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BUS BRIEFS DuPont Co. to cut 3,500 jobs

DOVER, Del. -- DuPont Co. will eliminate 3,500 jobs, or about 6 percent of its global work force, by the end of this year as part of cost-cutting plans it announced late last year.

The Wilmington-based chemical giant said Monday it will cut about 3,000 positions, roughly two-thirds of them in the United States and Canada, and expects to trim 500 jobs through attrition. DuPont also will eliminate 450 contractor positions, most of them in the United States.

The company announced in December that it would trim $900 million in costs over the next two years by cutting jobs, streamlining product lines and making other changes. Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday Jr. sent employees an e-mail Monday announcing the job cuts.

Goodyear lowers income by $65 million

CLEVELAND -- Goodyear Rubber &; Tire Co. said Monday it would reduce its reported profit for the past six years by an additional $65 million because of improper accounting at its overseas operations and other reasons.

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The Akron, Ohio-based company said an internal investigation of overseas accounting was complete. It said the entire results of the probe were still under review but that net income between 1997 and 2003 will have to be reduced by $10 million.

The other $55 million is because of understatement of workers' compensation claims at an undisclosed domestic plant, adjustment of profits tied to internal inventory and other issues.

Monday's income adjustment is on top of an October announcement that forced Goodyear to lower net income since 1998 by nearly $85 million because of separate accounting system mistakes.

PG&E; emerges from bankruptcy

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. ended three years of bankruptcy Monday, closing an abysmal chapter in California's debilitating power crisis.

The San Francisco utility got back to business after distributing $10.2 billion to hundreds of creditors owed since PG&E; went bankrupt on April 6, 2001, near the height of an electricity debacle marked by rolling blackouts and recurring episodes of market manipulation.

The fallout will dent power bills for years to come.

The rehabilitation is expected to cost PG&E's; 4.8 million electricity customers $6.2 billion to $8.2 billion in above-market prices through 2012. That works out to an average of $1,300 to $1,700 per customer.

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OxyContin maker plans job cuts

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Purdue Pharma L.P., maker of the lucrative but controversial painkiller OxyContin, is expected to cut about 10 percent of its work force, or 300 positions, on Tuesday as its signature drug faces competition for the first time, a source said.

Purdue Pharma, which has about 1,000 employees at its headquarters in Stamford, Conn., recently lost a patent case, clearing the way for competition from generic brands.

A source familiar with the plan, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that the company is expected to cut around 10 percent of its 3,000 employees.

Purdue Pharma spokesman Robin Hogen said he could not confirm the number of layoffs until the company first spoke with workers.

Microsoft settles InterTrust patent suit

SEATTLE -- In settling with InterTrust Technologies Corp., Microsoft Corp. could be gaining a big advantage in the growing market for distributing music and videos online -- to the detriment of competitors who now risk getting caught in InterTrust patent squabbles of their own.

Microsoft announced Monday it would pay $440 million to InterTrust to settle a 3-year-old patent infringement lawsuit over technology for protecting music, movies and other digital content against piracy.

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The settlement with InterTrust, which is jointly owned by Sony Corp., Philips Electronics NV and the investment banking company Stephens Inc., grants Microsoft a license to the Santa Clara, Calif. company's patents in copy-protection technology, or digital rights management.

Kimberly-Clark raises earnings forecast

DALLAS -- Kimberly-Clark Corp. raised its profit forecast Monday for the first quarter, citing record sales, reduced costs and lower taxes.

The Irving, Texas-based company, which makes Huggies diapers and Kleenex tissues, said it would report earnings of 91 cents per share for the January-March quarter, up from its previous forecast of 85 cents to 87 cents per share.

That result would easily top the company's reported earnings of 78 cents per share in the first three months of 2003. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call have been expecting earnings of 87 cents a share for the first quarter.

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