Updated from 2:48 p.m.
will phase out its Oldsmobile division over the next few years, despite making major investments recently to improve the line. Although the investments resulted in what GM Executive Vice President Ron Zarrella called "great new products," he said the brand's sales and profit performance "remain under pressure."
The company said it will try to place Oldsmobile employees within other parts of GM. The move should help the automaker accelerate it efforts to focus on strengthening its market position and growth opportunities.
Also, GM said it will phase out passenger car production at its Luton, England, site and cut salaried employment levels by 10% in North America and Europe. GM closed up 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $51.75.
provided a pretty clear picture of what its fourth quarter will look like. Unfortunately, that picture isn't very good. Think finger over the lens, everything out of focus and the subject falling out of the frame.
The blue-chip photographer warned that fourth-quarter earnings will come in between 65 cents and 75 cents a share, well short of the $1.07 expected by the folks at
First Call/Thomson Financial
. The full-year 2001 is now expected to come in between $4.65 and $4.75 a share, again, much lower than the analysts' call of $5.07 a share.
Kodak said the miss was due to lower customer demand, retail inventory cutbacks, higher manufacturing costs and the fact that Kodak Professional hasn't recovered the way Kodak hoped it would. Oh, yeah. And the euro. The weak euro also helped tank earnings.
"The slowing economy curtailed earnings growth in the second half of 2000 and will continue to do so in the first half of next year," said Kodak Chairman, President and CEO Daniel A. Carp.
So, what's Kodak's plan to get its business back on track? Restructuring. Kodak said it will cut capital spending by $200 million, reduce inventories by $200 million, all while cutting back on the number of products it offers and the number of people it hires. Kodak's picture was brighter at the close; the stock was up $1.50, or 3.8%, to $41.06.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
made another step toward completing its merger with
National Grid Group
, selling its nuclear power plants to
Constellation Energy Group
. NiMo, as Niagra Mohawk is known to the fine folks of Syracuse, N.Y., sold its 41% stake in nuclear plant Nine Mile 2 and 100% of Nine Mile 1 to Constellation for $262 million in cash and five installments of principal and interest totaling $348 million.
NiMo closed up 19 cents, or 1.1%, to $16.69; National Grid Group was up 88 cents, or 1.9%, to $46; and Constellation was up $1.25, or 3.3%, to $39.56.
announced a repositioning program that will mean a nonrecurring pretax charge to fourth-quarter earnings of about $150 million before tax. The program calls for such actions as closing high-cost manufacturing plants, streamlining administrative functions and cutting jobs by 750 employees, or 3%.
The industrial gases company also reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the fourth quarter. Praxair continues to expect fourth-quarter diluted earnings per share of about 76 cents, excluding the nonrecurring charge. It also reaffirmed its prior guidance of 10% EPS growth in 2001. Comparisons with 2000 exclude the nonrecurring charge.
The nonrecurring charge is also expected to include the write-off of nonperforming and nonstrategic assets of an additional $60 million. One of these assets will be Praxair's investment in MetFabCity, a business-to-business Internet site designed to serve the U.S. metal fabrication industry. In the absence of additional strategic investors in the site, Praxair will work with other Internet site developers in an effort to maximize value of the site. Praxair closed up 69 cents, or 1.8%, to $38.06.
unsolicited takeover bid of $48 a share, in an unsurprising move, one that echoes previous sentiment from the paper company's board. Previously, on Nov. 15, the company said the same thing -- that Weyerhaueser's $48 a share bid was not in the best interest of its shareholders.
For the past month, Willamette has been dodging the advances from its rival, who began the buyout procedure some time ago by approaching Willamette with a private offer. That low offer was rejected and then Weyerhaueser returned with a better one, which was also discarded. Eventually, frustrated, the company took its bid for Willamette public, in a move called a "bear hug," which tried to put pressure on Willamette's board from its investors, who presumably, would have clamored for a merger. But Willamette stood its ground and staunchly refused to budge.
The erstwhile bride-to-be closed down 38 cents, or 0.8%, to $48.63; the dogged Weyerhaueser was down 50 cents, or 1.1%, to $45.75.
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Earnings/revenue reports and previews
said it expects to gain about $400 million from the sale of some assets next year. Alcan closed down 31 cents, or 0.9%, to $32.94.
Other companies who preannounce are warning, but
isn't. Today, the consumer products behemoth said it feels comfortable with fourth-quarter and fiscal 2001 estimates. The company said it expected another good quarter, one that would presumably beat the
First Call/Thomson Financial
fourth-quarter estimate of 45 cents a share and the fiscal 2001 estimate of $1.69 a share. The company's stock ended the day up $2.43, or 4.3%, to $58.98.
expects the fourth quarter to go bad. The high-speed Internet service provider announced that fourth-quarter losses would come in between $180 and $190 million on revenues of $60 million to $65 million. In 2001, Covad Communications expects to report losses of $450 to $470 million on revenue between $380 million and $390 million.
