Business & Finance

A lawsuit alleges securities trader Salomon Smith Barney doled out shares of lucrative new stocks to a handful of key executives with whom it wanted to do investment banking business, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported. The suit, filed last year in Los Angeles by former Salomon broker David Chacon, claims he was fired after complaining about the practice. A spokeswoman for Salomon, a unit of New York-based Citigroup, told The Times the allegations are "without merit and contain gross factual inaccuracies."

German-US automaker DaimlerChrysler AG raised its 2002 profit outlook, saying it expects an adjusted operating profit of more than three times last year's $1.36 billion earnings figure. That followed a better-than-expected second quarter operating profit of $1.91 billion, despite a 5 percent decline in sales. DaimlerChrysler, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is the world's third-largest carmaker by sales, after General Motors and Ford.

Allfirst Financial Inc. announced the resignation of Susan Keating, its president and chief executive. Her departure follows a management purge by Allfirst's parent company, Allied Irish Banks, after the February disclosure of $691 million in currency-trading losses blamed on a rogue trader, John Rusnak. Allfirst is based in Baltimore, Md.

Bankrupt Midway Airlines Corp. signed a letter of intent to become part of US Airways. The Morrisville, N.C.-based carrier will begin operating regional jets for US Airways Express in October if it can obtain new financing, additional planes, and an agreement with its unions. Midway, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2001, will lay off 400 workers as part of its reorganization.

Business software firm Siebel Systems Inc. is slashing more than 1,100 jobs after reporting a 61 percent decline in second-quarter profits. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company blames sharply lower corporate technology spending. The job cuts amount to 16 percent of Siebel's 7,160-person workforce.

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