Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Morning Briefing

Article excerpt

LUCENT PLANNING REVERSE STOCK SPLIT TO BOOST PRICE

Lucent Technologies said yesterday it will seek shareholder approval for a reverse stock split to boost its stock price, which has averaged below $1 for the past 30 trading days.

The company's board decided to seek approval for the move, under which a number of shares are combined into one share worth more money, at its next annual meeting in February, Lucent spokesman Bill Price said.

The ratio for Lucent's reverse split will be set by the board at a level that would raise the common share price to a range of $15 to $25, the company said. Lucent shares sold as high as $84 in December 1999.

The shares closed at 68 cents, down 7 cents, yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange. Lucent shares first closed below $1 on Sept. 17, and have done so every day since Sept. 26.

Lucent's slump resulted in the company failing to meet one of the standards set by the New York Stock Exchange, putting Lucent at risk of being "delisted."

LENS MAKER FIXES ERROR IN CEO'S BIOGRAPHY

Shares of Bausch & Lomb Inc. fell 3 percent yesterday after an Internet columnist revealed that a company news release falsely claimed Chief Executive Ronald Zarrella graduated from business school.

In announcing Zarrella's appointment as CEO last November, Bausch & Lomb said he graduated from New York University's Stern School of Business in 1978. Zarrella did attend the MBA program from 1972 to 1976 but left without graduating, the company acknowledged yesterday.

Shares dropped almost 7 percent in early trading after the error was disclosed by Herb Greenberg, a columnist at TheStreet.com. The company posted a corrected biography on its Web site.

EARNINGS

UAL LOSES $899 MILLION IN THIRD QUARTER

UAL Corp., which owns United Airlines, lost $889 million during the third quarter, increasing speculation that the nation's second-largest airline will have to file for bankruptcy protection. …

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