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Business Briefs
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HP HIKES QUARTERLY SHAREHOLDER PAYOUT 10 PCT: PALO ALTO  (AP) — Personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. says its will raise the quarterly dividend it pays shareholders by about a penny to 14.5 cents per share.

The Palo Alto company says the 10 percent increase in its payout will be effective when its board declares the next dividend, which likely will happen in May. HP is paying a dividend of 13.2 cents per share on April 3 to shareholders of record on March 13.

The company has about 2 billion shares of common stock outstanding.

NEVADA REGULATORS WARN CASINOS ABOUT POOL PARTIES: LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada gambling regulators and police are warning casinos to curb illegal activity at clubs and pool parties as summer kicks into full gear.

The state Gaming Control Board and Las Vegas police issued a notice to casinos Thursday to guard against drug dealing, prostitution, underage drinking and other crimes.

The two agencies conducted a sting last year at the Palms Casino Resort west of the Las Vegas Strip and reported that nightclub employees accepted payments to supply prostitutes, cocaine and pain pills.

Palms owner FP Holdings LP was fined $1 million.

BEECHCRAFT SUES OVER LOST US AIR FORCE CONTRACT: WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Aircraft manufacturer Beechcraft announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit to contest the U.S. Air Force's decision to award a contract for a light air support plane to Sierra Nevada Corp.

The suit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., is the latest development in a bitter, high-stakes competition that has taken nearly three years with legal challenges from both sides.

The contract for 20 planes for use in Afghanistan is worth more than $427 million. It could be worth as much as $1 billion, depending on future orders.

Wichita-based Beechcraft insists its plane is cheaper and better than the one Sparks, Nev.-based Sierra Nevada, in a partnership with Brazil's Embraer, plans to build in Jacksonville, Fla.

Beechcraft also filed a protest earlier this month with the Government Accountability Office, claiming the decision puts an estimated 1,400 jobs in Kansas and other states in jeopardy. A GAO ruling on the protest is expected within 90 days, Beechcraft said in a statement.

SEARS SETS EDWARD LAMPERT'S SALARY AS CEO AT $1: CHICAGO (AP) - Sears Holding Corp. has signed a contract with Edward Lampert to keep him on as CEO of the company at a salary of $1 per year.

A regulatory document filed Wednesday shows that the billionaire hedge fund manager will be paid an annual base salary of $1, but with the opportunity for a bonus of up to $2 million in cash or stock and up to $4.5 million in stock per year.

A number of companies have given their top leaders a salary of $1 during tough times to demonstrate their commitment to a turnaround. Some are then also rewarded through performance-based bonuses to encourage results.