Vicon settles lawsuit for $5M
Vicon Industries Inc., a Hauppauge surveillance-camera company, will pay $5 million to settle an 8-year-old patent lawsuit, the company has announced. Lectrolarm Custom Systems Inc., a Tennessee company, sued Vicon in 2003 over its design of a dome camera system, alleging patent infringement. In a statement Friday, Vicon continued to maintain that the suit was "without merit" but said it was ready to move on. "The resolution of the suit allows the company to move forward with its strategic plans after years of management distraction and financial uncertainty since the suit was brought in 2003," said Vicon chairman and chief executive Ken Darby. Vicon designs, engineers, assembles and markets a range of video and access-control systems and system components. The company has surveillance systems in use in such varied locations as Hempstead Turnpike, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and the Beijing National Stadium.
-- CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN
Earnings outlook up at IBM
IBM Corp. raised its income guidance for the year yesterday as earnings in the latest quarter increased 8 percent because of growth in all three of its major product categories. The results show the strength of the 100-year-old company's efforts to link its mainframes and other computing hardware with its newer businesses: software and services. Those two categories bring in the bulk of IBM's income. Signings of new contracts for services increased -- a welcome sign for Wall Street after a decline last quarter. But the company faces questions about whether its profit increases are sustainable. Some analysts worry about increased competition, specifically in outsourcing, the biggest part of IBM's services business.
Cisco looking to cut 6,500 jobs
Cisco Systems Inc., the largest networking-equipment maker, plans to eliminate about 6,500 jobs, or 9 percent of its full-time workforce, to help trim $1 billion in annual costs and step up profit growth. The cuts include 2,100 employees who took a voluntary early-retirement program, Cisco said yesterday. As part of the move, the company expects to book pretax expenses of $1.3 billion over several quarters, with $750 million in the fiscal fourth quarter. Cisco also said it will sell a manufacturing plant in Mexico, transferring 5,000 workers. Cisco chief executive officer John Chambers has been eliminating jobs and abandoning less-profitable businesses amid slowing sales gains. Cisco has lost market share in its main switching and routing units to Juniper Networks Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., and its forays into consumer products, such as the Flip video camera, faltered. -- Bloomberg News
Bank of America shares hit low
Bank of America shares hit a two-year low yesterday. The stock fell 3.6 percent in midday trading, hitting a low of $9.53 before recovering to close at $9.72. It is the only large bank with a share price in the single digits. Most bank stocks fell on fears about the effect of a potential U.S. government debt default. However, investors have been selling off Bank of America stock for several months. In the past year the stock has fallen 35 percent, making it the third worst performing stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. On Friday the stock fell below $10 for the first time since May 2009. The stock had traded as low as $2.53 in February 2009 during the throes of the financial crisis. The stock decline is a setback for the nation's largest bank, which has had to deal with multiple crises in the last year, most related to mortgage problems stemming from the bank's 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial. On June 29 the bank announced an $8.5-billion settlement with investors who claim they were knowingly sold poorly written mortgage bonds. -- AP