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Pacific Northwest


Starbucks will split its shares 2-for-1 for the first time since 2001 after the stock more than doubled.

The split is the fifth since the company’s initial public offering in 1992, the Seattle-based coffee-shop chain said yesterday.

The split, for shareholders of record as of Oct. 3, will be payable Oct. 21.

Shares of Starbucks rose 51 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $46.67 yesterday during a day of broad stock-market declines.

Boeing, Lockheed

Rocket plan to be resubmitted to feds

Boeing and Lockheed Martin will resubmit a proposal to combine their rocket-launching businesses after the United States requested more details on potential cost savings.

The 30-day time limit for review of the proposal, which was submitted Aug. 22, is about to expire, Thomas Jurkowsky, a spokesman for Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed said yesterday.

The companies will refile the proposal later this week and still expect approval by the end of this year, he said.

The Federal Trade Commission and Defense Department had sought more information on the venture’s potential cost savings as part of an antitrust review, Ronald Sega, undersecretary of the Air Force, said last week.

The venture plans to build and launch rockets for the Air Force and NASA.


Contamination lawsuit settled

Boeing settled a lawsuit brought by Southern California residents who said contamination from a Rocketdyne plant caused cancer and other illnesses.

Terms of the agreement, which settles cases dating to 1997, were confidential, Boeing spokesman Dan Beck said.

Rocketdyne’s 2,800-acre Santa Susana Field Laboratory north of Los Angeles has been used to test rockets since 1948.

Boeing “settled these claims to avoid the high costs and delays of litigation,” Beck said.

He added that the settlement would have no material impact on the company’s financial condition.

Boeing and another defendant in the case, Rockwell International, have argued that they followed government specifications for military contractors running the site.

Boeing sold the Rocketdyne unit to United Technologies in August, but retained liability for the suits.

Compiled from Bloomberg News

General Motors

Kerkorian plans to boost GM stake

Tracinda, the private-equity firm owned by billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, said yesterday it plans to boost its stake in General Motors to as much as 9.9 percent and may approach the world’s biggest automaker about getting representation on its board.

The investment group has been steadily increasing its share in GM while continuing to downplay suggestions that it is looking to increase its influence over the company. Kerkorian, formerly the owner of movie maker MGM Mirage, has a history of wrestling with automakers in his long-running fight against the merger between Chrysler and Daimler-Benz.

A GM spokesman said the company typically doesn’t comment on shareholder actions.


Hurricane casts economic shadow

Hurricane Katrina’s reach is global, as higher energy prices cast a cloud of uncertainty over a world economy that otherwise is on track to log solid growth this year.

The global economy is projected to grow by 4.3 percent in both 2005 and 2006, with the projection for 2006 slightly lower than the growth rate previously predicted, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest World Economic Outlook yesterday.

One of the biggest risks is the possibility that energy prices will march higher, causing consumers and companies to turn more cautious, slowing economic activity.

“Higher oil prices are a clear and present danger,” said the IMF’s chief economist, Raghuram Rajan.

The IMF’s forecasts are based on an assumption that world oil prices would average $54.23 a barrel this year and $61.75 a barrel in 2006.


Notebooks to add Cingular access

Dell will add wireless Internet access technology from Cingular Wireless to notebook computers next year, in addition to offering a similar product from Verizon Wireless.

The company’s Latitude notebooks will have a built-in wireless card offering high-speed Internet access from Cingular for an as-yet-undetermined monthly fee starting in the first quarter, Dell said yesterday.

For the past two years, Dell notebook customers have been able to buy a modem card from Cingular for $199 and pay $79.99 a month for Internet access. Starting today, Cingular is cutting the monthly fee to $59.99 for unlimited high-speed Internet access for notebook users, said Jeff Bradley, vice president of Cingular’s business-data services.

Compiled from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News