Updated from 6:49 p.m. ET Wednesday

The hum of earnings continued this morning with telecom titan

Worldcom

(WCOM)

phoning in lower first-quarter earnings in line with expectations this morning, as its weaker long-distance phone business offset higher data, Internet and international revenue.

The company said first-quarter earnings were $745 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with $1.2 billion, or 41 cents a share, in the year-ago period. According to analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

, 14 analysts lowered their expectations to 25 cents a share for the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter was $9.7 billion, up from $9.6 billion a year ago. Worldcom also reiterated its full-year 2001 revenue growth forecast of 12% to 15% and said it sees cash earnings of $1.25 to $1.35 a share for the year.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Applied Biosystems

(ABI)

announced fiscal third-quarter earnings of $57.7 million, or 26 cents a share, compared with $56.1 million, or 26 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Figures came in line with analysts' consensus estimates.

Applied Biosystems had warned earlier this quarter of a modest softening of orders, prompting the stock to fall. Revenue totaled $439.8 million, up 19% from the year-ago period.

Celera Genomics

(CRA)

posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss amid higher expenses from research and development.

The seller of genetic information, which helped map the human genome, reported a loss of $29.1 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $24.1 million, or 45 cents a share. Eleven analysts polled expected a loss of 57 cents a share. But revenue grew to $23.4 million from $11.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Research and development costs rose to $52.2 million from $43.5 million a year ago.

CIT Group

(CIT) - Get Report

said first-quarter earnings rose 11.3%, meeting the Street's estimates, to $160.1 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $143.9 million, or 55 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

The commercial finance firm, which is due to be acquired by manufacturing giant

Tyco International

(TYC)

, said revenue for the quarter was $616.3 million, compared with $587.3 million in the year-earlier period.

Cox Communications

(COX)

, the fifth-largest cable-television company, posted first-quarter earnings of $686.6 million, or $1.12 a share, down from $1.07 billion, or 41.74 a share, in the year-ago period.

Cox, which cited gains in selling advanced communications services, and said it had other gains on investments, said revenue was $947.9 million, up from $846.3 million last year.

Sensormatic Electronics

(SRM)

said third-quarter earnings dipped 56% amid a difficult economic environment, and announced it will lay off 450 employees to cut costs.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company's earnings fell to $8.5 million, or 7 cents a share, from $13.4 million, or 14 cents a share, excluding items. Analysts' lowered expectations called for earnings per share of 7 cents, down from a previous estimate of 21 cents a share.

Sensormatic also said it expects the job cuts to save at least $35 million a year and that it expects fourth-quarter EPS of 22 cents to 27 cents. The company also forecast a 25% EPS growth in fiscal 2002.

Internet grocer

Webvan

(WBVN)

unveiled its life-preserver plan, which includes closing its Webvan service in Atlanta, cutting up to 885 jobs and setting a reverse stock split.

The company, which is on the verge of being delisted from the

Nasdaq

, also posted a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss of 18 cents a share, compared with 17 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Analysts on average expected a loss of 19 cents a share. Webvan also named Robert Swan as its new chief executive officer, replacing George T. Shaheen, who resigned as CEO and chairman on April 13, 2001. Swan was previously the company's chief financial officer.

Energy company

Williams

(WMB) - Get Report

posted first-quarter earnings that doubled, fueled by strong energy trading results and improved natural gas exploration and production.

The Tulsa, Okla.,-based company reported first-quarter earnings of $199.2 million, or 78 cents a share, compared with restated earnings of $99.7 million, or 31 cents a share, in the same period last year. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call expected 73 cents a share. Williams earlier this month raised its earnings target to a range of 65 to 75 cents a share.

Williams also raised its 2001 earnings forecast to $2.10 to $2.20 a share, citing the continued strength of energy markets.

