Oil giant

ExxonMobil

(XOM) - Get Report

said fourth-quarter earnings fell sharply from the same period a year ago as lower crude and natural gas prices brought down the bottom line. Excluding items, the company earned $2.88 billion, or 42 cents a share, in the latest quarter, down from $5.12 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts expected ExxonMobil to earn 39 cents in the quarter. Including items, the company earned $2.68 billion, or 39 cents a share, compared with $5.22 billion, or 75 cents a share, last year. Revenue dropped to $47.3 billion from $64.1 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Earnings Reports & Outlooks

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

met analysts' fourth-quarter earnings estimates and revenue came in ahead of expectations, but the company forecast declining revenue for the next two years as commercial aircraft deliveries are projected to slow. The company posted fourth-quarter earnings, excluding nonrecurring items, of 90 cents a share, matching estimates, on revenue of $15.7 billion. According to First Call, analysts were looking for revenue of around $15.3 billion. After factoring in items, Boeing earned 12 cents a share in the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from 55 cents in the same period a year ago.

CDW Computer Centers

(CDWC)

said its fourth-quarter earnings beat analyst estimates by a penny, but warned that first-quarter 2002 earnings would fall short of expectations. The computer reseller earned 47 cents a share, up from 46 cents in the year-ago quarter, on sales of $988 million, compared with $1.007 billion a year ago. Analysts had been expecting 46 cents, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. The company also predicted first-quarter 2002 earnings of 43 cents to 47 cents a share on sales of $975 million to $1.025 billion, below the First Call consensus analyst estimate of 50 cents.

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

beat third-quarter expectations, reporting pro forma earnings of $417 million, or 71 cents a share, up from $247 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting 60 cents, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. Under GAAP rules, the software maker lost $231 million, or 40 cents a share. Revenue for the quarter dropped to $749 million from $783 million a year ago.

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

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matched fourth-quarter earnings estimates before items, but said that it lost more than a billion dollars after a charge for layoffs and writedowns. The brokerage earned $461 million, or 48 cents a share, before the charges but lost $1.25 billion, or $1.51 a share, after them. It was the company's first quarterly loss since 1998.

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

reported Wednesday that fourth-quarter operating profits rose 21%, bolstered by strong drug sales. The world's No. 1 drugmaker reported net income from continuing operations of $2.1 billion, or 34 cents a share, in the fourth quarter. These earnings, which exclude certain items and merger-related costs, matched Wall Street estimates. Including all charges, Pfizer said fourth-quarter net income rose 38% to $1.96 billion, or 30 cents a share, compared with $1.42 billion, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier. Pfizer also reiterated the financial guidance for 2002 it offered in December.

Business software giant

SAP AG

(SAP) - Get Report

said fourth-quarter revenue rose 7% to 2.32 billion euros, while earnings rose slightly to 379 million euros, or 1.21 a share, from 375 million euros, or 1.19 a share, last year. The company said fourth-quarter operating income fell 8% to 613 million euros. Among regions, fourth-quarter revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 6% to 1.2 billion euro. Revenue in the Asia-Pacific region rose 8% to 248 million euros, and revenue in the Americas region rose 8% to 864 million euros.

Take-Two Interactive Software

(TTWO) - Get Report

postponed the release of its fourth-quarter earnings and fiscal year-end 2001 financial results on Tuesday evening -- shortly before a conference call was to begin -- raising new questions about the company's accounting methods. In a statement, Take-Two Interactive said it is continuing to evaluate restated financial statements for its fiscal year 2000, its nine months ended July 31, 2001, and the three months ended Oct. 31, 2001, and Jan. 31, 2002. On Dec. 17, Take-Two announced that it would restate the financial results from fiscal year 2000 and the first three quarters of 2001 due to accounting irregularities. On Thursday, the company was expected to give clearer guidance about the audit of its financials first mentioned on Dec. 17. No official restatement of earnings for fiscal year 2000 and the first three quarters of 2001 have been made.

Miscellaneous News

Captaris

(CAPA)

a communications and mobile business products provider, entered a four-year, $20 million original equipment manufacturing agreement with

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

. Captaris will provide Cisco with a license to use the company's enabling technology, designed to enhance the customer's ability to move from legacy messaging systems to Cisco's open Internet Protocol architecture.