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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Itron Reports Loss For Second Straight Quarter Alaska Airlines Posts Record Profits; Ibm Earnings Are Up 7.4 Percent

From Staff And Wire Reports

Spokane-based Itron Inc. suffered more losses in the second quarter.

The provider of automatic meter reading services and equipment reported a net loss of $675,000, or 5 cents per share, on sales of $52.7 million for the second quarter ended June 30, a drop from the same period a year earlier when net earnings were $2.4 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $48.2 million.

Company officials didn’t comment on reasons for the company’s second quarter performance.

For the six months ended June 30, the company reported a net loss of $3.9 million, or 28 cents per share, on sales of $93.3 million compared with a net income of $5.4 million, or 38 cents per share, on sales of $96.3 million for the same period in 1996.

“We believe our long-term competitive position strengthened in the first half of this year, and in particular this quarter, as we won substantially all of the AMR business awarded,” said Johnny Humphreys, president and CEO.

The company’s second quarter losses were narrowed from its first quarter losses of $3.3 million, or 24 cents per share.

Alaska Air Group

SEATTLE - Alaska Air Group Inc. had record profits of $20.8 million or $1.41 a share in its second quarter, up 15.5 percent from a year earlier, the airline said Monday.

Net earnings for the same period last year were $18 million or $1.24 a share. Operating revenues rose 4.4 percent, from $416.7 million to $435 million.

Alaska Air is the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Chairman John Kelly said the company benefited from full airplanes and increasing average fares, but added that “cost control remains a top priority.”

Alaska’s cost per available seat mile has gone up 6 percent, primarily because of the need for more staff to handle more passengers, improve on-time performance and deal with new security requirements, Kelly said.

Profits for the first six months of 1997 were $15.1 million or $1.03 a share on revenues of $815.4 million, up from $10.8 million or 76 cents a share on revenues of $768.1 million a year earlier.

IBM Corp.

NEW YORK - IBM Corp. on Monday reported a 7.4 percent increase in second-quarter profits on a 3.8 percent increase in revenues, as strong demand for computer services, parts and business PCs helped offset weakness in IBM’s biggest business machines.

IBM said it earned $1.45 billion, or $1.46 per share, in the quarter ended June 30. That was up from $1.35 billion, or $1.26 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues grew to $18.87 billion from $18.18 billion.

The results were slightly above expectations of analysts surveyed by IBES International, who called for profits of about $1.42 per share.

“I believe we are very much on track,” said Louis V. Gerstner, IBM’s chairman and chief executive.


NEW YORK - A new drive by AT&T Corp. to lure first-time customers with free phone calls contributed to a mixed bottom line in the second quarter at the nation’s largest long-distance company.

AT&T on Monday reported that its profit fell 38 percent in the quarter amid sluggish revenues, partly due to the offer of up to 250 free minutes of calls to new customers.

The results also were hurt by competition with long-distance rivals, notably MCI Communications, that kept a lid on prices AT&T was able to charge. AT&T also spent heavily to expand into local, wireless and overseas markets.

AT&T, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., said it earned $959 million, or 59 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 30. That was down from $1.54 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the year-ago period, excluding results from AT&T’s underwater cable unit, which it has since sold.

Revenues rose 2.4 percent to $13.17 billion from $12.87 billion.


IRVING, Texas - Exxon Corp. reported Monday that profits increased 25 percent in the second quarter on the strength of higher petroleum sales.

Exxon earned $1.97 billion, or 79 cents a share, compared to $1.57 billion, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $32.8 billion from $32.2 billion.

Chairman Lee R. Raymond said the results were due to stronger refining profits and a better performance from its chemicals business.


PARSIPPANY, N.J. - Nabisco Holdings Corp. posted a profit of $103 million for the second quarter in contrast with a $216 million loss a year ago when its results were depressed by a big restructuring charge.

The company on Monday cited strong growth in its Oreos cookies and Planters nuts lines as well as dramatic cost and productivity improvements due to the restructuring for the turnaround.

But it said the gains were partially offset by a big profit decline in Brazil and a continuing sluggish performance by the SnackWell’s line and its breakfast snacks.

, DataTimes

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