After Wednesday's Close

Question-and-answer Web site

Ask Jeeves

(ASKJ)

reported a 40-cent loss per share in the first quarter, compared to the expected loss of 52 cents a share. In the current quarter, the company announced that it will cut 75 employees, 15% of its total workforce, and will have to take a one-time charge of $2 million. It also said it expects revenue of $17 million in the second quarter and no longer expects year-over-year revenue growth for fiscal 2001.

Perhaps because of the economic slowdown, there's more time to play golf these days.

Callaway Golf

(ELY) - Get Report

announced tonight that its first-quarter profit for this year is more than double that of last year, spurred by strong sales of metal drivers and golf balls. Earnings were reported at 47 cents a share, higher than the expectations of 44 cents a share, and well above the 17 cents a share reported in the same period last year. Net sales rose 32% to $261.4 million from the first quarter of 2000.

Biotech company

Chiron

(CHIR) - Get Report

posted earnings of 19 cents a share, a couple of pennies above the consensus

Thomson Financial/First Call

estimate of 17 cents, but below earnings in the year-ago period by the same amount. Reported net sales were up a slight 7% from the same period last year.

Computer services company

Electronic Data Systems

(EDS)

reported a rise of 19% in first-quarter earnings on a year-over-year basis, meeting consensus expectations. EDS, the No. 2 computer services provider behind

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, posted earnings of 56 cents a share and said in a statement that "EDS has seen no slowdown in our overall market."

Revenue rose by 9% to $5 billion in the year-over-year comparison. This marks the eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth for the company.

Foundry Networks

(FDRY)

, a network switch manufacturer, posted profits of 4 cents a share, in line with the lowered estimates it announced April 9.

The world's No. 1 oil services company,

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

, the company previously run by

Vice President Dick Cheney

, announced earnings for the first quarter of 2001 totaling 25 cents a share, above the consensus estimates of 22 cents a share. This is more than double the earnings in the year-ago period, which came in at only 11 cents.

Online real estate service center

Homestore.com

(HOMS)

beat earnings expectations for the last quarter, as reported this evening. The Web site reported earnings of 4 cents a share, while analysts expected the company to break even for the quarter. On top of that, the company raised its future guidance, now forecasting $500 million in revenue for the full year, as well as EPS of 53 cents, up from the previous guidance of 45 cents a share.

Another mixed bag due to the slowing economy was

InfoSpace

(INSP) - Get Report

, a service provider for Web sites and wireless companies. The company posted a narrower-than-expected loss of 2 cents a share, slightly higher than the 4-cent-a-share loss expected, but much lower than the positive 4 cents a share earned in the year-ago period.

Software maker

PeopleSoft

(PSFT)

came out with better-than-expected earnings tonight, posting earnings of 11 cents a share, above the consensus 9-cent estimate and the 4-cent EPS in the year-ago period. Seeming to ignore the downtrend in the general market, sales for the company rose by a strong 34%. Earlier in the month, PeopleSoft announced a partnership deal with

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

to provide software on Sun's hardware, in a move rivaling the teamup of competitor

Siebel Systems

(SEBL)

and IBM.

Tech powerhouse

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

announced earnings in line with expectations of 29 cents a share. While the company's revenue was up slightly from last year -- $713 million for the second quarter of 2001 vs. $649 million in the year-ago period -- the company did say that EPS will likely slip in the next quarter, coming in at 21 cents a share.

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Miscellany

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

said it has reached a cross-licensing pact for digital photography with Japanese cameramaker

Sanyo Electric

, a move that could boost Kodak's transition to digital camera services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

After Wednesday's Close

Tobacco giant

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

, producer of the Marlboro brand, announced after the close Wednesday that wholesale cigarette prices would rise by $7 per thousand cigarettes, effective Thursday. Other cigarettemakers are expected to follow suit.

Long-beleaguered

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

announced Wednesday that it would delay the actual announcement of its quarterly earnings until Thursday morning, prior to the market open. Shares of the company fell a whopping 37% during Wednesday's regular trading day.

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