T-bill Rates Are Highest In 1 1/2 Years

Posted: October 14, 1987

Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities rose in yesterday's auction to the highest levels in more than a year and a half.

The Treasury Department sold $6.4 billion in three-month bills at an

average discount rate of 6.96 percent, up from 6.49 percent last week. Another $6.4 billion was sold in six-month bills at an average discount rate of 7.34 percent, up from 6.96 percent last week.

The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors - 7.20 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,824.10 and 7.75 percent for six-month bills selling for $9,628.90.

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Kidder, Peabody & Co. said it would cut back its municipal-securities operations, one day after market leader Salomon Bros. Inc. announced it would get out of the suddenly unattractive business altogether. Kidder, a unit of General Electric Co., said it would eliminate about 100 of the 280 jobs in the unit.

Housing completions dropped 2 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.66 million, down from 1.69 million in July, the Commerce Department said. It was the fifth decline in eight months.

Ford Motor Co. announced restructurings that combine its domestic and international automotive operations and consolidate its expanded financial services.

Control Data Corp. said it agreed to buy the SAMI-Burke market-research business from Time Inc. for $80 million plus payments based on future results. SAMI, based in Cincinnati, has 2,700 employees, of whom about 1,700 are full- time. SAMI is an acronym for Selling Areas Marketing Inc.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange said it is investigating trading of

Zayre Corp. options last month. The alleged irregular trading activity occurred in mid-September, just before a newspaper reported that Zayre, one of the nation's largest discount-store chains, might be the target of a takeover bid. Robert Kingsley, one of the CBOE market markers who triggered the investigation with a written complaint to the exchange, said hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit could have been made.

SL Industries Inc. has declared a semi-annual cash dividend of 9 cents per share payable on Nov. 25 to shareholders of record on Nov. 13. The dividend, which represents 18 cents on an annualized rate, is an increase from the 17- cent dividend the company declared last year. The Marlton company's board of directors also declared stock dividends totaling 6 percent to be distributed on Nov. 25 to shareholders of record on Nov. 13. The dividend consists of the company's regular 2 percent annual stock dividend plus an extra 4 percent.

InSpeech Inc., the Valley Forge provider of speech-therapy services, said it acquired Rehab Therapy Inc. of Arvada, Colo. Rehab Therapy provides speech- and physical-therapy services in the Denver area and has revenues of about $1 million.

IBM came out on top in a Gallup Poll that asked top executives to name five companies they associate with high quality, the American Society for Quality Control said. IBM was named by 59 percent of the executives, the only firm named by more than half. General Electric Co. was second and Ford Motor Co., third.

Saks Fifth Avenue said at least 25 of its stores across the nation would be expanded and modernized over the next five years as part of a $300 million program.

Telex Corp. officials say they have asked company shareholders to defer their decision concerning an $872 million tender offer from an investor group led by Asher B. Edelman. Telex chairman Stephen J. Jatras said Monday the board of directors will contact shareholders by Oct. 23 to advise them on whether they should accept the buy-out offer.

Harte-Hanks Communications Inc. said it planned to sell three Texas newspapers, two television stations, a New Jersey cable system, which serves the Asbury Park area, and other assets that produce about 25 percent of its profits. Bob Marbut, president and chief executive officer, said he hoped to have the properties sold by the spring.

U.S. Secretary of Labor William E. Brock said an emerging emphasis in American industry on product quality will make the United States the dominant manufacturing country in the world in the next 15 years. Speaking at a New York conference on industrial production quality, he said American workers as well as managers are beginning to demand higher product standards.

Procter & Gamble Co. shareholders overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to bar the personal-care and household-products company from using animals in safety testing. The proposal, drafted by a national animal-rights organization, received 2.2 percent of the vote at the shareholders' annual meeting. Company officials had warned that approval would retard product development.

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