Business & Finance

General Electric became the largest company so far to announce it will count stock-option costs as expenses in earnings reports. The move, which is to take effect immediately, should lower net income by less than $30 million – or less than one cent per share, the company said. More than 35,000 of GE employees hold such options. Its decision likely will speed up the momentum for expensing stock options, analysts said. Only a handful of US corporations are believed to be doing so already, and of those announcing such plans in recent weeks, the Coca-Cola Co. and are the most prominent.

Deep cuts in the budget for marketing and consulting were announced by Deutsche Telekom to try to save $1 billion a year. Europe's largest communications company is $65.5 billion in debt and is operating under an interim chief executive after its former boss resigned last month.

As many as 3,000 more workers will lose their jobs at Germany's struggling Dresdner Bank, Agence France-Press reported. It said it had learned that the cuts would come mostly in Dresdner's investment-banking division and would be in addition to 7,800 others announced earlier this year. On Tuesday, Dresdner's parent, the banking and insurance giant Allianz Group, reported a $355 million second-quarter loss and said it expected to end the year in the red as well.

The union representing almost 90,000 workers at Pemex, Mexico's state oil monopoly, agreed to a one-month extension of the deadline for negotiating a new contract. The move postpones a strike at the world's seventh-largest oil producer, a major supplier of crude to the US. The two sides remain far apart on a new deal. The union is seeking a 15 percent wage increase. Pemex has offered 5.5 percent, plus 1.5 percent in additional benefits.

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