Updated from 7:38 p.m. ET Monday

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

met analysts' earnings estimates for the first quarter, and the nation's biggest retailer said it expects to return to double-digit earnings growth in the second half of 2001.

The Bentonville, Ark., company earned $1.38 billion, or 31 cents a share, up from $1.33 billion, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Twenty-four analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

were expecting the company to earn 31 cents a share, an estimate that was reduced by a penny after the company

tweaked its estimate in April.

Revenue for the period rose 11.8% to $48.05 billion, the company said.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

After Monday's Close

Gemstar-TV Guide

(GMST)

reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss and set plans to acquire in-flight catalog company

SkyMall

(SKYM)

. Gemstar posted a first-quarter loss of 30 cents a share, well off its year-ago income of 11 cents. Analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

were expecting a loss of 32 cents a share.

Gemstar will pay about $47.5 million -- half in stock, half in cash -- for SkyMall. As a result of the deal, Gemstar hopes to market some of its newly developed interactive products.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Home improvements retailer

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

beat Wall Street's earnings projections for the first quarter and said it was comfortable with the second-quarter consensus estimate.

Home Depot earned $632 million, or 27 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with income of $629 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were expecting the company to post earnings of 25 cents a share.

The company also said revenue grew 10% to $12.2 billion and that it was comfortable with Wall Street's earnings projections of 37 cents a share for the second quarter.

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

said its operating income for the first quarter, excluding noncomparable items, was 11 cents a share. The company earned 13 cents a share in the same period a year ago. Analysts were calling for earnings of 11 cents in the period.

The retailer projected a loss for the second quarter of 20 cents to 25 cents a share, with an "improvement in the second half" of the year. The company forecast earnings of 30 cents to 35 cents a share for the year. Wall Street currently expects the company to lose 11 cents in the second quarter and earn 30 cents for the full year.

Chip equipment maker

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, software outfit

BEA Systems

(BEAS)

and storage firm

Brocade Communications

(BRCD)

are reporting earnings after the close.

After Monday's Close

Waste-management company

Allied Waste

(AW)

reported first-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts' expectations. The company, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., posted earnings of 13 cents a share, down from 15 cents a share a year ago. The company also said it remains comfortable with its forecast for the remainder of the year.

Edison International

(EIX) - Get Report

reported a first-quarter loss of $1.89 a share, compared with a profit of 32 cents a share in the year-ago period. Edison, the parent company of struggling utility

Southern California Edison

, took a $661 million charge because of the enormous power costs that have plagued the entire state of California.

Dutch communications and networking firm

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

reported a first-quarter loss of 14 cents a share, citing the cost of building its global network as the principal cause. Analysts were expecting the company to post a loss of 3 cents a share.

However, Equant said quarterly revenue rose 40% to $443 million from $316.8 million in the year-ago period.

Longs Drug Stores

(LDG)

said Monday that its first-quarter earnings came in at 31 cents a share, short of the 34 cents a share analysts were expecting. Net income for the first quarter was $11.6 million, compared with $12 million a year ago. First-quarter sales increased 8% to $1 billion from $956 million last year.

Retailer

Pacific Sunwear

(PSUN)

said Monday that its quarterly profits dropped 39% despite being in line with analysts' expectations. The company posted first-quarter earnings, before charges, of 11 cents a share, compared with 18 cents a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 22% to $137.7 million from $112.6 million a year earlier.

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