 7 cents.


The company’s stock is expected to be delisted from Nasdaq on Oct. 14, but Bsquare plans to request a hearing with Nasdaq, which would delay the delisting.

Eden Bioscience

Shares to trade on Nasdaq Capital


Eden Bioscience in Bothell said yesterday its shares would trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market beginning Monday.


The agricultural biotech company had requested its listing be moved from the Nasdaq National Market after facing a delisting warning because its shares failed to meet the $1 minimum bid price.


The company’s shares must again trade at or above $1 for 10 consecutive trading days by March 31, or be bumped off the Capital Market, formerly the SmallCap market. Eden’s shares closed unchanged yesterday at 79 cents.

Boeing

Austrian Airlines orders 777 jetliner


Austrian Airlines said yesterday that it ordered one Boeing 777-200ER jetliner but canceled an order for a 737. The 777 is worth $181 million at list prices.


Microsoft

Upcoming service to bolster security


Microsoft is gearing up to release a subscription service that will make it easier for network technicians at big businesses to make sure computers don’t fall prey to spyware or virus attacks.


The company said yesterday that it will release a test version of the service by the end of the year.


Scott Stanzel, senior product manager in Microsoft’s security technology unit, said the Client Protection service will be similar to Windows OneCare.


The company has not said how much the service will cost or when it will be available in final form.


Compiled from Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press

Walt Disney Co.

Eisner leaves board of directors


Michael Eisner, who stepped down last week as chief executive of The Walt Disney Co., has resigned his seat on the company’s board of directors, Disney said yesterday.


Eisner and the company have severed all ties in a surprise move that means he will not serve as a consultant as he had been entitled to do under his employment agreement.


Eisner “no longer provides any services” for Disney, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Eisner resigned from the board Sept. 30, his last day as CEO, according to the filing. Disney’s former president and chief operating officer, Robert Iger, succeeded Eisner the next day.


Eisner, who led the media and theme-park company for 21 years, had been expected to remain on the board until next spring when Disney elected a new board.


Disney declined to comment beyond the filing, spokesman David Caouette said.


Lockheed Martin

New hires won’t get pension plan


Defense contractor Lockheed Martin said yesterday it will no longer provide traditional pension plans to new salaried employees in part to cut costs, offering them instead defined contribution retirement plans.


In a letter to the company’s 85,000 salaried employees, Lockheed said it will contribute money to accounts for the new workers that give them the option to invest the money as they choose. However, as of Jan. 1, new hires won’t be offered a pension in which they receive regular payments after retirement based on years of service and salary. The change will not affect Lockheed’s workers covered by union contracts or current employees.


Lockheed expects to save between $125 million and $150 million on the change after it is phased in over the next several years, according to company spokesman Tom Greer. Currently, the company’s pension plan has $23 billion of assets and $27 billion in liability, he said.


Delta Air Lines

Pilot cuts may be imposed by court


Delta Air Lines, the nation’s third-largest carrier, is prepared to use bankruptcy court to achieve $325 million in cost concessions from its pilots if the company and union can’t reach a deal on their own, Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said yesterday.


On Sept. 22, eight days after filing for bankruptcy, Delta said it is targeting $930 million in annual savings from its employees, including $325 million from pilots. The cuts are part of a new turnaround plan that will shed up to 9,000 more jobs.


Unlike Delta’s other work groups, the pilots union has to agree to the cuts or have them imposed on the union in bankruptcy court.


Asked yesterday if Delta is prepared to use the courts to get the cuts it is seeking from pilots, Grinstein said, “Yes.”

MCI

Shareholders OK Verizon bid


MCI shareholders voted overwhelmingly yesterday to approve an $8.4 billion acquisition by Verizon, despite some lingering shareholder resentment over the company’s rejection of a higher bid.


At a meeting at the company’s headquarters, stockholders voted 210 million shares in favor of the acquisition, with 28 million shares opposed.


The votes in favor represented 64 percent of all 326 million outstanding shares and 88 percent of all votes cast.


A Minnesota hedge fund, Deephaven Capital Management, had solicited votes against the merger. But the movement never gained ground as Qwest withdrew its higher bid of $9.85 billion earlier this year.


Boeing

Center could boost sales in India


Boeing said it will build India’s first civilian pilot training center, betting that investments to familiarize flight crews with its aircraft could lead to greater sales.


Boeing will install $15 million flight simulators of its 737, 777 and 787 models in the training facility, said Dinesh Keskar, the company’s sales vice president, at a Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation conference in Bombay. He didn’t disclose Boeing’s investment plan or the training center’s location.

Big Lots

Up to 170 stores to be closed


Closeout retailer Big Lots said yesterday that it will close up to 170 underperforming stores, or 11 percent of its total, by the end of the year to bolster companywide performance.


The targeted stores are mostly in sparsely populated markets in the Midwest, the company said. Big Lots operates 1,536 stores in 47 states, including 16 in Western Washington.


The company previously announced that it would close about 40 stores this year before a store-by-store review turned up an additional 85 closeout stores and 41 standalone furniture stores that weren’t meeting the mark.


The closings could affect up to 30 employees per store, although that number varies depending on location, spokesman Tim Johnson said. The company will try to place employees at other stores.


The company expects to take a $60 million charge, or 35 cents per share, stemming from the closings.


Compiled from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News