Updated from 10:21 a.m.

NCR

(NCR) - Get Report

is going to fall short of earnings estimates, the company said this morning. Fourth quarter earnings per share are expected to fall in a range of $1.00 to $1.05, well short of the six-broker consensus looking for $1.14 a share. Revenues of $1.79 billion are expected, a 2% increase on a year-over-year basis; expectations were for 5% revenue growth. The company, a maker of retail, banking and marketing computer systems, cited a slowing in sales, which is expected to continue through the first half of 2001. NCR closed down $6.13, or 12.5%, to $42.94.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

Packaging and forest products company

Chesapeake

(CSK)

said it will sell its display and corrugated businesses. The company expects annual revenues in the range of $820 million to $870 million after these divestitures. Chesapeake closed up 38 cents, or 1.8%, to $21.25.

After Thursday's Close

Maybe it has something to do with Gary Payton's mouth, Vin Baker's stomach, or Patrick Ewing's 10-cent knees, but

Ackerley Group

(AK)

said today it was selling the Seattle Supersonics and the WNBA's Seattle Storm to a group headed by

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

chairman Howard Schultz. The deal will help Ackerley pay down debt and focus on its core media holdings. It's unclear whether the Sonics strange green and red uniforms will be adorned with the Starbucks logo. Given their 19-18 record, the team could use some coffee.

Ackerley Group ended the day down 38 cents, or 2.99%, to $12.19; Starbucks was up 44 cents, or 0.99%, to $44.75.

Back to top

Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews

Sensormatic Electronics

(SRM)

said fiscal second-quarter revenue will fall short of expectations because of the strong dollar and weakness in sales. The company expects to report revenue of $281 million and earnings of 20 cents to 21 cents a share. The

First Call/Thomson Financial

four-broker estimate was looking for 25 cents a share. The company is expected to report earnings during the week of Jan. 25. Sensormatic closed like a garage door down $1.25, or 6.3%, to $18.56.

After Thursday's Close

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

warned that it would miss first-quarter earnings estimates after Thursday's closing bell, citing the scourges of the season -- worsening economic conditions and "a deceleration in corporate and consumer information technology spending." The PC and hardware giant now expects to earn 35 cents to 40 cents a share in the first quarter, compared with 40 cents a share a year ago. According to First Call, 17 analysts expect earnings of 42 cents a share for the quarter.

The company also said it believes "conservative growth assumptions are appropriate near-term" and gave revenue guidance for 2001 "in the low- to mid-single digits." Hewlett-Packard also said it wasn't expecting to see improvement during the first half of its fiscal year. H-P closed down $1.69, or 5.2%, to $30.69.

Gateway

(GTW)

badly missed its already lowered fourth-quarter earnings estimate and cut its projections for 2001,

minutes after Hewlett-Packard's profit warning, citing the "continued deterioration of worldwide PC demand and increasing pricing pressure."

The boxmaker said excluding items, it earned $37.6 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $126 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts on average were expecting fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share. Including a $187 million pretax charge, Gateway reported a fourth-quarter loss of $94.3 million, or 29 cents a share. Gateway also said it would reduce its worldwide employment ranks in the first quarter by more than 10% and take a $50 million pretax charge. Analysts are expecting the company to earn 45 cents a share for the first quarter, compared with 41 cents a share a year ago. Gateway closed down $1.80, or 7.9%, to $21.10.

Ameren

(AEE) - Get Report

is taking a nonrecurring charge of $25 million in the fourth quarter, which will hurt earnings. The company said it expects to earn between $3.25 and $3.35 a share for the year, compared with expectations of $3.30 to $3.40 a share. Ameren closed up 50 cents, or 1.3%, to $39.63.

Cree

(CREE) - Get Report

reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that slightly beat Wall Street's expectations. The company said it got the good results by offering new products, which expanded their "market penetration." Many other semiconductor-related companies, in contrast, are talking about order delays and spending slowdowns.

The semiconductor-parts and electronics-devices maker said it earned 18 cents for the quarter, up from 8 cents in the year-ago period. Seven analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 17 cents for the quarter. Cree closed down $2.75, or 7.9%, to $32.19.

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

reported fourth-quarter results that beat analysts' projections, despite a "tough advertising environment." Unfortunately, the company warned Wall Street to expect a wider-than-projected loss in the first quarter of 2001.

The Internet advertising company, which is based in New York, broke even on a per-share basis for the fourth quarter, excluding amortization, compensation and other costs. The company's profit totaled $216,000 before the items. Twenty analysts polled by First Call expected a loss of 2 cents a share for the quarter. DoubleClick lost $1.8 million, or 2 cents a share, in the same period last year. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $132.3 million from $93.7 million a year ago.

DoubleClick lost $13.3 million, or 11 cents a share, for the full year, compared with a loss of $10.7 million, or 10 cents a share, in 1999. Revenue for the year totaled $506 million, up from $258.3 million in 1999. In its after-the-bell report, DoubleClick also projected a loss of 7 cents to 9 cents a share for the first quarter, compared with an 11-cent loss in the year-ago period. Analysts expect a first-quarter loss of 6 cents a share. The stock closed up $3.50, or a "whopping" 31.1%, to $14.75.

Eaton

(ETN) - Get Report

said it would restructure its truck components unit, which is expected to save $40 million a year. The company is going to take a charge of $55 million to complete the reorganization, which will involve laying off 100 workers and postponing the completion of a plant in Mexico due to softness in the auto market. Eaton closed down $2, or 2.9%, to $66.75.

