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Company says '06 sales of $11b to beat estimates

THE REGION

EMC Corp., the world's biggest maker of data storage computers and software, said 2006 sales will be $11 billion, topping analyst estimates. Chief executive Joseph Tucci also reiterated the company's 2005 forecast at a meeting with analysts. Profit at the Hopkinton-based company will be 50 to 51 cents a share and revenue will rise 17 percent in 2005. Revenue growth will slow to 14 percent from a forecast of 17 percent this year, in part because a stronger US dollar will trim the value of sales, he said. The company will be more profitable by the end of next year as higher-margin software grows as a percentage of revenue. The 2006 forecast beat the $10.87 billion average estimate of 25 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. (Bloomberg)

S.F. bank to acquire Asian American Bank & Trust

Asian American Bank & Trust Co., with three branches in Chinatown, Allston, and Quincy, will be acquired by UCBH Holdings Inc. of San Francisco, the companies said. The deal is valued at $34.3 million. UCBH, the holding company for United Commercial Bank, plans to target Boston for expansion, its chief executive, Thomas S. Wu, said. The local banks will be renamed United Commercial Bank. United Commercial serves the ethnic Chinese market in California. Asian American Bank had assets of $127.1 million and deposits of $106.2 million on June 30. (Sasha Talcott)

Herald Media to launch 3 weekly newspapers

Herald Media Inc., whose publications include the Boston Herald, unveiled initiatives for its Community Newspaper Co. unit aimed at wooing new readers and advertisers. In addition to expanding news coverage at some of its suburban papers, plans call for the launches next month of weekly newspapers in Newburyport, Wareham, and Salem, a company statement said. That will bring the company's number of weeklies to 92. Another initiative is Good Life, a quarterly lifestyle publication; 150,000 copies will be distributed in 23 community papers. Another new publication, Central Mass. Community Classifieds, targets 29 communities, including Worcester; 25,000 copies will be distributed weekly. Gregory R. Rush, associate publisher of Community Newspaper, described the initiatives as ''investments in several communities to bring our award-winning local journalism to new readers and new advertisers." (Christopher Reidy)

Bain Capital said to be bidding for golf club maker

A second bidder has teed up an offer for Callaway Golf, increasing the chances that the world's largest club manufacturer will be taken private, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Bain Capital, a Boston investment firm, and MacGregor Golf, one of the oldest names in golf equipment, put a joint, all-cash offer on the table a week ago that values Callaway, best known for its Big Bertha line of clubs, at as much as $1.24 billion, sources said. A Bain spokesman declined to comment, as did MacGregor president Dana Shertz. Callaway spokesman Larry Dorman said ''no substantive discussions currently are under way." (Los Angeles Times)

THE NATION

Ex-Sam's Club executive gets hired by Microsoft

Microsoft said it has named Kevin Turner, former president and chief executive of Sam's Club, as the software company's chief operating officer. Turner, 40, who has also served as chief information officer for Wal-Mart Stores, parent of Sam's Club, will join Microsoft Sept. 8. (AP)

HSBC Finance pays $1.59b

in cash for Metris Cos.

HSBC Finance Corp., a unit of Britain's HSBC Holdings PLC, said it agreed to buy Metris Cos. for $1.59 billion in cash to expand in the US credit card industry. HSBC Finance is the sixth-largest US issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards. Metris is the 11th-largest, with $5.9 billion of managed credit card loans as of June 30. The combined company will rank sixth. Metris shareholders will receive $15 for each share, a 1.1 percent premium. The company would become a unit of HSBC Finance. Thomas H. Lee Partners LP, a Boston private equity firm with a 44 percent voting stake in Metris and seats on its board, will receive $682.6 million of the purchase price. (Reuters)

THE WORLD

Royal Dutch Shell taps Nokia chief executive

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, seeking to restore investor confidence after overstating oil and gas reserves for three years, said it picked Nokia Oyj's Jorma Ollila as chairman following an eight-month search. Ollila, Nokia's chairman and chief executive, will succeed Aad Jacobs in the nonexecutive role at Shell on June 1, said a Shell spokeswoman. Ollila, who turned Nokia into the world's biggest mobile phone company, this week said he'll step down as the company's chief executive. (Bloomberg)

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