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



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

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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