Markets & Finance

Williams Cos. Delays Earnings Pending Spinoff Results


Williams Cos. (WMB) says Tuesday's planned release of 2001 results has been delayed pending internal assessment of the company's contingent obligations related to Williams Communications Group. The company sees $2.35 2001 "recurring" EPS, including a $0.12 Enron-related charge.

PNC Financial (PNC) was halted after saying it expects 2001 EPS to be reduced by about $0.53 as result of a consolidation of three units of a third party financial institution in which PNC has preferred interests. PNC says the deal should not impact 2002 results. The company is being forced to restate its earnings after a Federal Reserve review raised questions about its accounting principles.

According to press reports, Tyco (TYC) paid $20M to an outside director and a charity he controls in return for his help in brokering an acquisition. S&P keeps buy. Merrill is defending Tyco, and reiterates strong buy.

Merck (MRK) plans an initial public offering of a portion of Merck-Medco, its pharmacy benefits management unit, by mid-2002. The company sees 2002 EPS at the same level as 2001, and its core pharmaceutical business to deliver double-digit EPS growth in 2003.

Texas Instruments (TXN) posted a $0.06 fourth quarter loss per share vs. $0.31 EPS (pro forma) on a 41% revenue decline. The company expects first quarter revenue about level with the fourth quarter. Merrill and Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares. S&P keeps accumulate.

Black & Decker (BDK) posted $0.72 vs. $0.64 fourth quarter EPS from operations despite 3% lower sales. The company expects first quarter sales to be down from a year ago, and EPS of $0.30-$0.35, including new goodwill accounting standard.

Honeywell (HON) posted $0.55 vs. $0.70 fourth quarter EPS on 9% lower sales. The company sees $2.36 2002 EPS, including new goodwill accounting.

Gillette (G) posted $0.32 vs. $0.33 fourth quarter EPS from operations 3% lower sales (excluding forex).

American Superconductor (AMSC) posted a $0.53 3Q loss vs. a $0.20 loss

on 37% revenue decline, saying orders of D-SMES solutions have been delayed. The company cuts its $8M-$10M fiscal 2002 SMES revenue guidance to $2M-$6M. Merrill downgraded.

USA Networks (USAI) posted $0.10 vs. $0.09 fourth quarter cash EPS from operationss (pro forma) on 8.7% revenue rise.

Expedia (EXPE) posted better than expected $0.31 second quarter EPS before non-cash, non-recurring items on 84% revenue rise, and posted $0.08 GAAP EPS. Prudential upgraded. CIBC World raised estimates and target.

Intersil Corp. (ISIL) announced that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has selected its Endura ICs to power Samsung's next generation notebooks.

Coca-Cola Co. (KO) posted $0.37 vs. $0.10 fourth quarter EPS from operations on a 4% revenue rise. The company sees 2002 currency neutral EPS from operations growing in line with 11%-12% long-term expectations, S&P maintains accumulate.

Expedia Inc. (EXPE) posted better than expected $0.31 second quarter EPS before non- cash, non-recurring items on 84% revenue rise. The company posted $0.08 GAAP EPS. Prudential upgraded the shares. CIBC World raised its estimates and price target.

Stryker (SYK) posted $0.40 vs. $0.33 fourth quarter op EPS on a 16% revenue rise. S&P upgraded the shares to buy.

C.R. Bard (BCR) posted $0.74 vs. $0.16 (including items) fourth quarter EPS on an 8% sales rise. Bard says net income trends remain solid and predictable.

Prudential upgraded Intimate Brands (IBI) and Limited Inc. (LTD) to buy from hold.

United Parcel Service (UPS) posted $0.57 vs. $0.63 fourth quarter EPS despite a 2.4% revenue rise. The company says capital spending in 2002 will total less than $2 billion, down from $2.4 billion in 2001.

AT&T Wireless (AWE) posted a $0.14 fourth quarter loss from continuing operations vs. $0.18 EPS on a 19% revenue rise. The company notes the impact from net gains in the 2000 fourth quarter, and a decrease in net equity earnings from investments in the fourth quarter of 2001. The company sees low 30%s 2002 EBTIDA growth.

Qwest Communications (Q) posted a $0.07 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.16 EPS (pro forma) on 6.3% revenue rise. It trimmed its $4.2B-$4.3B 2002 capital expenditures forecast to $4.0B-$4.2B, and expects to be free cash flow positive starting in second quarter of 2002.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Ceridian (CEN) to underperform from neutral. The firm believes Ceridian's EPS turnaround will be postponed. Morgan Stanley also downgraded Automatic Data Processing (ADP) to underperform from neutral.

Research In Motion (RIMM) says AT&T Wireless will offer its corporate customers new model of BlackBerry Wireless Handheld that provides ability to place phone calls over AWE's advanced GSM/GPRS network.

TicketMaster (TMCS) posted 42% higher fourth quarter EBITDA and $0.06 vs. $0.02 cash EPS on 11% revenue rise.

Therma-Wave (TWAV) posted a $0.45 third quarter loss vs. $0.49 EPS on an 81% revenue decline Gross margins were 13.9% vs. 51.5% a year ago. Therma-Wave expects fourth quarter revenues to be flat to up by 20%. Banc of America downgraded.

Airgas (ARG) CEO Peter McCausland says he entered a variable share forward contract to sell up to 1.2M shares.


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