Cendant Sees First-Quarter Shortfall, Upbeat on Rest of Year

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Cendant

(CD)

expects earnings for the first quarter of 2001 to fall well below Wall Street's projections, but the real estate, travel and direct marketing company painted a rosier picture for the rest of the year.

Cendant expects to earn 14 cents a share in the first quarter, well short of the 22 cents the company earned in the year-ago quarter. Two analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are calling for the company to earn 21 cents in the first quarter and 24 cents in the second quarter.

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The company said it should earn 25 cents in the second quarter, and added that it expects to meet analysts' forecasts of 91 cents a share for 2001. Cendant said projections for the second, third and fourth quarters depend on the timing of the pending acquisitions of

Avis Group

(AVI)

and

Fairfield Communities

(FFD)

.

The company also reiterated its projection of earning 18 cents a share for the fourth quarter of 2000, in line with analysts' predictions.

Shares of Cendant fell 75 cents, or 7.8%, to $8.88 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.