Updated from 11:15 a.m.

This morning,

Chase Manhattan Bank

(CMB)

and

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

warned that they would miss fourth-quarter earnings estimates. The financial powerhouses said the problems stem from troubles in their capital markets area; they both said earnings would be "substantially lower" because trading revenues are expected to be lower than last year's fourth-quarter results as well as this year's third-quarter numbers.

Chase and Morgan said their combined investment banking revenues are expected to be modestly higher compared to the third quarter, though. Chase closed down $1.63, or 3.7%, to $42.88; Morgan was down $6.31, or 3.8%, to $157.94.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

marchFirst

(MRCH)

said private equity firm

Francisco Partners

has agreed to invest $150 million in the company in exchange for shares of preferred stock.

In November, marchFirst, a Chicago-based Internet consulting firm,

lowered its fourth-quarter outlook and said it needed additional short-term financing to fund its business. Its shares then fell close to its 52-week low of $1, sharply off its year-high of $65.

TheStreet.com

wrote more about the merger in a

separate story. marchFirst closed up 28 cents, or 17.3%, to $1.91.

After Wednesday's Close

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

said it has talked to several buyers interested in acquiring the dessert unit of

Pillsbury

, which General Mills is buying from

Diageo

(DEO) - Get Report

early next year.

The cereal-maker already operates the baking and dessert line of Betty Crocker and must divest the unit in order to satisfy antitrust guidelines.

On Wednesday, General Mills announced earnings

in line with estimates. General Mills closed up 25 cents, or 0.6%, to $39.94; Diageo was up $1.06, or 2.7%, to $40.06.

Back to top

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

King of fiber-optic cable

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

bucked the confession trend and actually affirmed the higher end of its previously announced fourth-quarter earnings range of 26 cents to 28 cents. The

First Call/Thomson Financial

19-analyst estimate is currently 28 cents for the quarter.

The company said the earnings figure excludes a $300 million to $500 million charge related to the acquisition of

Pirelli's

optical technologies business.

Corning also said it expects fiber-optics volume to grow 30% to 35% in the fourth quarter, and that for 2001, it will earn $1.40 to $1.43 a share. The current estimate for the year is $1.43. The stock ended the day down $2.44, or 3.4%, to $70.

Appliance-maker

Maytag

(MYG)

joined rival

Whirlpool

(WHR) - Get Report

in the "earnings warning" column.

The company said its fourth-quarter earnings could be down as much as 50% from last year because of weakness in the major appliance industry. Maytag said, excluding unusual charges, its fourth-quarter EPS would be about half of the 82 cents it earned a year ago. The current seven-analyst estimate for the quarter is 78 cents.

Maytag cited fourth-quarter charges of $55 million to $65 million for asset write-downs, suspended business initiatives and other expenses, including a previously announced management reorganization. The company's CEO resigned last month.

Yesterday, Whirlpool said it would miss estimates and would cut 6,000 jobs. Maytag closed down $2.50, or 8.4%, to $27.19; Whirlpool closed down 75 cents, or 1.8%, to $40.69.

After Wednesday's Close

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

reported third-quarter earnings that met analysts' expectations, thanks in part to 4.2% growth in same-store sales.

The home furnishings retailer said third-quarter earnings rose to $40.7 million, or 14 cents a share, from $31.7 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same period last year, meeting the First Call/Thomson Financial consensus estimate.

Sales for the quarter rose to $609.5 million from $486.5 million in the third quarter of 1999. During the third quarter, the company opened 37 new superstores and expanded two existing stores, bringing its total number of stores to 309 as of Nov. 25. Bed Bath & Beyond also plans to open about 80 superstores in the fiscal year starting in March. BB&B closed down $1.19, or 5.5%, to $20.50.

C-Cor.net

(CCBL)

said earnings will meet or come close to Wall Street's expectations for the second quarter, but revenue for the period will fall short of projections.

The provider of broadband network products said earnings should be 13 cents to 14 cents a share on revenue of $60 million to $63 million. Analysts polled by First Call expect C-Cor.net to earn 14 cents a share for the second quarter. The company earned 13 cents in the same period a year ago.

The company blamed the potential revenue shortfall on "recently requested delays in shipments from several customers" in addition to previously announced delays. C-Cor also warned that if the delays persist, the company could see a 15% to 20% reduction in revenue and earnings for the 2001 fiscal year. Analysts expect the company to earn 64 cents a share for 2001. The company earned 54 cents a share for 2000. The stock ended the day lower by $1.75, or 13.2%, to $11.56.

