Markets & Finance

Nokia's Call: Slower Sales Growth

Nokia Corp. (NOK) posted 0.25 euros vs. 0.18 euros Q4 EPS on a 46% sales rise. The mobile-phone concern sees about flat Q1 EPS on sales growth of 25%-30%.

Gateway (GTW) chairman and founder Ted Waitt sys he will retake the CEO spot as Jeff Weitzen retires. S&P says the personal computer maker's news is not entirely unexpected, and maintained its hold ranking on the shares.

Aetna (AET) posted $0.20 vs. $0.55 Q4 operating EPS (continuing operations) on flat revenues and higher medical costs.

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) posted $0.02 Q4 EPS vs. $0.19 loss from operations on a 9.7% revenue rise. The company sees 3% 2001 volume growth and a 10%-12% increase in EBITDA, along with $1.79-$1.83 EPS.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) is in a long-term semiconductor cross-licensing wafer supply and technology deal with Conextant.

Krispy Kreme (KREM) will offer 2.3 million shares at $67.00 per share.

Proctor & Gamble (PG) posted $0.93 vs. $0.88 Q2 EPS from operations as lower costs offset a 4% sales decline. The consumer-goods manufacturer sees $0.72-$0.74 Q3 EPS for fiscal 2001, which is at the high end of a consensus estimate. S&P reiterated its avoid recommendation.

Banc of America and Prudential upgraded Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. (PCG). AG Edwards upgraded its rating on PG&E and Edison International (EIX) to buy from maintain.

Lehman Brothers reportedly upgraded Ariba (ARBA) to buy from market perform. On Monday the company announced it will acquire Agile Software in a $2.55 billion deal.

Estee Lauder (EL) posted $0.50 vs. $0.45 Q2 EPS on a 5% sales rise. The cosmetics company believes it can achieve 8%-10% Q3 revenue growth (constant currency basis), and established a fiscal 2001 EPS estimate range of $1.32-$1.35.

Wisconsin Central (WCLX) agreed to be acquired by Canadian National Railway (CNI) in a deal worth about $1.2 billion. The terms are $17.15 cash per Wisconsin Central share.

In an effort to cut costs, Charles Schwab (SCH) reportedly asked some employees to take unpaid days off next month.

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