Sipex

(SIPX)

issued an earnings warning. The company, which produces equipment for the telecom industries, said revenues will fall between $23 million and $27 million, below expectations. Sipex closed down $11.23, or 46.4%, to $13.

Back to top

Analyst actions

Following the release of its earnings report yesterday,

Ariba

(ARBA)

was downgraded by

ABN Amro

to add from buy. The business-to-business company reported earnings of 5 cents a share for the quarter, besting expectations for earnings of 2 cents a share.

In its comment, ABN Amro acknowledged the quarter's results, but said it was "concerned with a perceived slowdown in sequential revenue growth when deferred revenue is taken into account." Sequential revenue growth (or quarter-over-quarter) increased 26%, slower than in

previous quarters.

By contrast,

Credit Suisse First Boston

raised Ariba's fiscal 2001 earnings per share estimates to 26 cents a share from 14 cents a share, and 2002 estimates to 56 cents from 42 cents a share. ABN closed down $8.19, or 18.9%, to $35.19.

Following yesterday's earning warnings by PC makers

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

and

Gateway

(GTW)

, analysts are predictably taking apart the PC manufacturers at a rate with which even your tinkering father would be impressed.

This morning,

Robertson Stephens

, attempting to think outside the box, trimmed estimates on

Dell Computer

(DELL) - Get Report

for 2001 and 2002.

J.P. Morgan Chase

,

Goldman Sachs

,

Bear Stearns

and CSFB, meanwhile, all chopped estimates on H-P for coming fiscal years, following that company's lead.

Salomon Smith Barney

cut its price target on the company to $32 from $40, and cut its earnings estimates as well.

CSFB also downgraded printer manufacturer

Lexmark

(LXK)

this morning, dropping its rating to hold from buy. They say the company is likely to earn $2.60 a share for 2001, lower than the current consensus of $2.70 a share.

Hewlett-Packard, as noted above, closed down $1.69, or 5.2%, to $30.69; Gateway (also noted above) was down $1.80, or 7.9%, to $21.10; Dell ended the day down 69 cents, or 3%, to $22.13; Lexmark was down $3.50, or 6.7%, to $48.63.

Salomon Smith Barney slashed its rating on

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

to neutral from buy and reduced its price target on the computermaker, citing the risk from slowing business computer spending.

Salomon analyst John Jones cut his 12-month price target to $30 from $55, below current levels, and said he made a relatively minor earnings estimate cut, to 69 cents a share from 71 cents for fiscal 2001, and to 85 cents a share from 90 cents a share for fiscal 2002. Sun ended the day down $1.50, or 4.7%, to $30.44.

Credit Suisse First Boston told clients to overweight chemical stocks this morning, citing anticipated strengthening in the economy and lower natural gas prices. They're specifically talking about

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Report

,

Solutia

(SOI) - Get Report

,

Lyondell

(LYO)

and

PPG

(PPG) - Get Report

.

Dow Chemical closed down 19 cents, or 0.6%, to $31.19; Solutia was down 6 cents, or 0.5%, to $12.88; Lyondell was down 56 cents, or 3.5%, to $15.69; and PPG was flat at $44.88.

Upgrades

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

: UP to long-term buy from market performer at J.P. Morgan Chase; price target: $33. The stock was up $1.19, or 5.1%, to $24.44.

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

: UP to intermediate-term buy from neutral at

Merrill Lynch

; price target: $33. Federated closed up 69 cents, or 1.8%, to $39.63.

Downgrades

Goldman Sachs downgraded several railroad companies this morning. All five names were downgraded to market performer from a previous market outperformer rating. They are:

Burlington Northern

(BNI)

,

Canadian National Railway

(CNI) - Get Report

,

CSX

(CSX) - Get Report

,

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

, and

Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Report

.

Burlington Northern closed down $1, or 3.4%, to $28.28; Canadian National was down $1.13, or 3.4%, to $31.94; CSX was down $1, or 3.5%, to $27.50; Norfolk Southern was down 38 cents, or 2.4%, to $15.44; and Union Pacific ended the day down $1.44, or 2.7%, to $51.75.

Motorola

(MOT)

: earnings estimates DOWN to 80 cents a share from 88 cents a share for 2001 at ABN Amro. Motorola closed flat at $22.13.

Rohm & Haas

(ROH)

: DOWN to outperform from buy at Salomon Smith Barney. Rohm & Haas closed down 19 cents, or 0.6%, to $33.25.

Initiations

Fuelcell

(FCEL) - Get Report

: NEW buy at Robertson Stephens. Fuelcell closed down $3.50, or 5.4%, to $60.81.

Salton

(SFP)

: NEW buy at CSFB; price target: $25. Salton closed up $1.31, or 6.9%, to $20.31.

Peregrine

(PRGN)

: NEW buy at CSFB. Peregrine closed up $1.50, 7.1%, to $22.75. The company develops e-business applications and services.

Jefferson-Smurfit

(JS)

: NEW buy at Merrill Lynch. Jefferson-Smurfit closed down 44 cents, or 2.1%, to $20.44.

Back to top

Miscellany

After Thursday's Close

Autozone

(AZO) - Get Report

said it named Steve Odland as chairman and CEO. He replaces John Adams. Autozone closed up 19 cents, or 0.7%, to $28.81.

Back to top

By the Numbers

The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

Back to top