Internet travel services provider

Galileo

(GLC)

said it expects earnings of 49 cents to 51 cents a share for the fourth quarter. The six-analyst estimate is currently 50 cents a share. The company also said that it expects revenue for the full year 2001 to increase 10% to 12% and its 2001 EPS to jump 7% to 9%. Galileo closed down 19 cents, or 0.96%, to $19.44.

Leggett & Platt

(LEG) - Get Report

warned that its fourth-quarter earnings would come in between 21 cents and 24 cents, well below the eight-analyst estimate of 33 cents.

The company, which makes engineered products, said demand was weakening in all the markets it serves. Leggett & Platt closed down $1, or 6%, to $15.56.

PacifiCare Health Systems

(PHSY)

is cutting about 550 jobs, or 6% of its work force, and expects to record a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter.

In an announcement made after Wednesday's closing bell, the managed health care company said it expects a fourth-quarter restructuring charge of $15 million to $17 million, or 24 cents to 28 cents a share, mainly for severance and related employee benefits. Analysts on average expect the company to earn 20 cents a share in the fourth quarter, compared with earnings of $1.59 a share in the same period last year.

The terminations, which will occur at the company's corporate headquarters and regional HMO operations, will begin Jan. 2. PacifiCare last month also announced plans to limit new enrollment in about 40% of its Medicare markets, citing rising health care costs and insufficient federal funding. PacifiCare closed down 81 cents, or 6.6%, to $11.56.

Silicon Image

(SIMG)

expects fourth-quarter revenue to increase about 70% from the $7.6 million the company reported in the same period a year ago, but projected that the top line will decline sequentially.

Silicon Image, a semiconductor developer, expects fourth-quarter revenue to fall 8% to 10% from the $14.5 million in revenue the company reported in the third quarter.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company now expects to report results that are about "break-even on a pro forma basis" for the fourth quarter because of the slowdown in demand for PCs and associated displays. The company expects first-quarter revenue "to be flat or slightly up" from the fourth quarter, barring any further deterioration in computer hardware.

Analysts expect Silicon Image to earn a penny a share in both the fourth quarter and the first quarter of 2001, according to First Call. Analysts also expect the company to earn 6 cents a share in 2000 and 8 cents a share in 2001. The company forecast a 60% to 70% increase in revenue for 2001, down from the 70% or higher Silicon Image previously estimated. Silicon Image closed down $3.88, or 33.3%, to $5.75.

Software provider

Verity

(VRTY)

posted second-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, beating the five-analyst estimate of 20 cents a share and up from year-ago earnings of 3 cents.

The company said its revenue increased 107% over the same period last year. Verity CEO Gary Sbona said the quarter was its fourth straight one of record revenue and the best quarter for net income and earnings per share.

Additionally, Verity projected EPS for its third quarter to be between 23 cents and 25 cents and for its fourth quarter to be between 24 cents and 27 cents. The analyst estimates are currently 22 cents for the third quarter and 23 cents for the fourth. Verity truly closed up $3.88, or 20.9%, to $22.44.

Back to top

Analyst actions

Silicon Image

(SIMG)

, a semiconductor developer, warned last night (see listing in earnings section, too) that its fourth-quarter revenue will fall 8% to 10% from the $14.5 million in revenue the company reported in the third quarter. That attracted the attention of

Credit Suisse First Boston

, which cut its fourth-quarter EPS view to nil from 1 cent and its 2001 EPS view to 1 cent from 7 cents.

Prudential Securities

downgraded the company to a hold from accumulate and cut its 2000 EPS to 5 cents from 6 cents and 2001 EPS to 2 cents from 7 cents. As noted above, Silicon Image closed down $3.88, or 33.3%, to $5.75.

CSFB also cut

General Semiconductor's

(SEM) - Get Report

fourth-quarter EPS view to 26 cents from 35 cents and its 2001 EPS view to $1.32 from $1.45. The stock closed down 31 cents, or 3.6%, to $8.44.

Upgrades

El Paso Energy

(EPG)

: 12-month price target UP to $80 from $60 at

Lehman Brothers

; 2001 EPS estimate UP to $3.20 from $3.15 and 2002 EPS estimate to $4. El Paso closed south of the border, lower by $1, or 1.5%, to $65.19.

Downgrades

Biomet

(BMET)

: DOWN to accumulate from strong buy at Prudential and fourth-quarter EPS down to 33 cents from 34 cents. However, the firm raised Biomet's price target to $45 from $40. Biomet closed up 19 cents, or 0.5%, to $38.81.

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

: 12-month price target DOWN to $18 from $20 at Prudential and 2001 EPS DOWN to $1.11 from $1.25. Boston Scientific closed up 19 cents, or 1.4%, to $13.19.

