Business Briefs

Hollywood Entertainment Corp., the No. 2 video rental chain, plunged into the red in the fourth quarter of 1997, reporting Thursday a loss of $1.45 million after several one-time charges, compared with a profit of $8 million a year earlier.

Hollywood said its revenues rose 59% to $155.4 million, largely due to its opening of 356 new stores through the year to the Dec. 31 total of 551. Adjusted for new-store openings, Hollywood said its sales rose 1% in the quarter.

The video rental chain said it earned $5 million in the quarter before a $6.8 million charge to write off obsolete videogame inventory and a $4.6 million charge for costs related to its failed attempt to buy out public stockholders.

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Tele-Communications Inc. president Leo Hindery said Thursday the cabler was not interested in buying Marcus Cable, although he hinted that TCI might be interested in parts of the company.

“The disposition of Marcus will be in pieces to the right buyer,” he said at a conference. “We may participate in the Marcus disposition but we are not buying Marcus.”

Marcus’ owners, including Goldman Sachs investment funds and several leveraged buyout operators, have begun exploring possible sale options. Marcus’ cable systems include a system in Dallas/Fort Worth that Wall Streeters think would be of interest to TCI, which has other systems in that area.

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Comcast Corp. will earn a pre-tax profit of $1.39 billion on the sale of its interest in Teleport Communications Group, which AT&T has agreed to acquire, Comcast said in an SEC filing. Comcast has a 16% interest in Teleport.

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