BRIEFCASE DOLE TO HOLD VOTE ON MURDOCK OFFER.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE - Dole Food Co. announced Friday that it has set March 26 as the date of a special meeting of stockholders to vote on chairman David H. Murdock's proposal to take the company private.
Murdock hopes to buy the 76 percent of the company's stock he doesn't already control for $33.50 per share.
Defective battery chargers recalled
WASHINGTON - The Robert Bosch Tool Corp. is recalling about 2 million drill battery chargers that can overheat, causing the charger housing to melt and possibly ignite flammable materials near the charger.
The company has received one report of a charger causing a fire that resulted in property damage and 160 reports of chargers overheating, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday.
The recalled battery chargers, sold as accessories for Skil Warrior drills, are black with red trim and bear the word SKIL in red letters. The recall includes 9.6-volt, 12-volt, 14.4-volt and 18-volt chargers bearing model numbers 2375, 2380, 2475, 2480, 2482, 2580, 2582 and 2882. Chargers also were sold separately with model numbers 92950, 92970, 92980 and 92990 with part number 2610995852.
Consumers should unplug the chargers immediately, the company said. Replacement drills and chargers are available at no cost by contacting the company at (800) 726-4202.
Chrysler Group orders 3 recalls
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group on Friday announced three recalls involving more than 1.2 million cars and trucks.
The automaker said it was recalling some 1.2 million of its Chrysler LHS, 300M and Concorde models as well as the Dodge Intrepid to install stronger bolts on the driver's seat.
The model years involved are 1998 to 2002. The recall includes 1.06 million cars in the United States and 135,000 in Canada.
A company investigation determined that the seat-recliner bolts attached to the seat frame might loosen because of premature wear. Chrysler will replace the existing bolts.
A total of 23,000 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with diesel engines and manual transmissions will be recalled to reprogram the engine control software.
The company determined that an increased idle speed could occur following extended use of cruise control.
Chrysler also will recall 11,655 1997 to 2002 Chrysler and Plymouth Prowlers to replace the lower ball joint on the front suspension to prevent it from potentially separating from the control arm due to corrosion.
Krispy Kreme is rolling in dough
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Shares of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. shot up Friday after the company said earnings in the current fiscal year would jump 35 percent above those of the year just completed.
Shares of Krispy Kreme soared $2.75, or 9.7 percent, to close Friday at $31.15 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Krispy Kreme said in a news release that it expects earnings of 88 cents a share in fiscal 2004, which began this month, and a 10 percent sales growth at its existing stores. Krispy Kreme also plans to open 77 stores in the next 12 months.
Krispy Kreme is due to report its fourth-quarter and fiscal 2003 earnings March 18.
December's rise in industry strong
WASHINGTON - Big industry broke out of the doldrums in January, turning in its strongest performance in six months, and businesses boosted stockpiles in December to satisfy consumers' appetites. They are promising signs for a struggling economy.
Production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities, which had been mired in a funk, shot up by 0.7 percent last month, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. That was a turnaround from the steep drop of 0.4 percent registered in December and marked the best showing since July.