Business & Finance

Kmart Corp. was to emerge from bankruptcy Tuesday, 15 months after filing for protection from its creditors. The No. 3 US discount retailer has new leadership and plans to focus on local tastes and exclusive brands at its remaining 1,500 stores. Meanwhile, hedge-fund investor Edward Lampert agreed to convert another $2 billion in claims into stock, giving his ESL Investments a 49 percent stake in the company. Analysts, however, said Kmart still faces tough competition from Wal-Mart and Target.

In "a return to normality," troubled Credit Suisse Group reported its first quarterly profit in a year. The No. 2 bank in Switzerland put the figure at $485 million for the January-March period, crediting the combined effects of job cuts and gains in its bond business. It is laying off 9,350 employees - 7,000 of them in its First Boston securities unit. It also is one of nine investment banks included in a $1.4 billion settlement of biased-research allegations on Wall Street and still is subject to lawsuits over stock- allocation practices, its relationship with bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp., and other problems.

Retiring vice chairman Ted Turner sold or donated to charity 60 million shares of AOL Time Warner, leaving himself with about 1 percent of the company. A source familiar with the situation put the value of the sale at $784 million. Turner remains the largest individual stockholder in AOL Time Warner, although its shares have lost close to 70 percent of their value over the past two years. His role as an executive is scheduled to end next week, although he'll remain on the board.

Dell Computer Corp. will ask its shareholders to OK a name-change to Dell Inc., the company said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It said the change would reflect expansion into other areas of technology. In another shift, The Wall Street Journal reported that Dell plans to cut popular but controversial employee stock-option awards by half this year, and to offer senior executives cash bonuses instead.

3Com Corp., a computer networking pioneer, will relocate its headquarters from Santa Clara, Calif., to Marlborough, Mass., putting it closer to most of its customer base, the company said.

Telephone giant Sprint Corp. announced another 575 layoffs, citing increased competition and lower business volume. The company has cut more than 17,000 jobs since October 2001.

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