For an overview of the markets this morning, see the Wake-Up Call.
slumped 17.4% at the opening of the Amsterdam exchange after it warned it expects its 1999 fourth-quarter loss to widen to as much as $250 million, partly as a result of a restructuring. The company also announced the departure of CEO Mary Coleman.
cut its rating on Baan to sell from hold.
For more on this
story, check out the coverage by
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
is expected to announce a deal today to create an all-tech radio format with broadcasting company
The Wall Street Journal
reports. The move is designed to extend CNet's reach well beyond the Internet.
said it will sell properties primarily in Crockett County, Texas, and Lea County, N.M. The company said bids would be accepted in February and also said it will no longer pursue a trust offering of Texas Permian Trust.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Helen of Troy
posted third-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, beating the five-analyst estimate of 18 cents, but lower than the year-ago 37 cents.
Kulicke & Soffa
said its first-quarter profit would beat estimates by more than 30%. The 13-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 36 cents a share. The company attributed the strength to demand for its
wire bonder and improving overall activity in the industry.
said it expects a first-quarter, after-tax gain of $92 million.
reported a 0.6% decline in same-store sales for December, but said it sees fourth-quarter earnings before items up at a high-teen to low-twenty percent, citing strength in its credit business and full-line stores. Sears also said it is revising its full-year outlook, expecting an increase at a high single digit to low-teen percent rate, excluding items.
said its November-December same-store sales were up 15%. The company also said it would restate some past results.Ultimate said the restatements are for extended service contract accounting.
Offerings and stock actions
said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split.
said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split payable around Jan. 31 to shareholders of record Jan. 10.
raised its price target on
to 600 from 350.
introduced a package of local and long-distance services. The company introduced three long-distance plans which it said would help consumers save between 10% and 50%.
wants shareholders of its more than $100 billion
Magellan fund to let the fund make bigger bets, the
reports. Trustees are recommending shareholders approve a plan that would allow Magellan to invest up to 25% of its assets in a single company.
said its online brokerage unit was seeking to become a self-clearing brokerage firm, which would allow it to cut costs and offer more services to its customers. Its wholly owned subsidiary,
Web Street Securities
, filed with the
National Association of Securities Dealers
(NASD), the parent of Nasdaq, to become such a firm.
A growing number of American corporations are concluding dividends are no longer necessary to attract investors, according to a story in
The New York Times
. While companies once needed dividends to convince investors that their stock was worthy of buying, more and more firms are not bothering to pay them. A quarter of the value of the
comes from companies that do not pay dividends, the story says. In comparison, two decades ago only 2% of the value of the index came from such companies.
The Heard on the Street column in the
takes a look at short-seller blues in recent years as major indices have roared to records. According to one investment adviser who tracks the group, short-sellers were down 3.2% last year through November, and December is not shaping up any better. The last time the average short had a positive year was 1994, when the S&P 500 finished the year down, the story says.
For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call, now published separately.