Business & Finance

US Airways Group won approval of a $900 million federal loan guarantee viewed as key to the carrier's plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of next month.

Qwest Communications International further restated financial results Tuesday, lowering its 2000-01 revenue by $2.2 billion and bringing its correction of accounting errors to $4 billion. The US's fourth-largest long-distance provider is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly inflating revenues.

Qualcomm Inc. said it will begin sending shareholders a quarterly dividend, with a 5-cent-per-share payout March 31. That follows a similar move by Microsoft last month in what The Los Angeles Times said was likely to increase support for President Bush's proposal to end taxation of dividend income.

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Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, offered $579 million for bankrupt Burlington Industries in a deal that, if approved, would bring the textile giant out of debt and make it a wholly owned subsidiary. Berkshire Hathaway previously acquired bankrupt Fruit of the Loom for $840 million.

Responding to investor pressure, General Electric and Coca-Cola are reducing perks for top executives, The Financial Times reported. GE ended a controversial deferred salary plan previously available to five senior administrators, and Coca-Cola is phasing out a retirement plan that gave increased pension benefits to its top three officers, the newspaper said.

Philips, the world's third-largest maker of consumer electronics, posted a $3.45 billion net loss for 2002 and warned that plant closures were "not unthinkable." The loss, a company record, exceeded the $2.4 billion in red ink reported for 2001. The company, based in Amsterdam, markets products under its own brand, plus Norelco, Magnavox, and Marantz.

Cellphone giant Nokia said it will lay off 550 more workers, half of them in the US. As part of the move, the company plans to close its broadband access facility in Santa Rosa, Calif., and transfer most of that operation to Finland, its home base. Last August, Nokia cut 900 jobs.

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