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Profits return

to Greenbrier Cos.

After two years of losses, Lake Oswego-based Greenbrier Cos. has reported a profit for the third quarter ending May 31.

The rail car company reported $3 million in net earnings, or 21 cents a share, on revenues of $125 million. That compares with a $2 million loss, or 14 cents a share, on revenues of $72 million for the same quarter last year.

Greenbrier delivered 1,500 rail cars in the third quarter, three times as many as it did in the third quarter last year.

'Malternative' makers

can continue store sales

Gov. Ted Kulongoski has signed a bill that would allow some makers of beverages containing distilled spirits to sell their wares in conventional stores such as Safeway and Albertsons until 2005.

Kulongoski signed the bill Tuesday despite protests from many of Oregon's microbrewers and the Oregon Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

The bill was introduced after the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced plans earlier this year to force makers of such 'malternative' beverages as Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Silver to distribute the products only through state-operated liquor stores.

The beer makers argue that the products aren't true malt beverages and should be taxed the same as other distilled liquors, which is a higher rate than the beer tax.

'The bill just keeps the current status in terms of taxing and selling' the malternatives, said Kulongoski spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn.

Ñ Nevill Eschen

and Andy Giegerich