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CORPORATE EARNINGS

Union Carbide Corp. said Monday that its profits rose 40 percent in the fourth quarter. Net income in the October-December period was $94 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $67 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from the fourth quarter of 1998 included a gain from the settlement of a licensing lawsuit of 31 cents per share. Fourth-quarter sales were $1.55 billion, up 20 percent from $1.29 billion in 1998.

United Parcel Service reported a 37 percent increase in net income for the final three months of 1999, its first quarter as a publicly traded company. The Atlanta-based package delivery giant said Monday that fourth-quarter earnings were $661 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $482 million, or 43 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues totaled $7.45 billion, up nearly 12 percent from $6.66 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Gannett Co.'s earnings rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter on greater advertising revenues from newspapers. Gannett earned $284 million, or $1.01 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 26, up from $248.9 million, or 89 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Revenues rose 13 percent to $1.5 billion from $1.33 billion.

Merrill Lynch & Co. said its profits more than doubled in the fourth quarter amid sharply rising revenue from trading, commissions and investment banking. The New York-based financial services giant said earnings rose to $764 million, or $1.80 for the quarter, from $359 million, or 86 cents per share ago.

Norfolk Southern Corp. said fourth-quarter profit fell 81 percent because of higher costs in the Northeast as it integrates former Conrail Inc. rail lines. Net income fell to $31 million, or 8 cents a share, from $160 million, or 42 cents, in the year-earlier quarter.

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