Cendant

(CD)

said Wednesday that it beat Wall Street's earnings estimates for the fourth quarter by 2 cents and raised its guidance for 2001.

The provider of consumer and business services said it earned 20 cents in the quarter, up from a loss of $2.08 a share in the year-ago period. Nine analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were calling for the company to earn 18 cents in the quarter. Revenue fell to $968 million from $1.09 billion in the same period a year ago.

"Strong performance in our mortgage and relocation business units, an improved interest rate environment and cost containment contributed to the improvement of our fourth-quarter results over prior projections," the company said in a press release.

Cendant expects to close the

Avis

TheStreet Recommends

(AVI)

acquisition in March and the

Fairfield Communities

(FFD)

merger in April.

The company projected adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations, including the pending acquisitions of Avis and Fairfield, but excluding Move.com's operating results and the impact of its sale to

Homestore.com

(HOMS)

, of 93 cents a share for 2001 and 16 cents for the first quarter. Wall Street is calling for a profit of 91 cents for the year and 14 cents in the first quarter.