Business & Finance

The world's largest airline company, AMR Corp., reported a record fourth-quarter loss of $798 million, calling the post-Sept. 11 months "incredibly difficult." AMR, which operates American and TWA, said its loss for all of 2001 was $1.76 billion, compared to a profit of $770 million the year before. On top of the recession that officially began in March, the company was hurt by the hijacking of two of its planes by terrorists and the Nov. 11 crash of a third jet on takeoff from New York, killing 265 people.

A bankruptcy watch was on for discount retailer KMart, but a spokesman said only, "If we have something to announce, we'll announce it at the proper time." Its directors met Tuesday amid reports that they were seeking new loans and considering the sale of hundreds of poorly performing stores. Shares in KMart, which closed at a 21-year low of $2.45 Tuesday, had fallen another 77 cents by midday Wednesday as it was removed from Standard & Poor's index of the top 500 US companies.

No deal for the sale of motion picture giant Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. appeared imminent, although its stock closed up 12 percent Tuesday at $22.27 a share on speculation that the studio is on the auction block. The investment bank Goldman Sachs declined to comment on a Los Angeles Times report that it has been asked to solicit bids and that the asking price was $7 billion. MGM's library of more than 4,000 movie titles is considered in hot demand, but analysts said the studio is a prime example of how difficult it has become for an entertainment company to go it alone by generating only films.

The upscale fashion retailer Jacobson's Stores Inc. filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, announcing it will close five outlets and lay off 520 workers. The Jackson, Mich.-based company will retain 18 other stores in Florida, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas.

LSI Logic Corp., a leading maker of semiconductors, said it will cut 1,400 jobs and sell off its wireless handset and digital subscriber line units. The company is based in Milpitas, Calif.

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