Charles Schwab

(SCH)

: fourth-quarter EPS DOWN to 13 cents from 14 cents at Prudential and 2001 EPS DOWN to 70 cents from 74 cents. Charles Schwab closed down 56 cents, or 1.9%, to $29.56.

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Report

: 12-month price target DOWN to $15 from $20 at Lehman; 2000 EPS estimate DOWN to 45 cents from 80 cents and 2001 EPS estimate DOWN to 60 cents from $1.10. Circuit City ended the day down 31 cents, or 2.9%, to $10.31.

Delphi Automotive

(DPH)

: price target DOWN to $14 from $19 at Prudential. Delphi closed down 13 cents, or 1.1%, to $11.69.

Georgia Gulf

(GGC)

: 2000 EPS view DOWN to $2.05 from $2.35 at

Goldman Sachs

and 2001 EPS view to nil from $1. The company's stock closed up 69 cents, or 5.7%, to $12.69.

Santa Fe International

(SDC) - Get Report

: 2000 EPS view DOWN to 92 cents from 95 cents at

ABN Amro

; 2001 EPS view DOWN to $1.60 from $1.90. Santa Fe closed down 50 cents, or 1.9%, to $26.

Torchmark

(TMK)

: DOWN to hold from accumulate at Prudential. Torchmark ended the day down $1.38, or 3.5%, to $38.44.

Initiations

Exelixis

(EXEL) - Get Report

: NEW accumulate at Prudential; 12-month price target: $25. Exelixis closed down $1.69, or 9.7%, to $15.75.

John Hancock Financial Services

(JHF)

: NEW hold at Prudential. John Hancock signed off today with a small flourish, up 81 cents, or 2.3%, to $35.81. I know, it's not funny, but look at the material they give me.

Group Moves

Lehman Brothers started coverage on five environmental services companies:

  • Waste Management (WMI) : NEW buy; price target: $32. Waste Management closed down 19 cents, or 0.8%, to $24.94.
  • Allied Waste (AN) - Get Report: NEW outperform. Allied Waste closed down 31 cents, or 4.95%, to $6.
  • Republic Services (RSG) - Get Report: NEW outperform. Republic ended the day down 25 cents, or 1.7%, to $14.56.
  • Waste Connections (WCNX) : NEW buy; price target: $32. This stock and the next were the only ones on this list that weren't trashed today. It closed up 13 cents, or 0.5%, to $25.88.
  • Waste Industries (WWIN) : NEW market perform. Waste Industries closed up 19 cents, or 3.9%, to $5.06.

Back to top

Offerings and stock actions

After Wednesday's Close

Panama-based international bank

Banco Latinoamericano

(BLX) - Get Report

said it was launching a $100 million stock buyback in an effort to boost share value and its EPS. The bank will buy back up to $75 million in Class E shares and up to $25 million of Class A shares. El Banco closed up 44 cents, or 1.4%, to $32.44.

Nanogen

(NGEN)

amended its stockholder rights agreement to let

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

and its affiliates, including

Salomon Smith Barney

, buy 25% of its common stock without triggering the plan. Citigroup said in a filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

that it had no intention of changing or influencing the control of Nanogen. Nanogen closed down 81 cents, or 6.2%, to $12.31; Citigroup was down $2.25, or 4.3%, to $50.75.

Sanmina

(SANM) - Get Report

, an electronics contract manufacturer, said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split.

The San Jose, Calif., company said shareholders of record Dec. 18 will be eligible to receive the additional shares. After completing the stock split, the company will have about 305 million shares outstanding. The company said certificates reflecting the stock split will be issued around Jan. 8. Sanmina closed up $3.25, or 4.4%, to $76.63.

Transkaryotic Therapies

(TKTX)

said it would sell up to $500 million in stock and will adopt a shareholder rights plan that would start if a party buys 20% of its company stock. The company said the plan was not taken on in response to any unsolicited offer. Transkaryotic ended the day down $2.50, or 6.6%, to $35.25.

Back to top

Miscellany

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

said that, following a six-month review, it has decided to separate the company's pharmaceutical unit, evaluating "all separation options," for the pharmaceutical unit, including the filing of an initial public offering.

The chemical bellwether named Richard De Schutter as executive chairman and CEO of the new unit. De Schutter, who joined DuPont in July to lead the six-month review, was formerly chairman and CEO of

G.D. Searle

and chief administrative officer of

Pharmacia

(PHA)

. The company also said Nicholas Teti, currently president and CEO of DuPont Pharmaceuticals, has decided to retire, effective Dec. 31. The big DD closed up $1.25, or 2.9%, to $44.44.

Back to top

By the numbers

The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

Back to top