Updated from 6:22 p.m. ET Wednesday

Genuity

(GENU)

is leading the headlines early on Thursday as the company let loose a flurry of announcements. The company struck a deal with

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

to get $2 billion in credit support, disclosed plans to cut 12% of its workforce and said it posted a first-quarter loss that was narrower than analysts expected.

The e-business network provider lost $292 million, or 30 cents a share, in the quarter. Seven analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

were calling for the company to post a loss of 33 cents in the period. Genuity lost $210 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

However, revenue fell short of Wall Street's two-analyst consensus estimate of $303.6 million. Sales totaled $299 million, well ahead of the $247.9 million in the year-ago period.

The company also set plans to cut 12% of its full-time workforce in an attempt to reduce capital spending in light of the current economic climate. Additionally, Genuity said Verizon has agreed to provide it with credit support to raise up to $2 billion in new long-term capital. "These steps solidify our long-term financial strength, and position us to effectively capture future growth opportunities," the company said in a statement.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Direct broadcast satellite firm

EchoStar Communications

(DISH) - Get Report

posted a sharply narrower first-quarter operating loss as it added 460,000 subscribers to its satellite television service.

The Littleton, Colo., company on Thursday reported an operating loss of $15.2 million compared with a loss of $142.1 million a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose to $861.9 million from $565.7 million a year ago.

Cosmetics maker

Revlon

(REV) - Get Report

posted a first-quarter loss that was much narrower than expected. The New York-based company had a loss from ongoing operations of $24.3 million, or 47 cents a share. Analysts expected the company to lose 69 cents. In the year-earlier period, Revlon lost $23.7 million, or 46 cents a share.

Sales from ongoing operations declined to $323.3 million from $355.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Cox Radio

(CXR)

posted a first-quarter loss, but cut its revenue guidance for the full year, as the slowdown in advertising spending has dampened the company's outlook. The Atlanta-based company posted a loss of $2.1 million, or 2 cents a share, including items, in the latest quarter. That was down sharply from the year-earlier period, when Cox earned $32.8 million, or 38 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter rose 14% to $86.5 million from $75.9 million, while broadcast cash flow rose 12% to $29.8 million from $26.7 million.

After Wednesday's Close

Cirrus Logic

(CRUS) - Get Report

provided little drama as it met Wall Street's drastically lowered earnings estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The company, which designs and makes integrated circuits, earned $4.6 million, or 6 cents a share, excluding items. Five analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

had reduced their consensus estimate to 6 cents a share following a profit warning in March. At the time, Cirrus said it would earn between 4 cents and 8 cents a share, well below the consensus estimate of 25 cents. The company earned 5 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Revenue was slightly higher than expected at $199.7 million, just ahead of the $197.5 million Wall Street was projecting. The top line fell from $208 million in the previous quarter, but rose from $160.2 million in the same period last year.

Cirrus also expects first-quarter revenue to fall 10% to 15% sequentially, with earnings of 10 cents to 15 cents. Analysts are currently forecasting earnings of 11 cents.

Compuware

(CPWR)

was pretty much on target with revised estimates as it reported earnings and revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter. The software developer said on Wednesday that it earned $59.1 million, or 16 cents a share, excluding amortization costs. The consensus estimate of 10 analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

called for the company to earn 16 cents, despite a revenue warning earlier in the quarter. The company earned $57.5 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue checked in on the high end of the lowered forecast. The company posted a top line of $514.5 million in the quarter, down from $582.1 million in the same period last year, and well below two analysts' consensus estimate of $533 million. In April the company lowered its revenue forecast, citing the negative impact of foreign currency and the reorganization of its professional services business.

Compuware projected fourth-quarter revenue of $505 million to $515 million, down from analysts' expectations of $548 million. But the company added that it expects fourth-quarter earnings of 15 cents to 17 cents a share, in line with the consensus estimate of 16 cents a share.

Macromedia

(MACR)

reported Wednesday that its earnings fell well short of Wall Street's expectations for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The company, which makes software for creating digital media, earned $8.4 million, or 15 cents a share, excluding charges. A 15-analyst consensus was calling for the company to earn 20 cents in the period. Macromedia reported income of $16.8 million, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

However, the company's revenue exceeded the consensus estimate. Revenue totaled $89.1 million in the period, above the $86.9 million projected by analysts and the $86.8 million in the same period last year.

Peet's Coffee & Tea

(PEET)

checked in with quarterly numbers slightly ahead of Wall Street's projections. The specialty coffee maker lost $300,000, or 4 cents a share. Two analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

were expecting a loss of 5 cents a share. The company lost $600,000, or 14 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Sales for the quarter rose to $22.6 million, compared with $19.6 million in the equivalent period last year.

Back to top

Analyst actions

Lehman Brothers

downgraded

Handspring

(HAND)

to buy from strong buy, telling investors that the handheld maker could end up getting crushed by

Palm's

(PALM)

decision to slash prices and toss its inventory into stores.

Back to top

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

After Wednesday's Close

The

Justice Department

on Wednesday approved

General Electric's

(GE) - Get Report

acquisition of

Honeywell

(HON) - Get Report

after the companies agreed to sell a military helicopter engine unit and let a new company service some of Honeywell's small, commercial jet engines.

The department said it reached an "agreement in principle" with the companies and won't oppose the combination of the as long as the companies meet certain conditions.

With the approval from U.S. antitrust enforcers, the focus shifts to Europe, where regulators are still studying the proposed deal and have expressed broader concerns.

Back to top

Miscellany

After Wednesday's Close

After the close of the markets on Wednesday,

Vitesse Semiconductor

(VTSS)

said it was cutting its workforce by 12%.

The company, which will take a one-time charge of between $1.5 million and $2 million in the third quarter for the job cuts, blamed market conditions. Vitesse, which employs 1,280 people worldwide, also said its upper management will take a 10% to 25% pay cut to reduce operating expenses further.

Back to top