This is just another bad sign from Covad, following the company's recent decision to restructure, trimming its work force by 13%. Covad closed down 56 cents, or 18.4%, to $2.50.
So far this year, automobile sales have become something of a car wreck as consumers have apparently sated their desire for huge, gas-guzzling vehicles that are neither sporty nor very utilitarian. Therefore, it didn't take an oracle to predict that
Delphi Automotive Systems
, an auto-parts supplier, would warn that its fourth quarter would come in below expectations.
The company said its fourth-quarter earnings, to be officially released Jan. 17, would come in between 31 cents and 35 cents a share, much lower than the First Call/Thomson Financial estimate of 44 cents a share. Delphi also said its fiscal 2001, depending on the amount of production over at
plants, would be between $1.42 and $1.68 per share, also much lower than the $1.78 analyst estimate.
Delphi closed up 50 cents, or 4.3%, to $12.25; GM was up 19 cents, or 0.4%, to $51.75.
Sure, people in the aisles of a local drugstore know FDS as a certain feminine product, but people in the aisles of the
New York Stock Exchange know FDS as
FactSet Research Systems
. And today, the financial and economic data-service provider announced that its first-quarter earnings would have a very fresh feeling indeed, coming in at 22 cents a share, topping the First Call/Thomson Financial estimate by a penny and the year-ago span by 6 cents.
FactSet said second-quarter revenues will come in between $42 million and $43 million, with operating margins similar to those racked up in its successful first quarter. FDS closed up $5.24, or 13.6%, to $43.90.
announced a restructuring program to cut operating costs by $3.3 million annually. As a result, the company will take a $2 million charge. Paxar closed up 6 cents, or 0.7%, to $8.56.
After Monday's Close
said it will earn between 34 cents and 37 cents per share for the fourth quarter, lower than the five-broker consensus looking for 44 cents a share. The company said a decline in sales was responsible for the earnings shortfall. Dallas Semiconductor closed down $8, or a "whopping" 23.5%, to $26.
Online advertising firm
said it is going to fall short of earnings estimates in another blow for Internet companies.
The company expects to report somewhere between a flat quarter to a loss of 3 cents per share for the fourth quarter, which would be as much as 5 cents below the anticipated 2 cent profit the 22 brokers covering the company were looking for, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. Revenues of $126 million to $129 million are expected, between 8% and 10% below expectations.
It wasn't exactly a surprise. The company last week said it was cutting jobs because of declining ad revenue for online firms during a tough period for advertising in general. DoubleClick closed up $1.97, or 16.5%, to $13.91.
said fiscal third-quarter sales will fall short of expectations because of lower-than-expected sales, producing a necessary reduction in inventories. Sales are expected to be flat when compared to the $176 million reported in the fiscal second quarter. Microchip Tech closed down $1.75, or 6.5%, to $25.06.
decided to reassure the market today, saying in a press release that it expects earnings to come in at 31 cents a share, in line with current expectations. Sonic speeded down to close off $3.55, or 13.3%, to $23.19.
Wallace Computer Services
reported earnings of 41 cents per share for the fourth quarter, up from 26 cents from the same time period a year ago. The lone broker covering the company expected earnings of 40 cents a share. Wallace closed down 75 cents, or 4.5%, to $16.
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Forget tomorrow. The Sun is coming out today!
analyst, this morning took the recently destroyed
out of his "techfolio," a collection of 10 technology stocks that launched on Oct. 24. Milunovich will cut both Sun and
from the techfolio, replacing them with
"Sun has been acting poorly," Milunovich's note to investors said. "Although we have confidence in the company's accounting and long-term prospects, the concerns could prevent a near-term rally. We're adding Avnet. Although the stock has a lower beta, we think the stock could appreciate to fill the price gap."
And as to why Pivotal couldn't live up to its name?
"Pivotal is on our restricted list," he wrote. "Although we are underweighting semis, the group does appear to be poised for a rebound and should do well in an up tech tape. TI is a leader in wireless, which looks to be recovering."
Sun closed down 13 cents, or 0.4%, to $33.88; Pivotal was down $3.44, or 6.9%, to $46.56; Avnet was up 88 cents, or 4.4%, to $20.94; and Texas Instruments was up 94 cents, or 1.8%, to $52.81.
: 12-month price target UP to $56 from $48 at
. Inktomi closed down $4.06, or 8.3%, to $44.94.
: DOWN to hold from buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
; DOWN to hold from buy at
. Anadigics ended the day down $1.94, or 9.2%, to $19.06.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at UBS Warburg. Doral closed down $1.50, or 7.1%, to $19.75.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at UBS Warburg. Oh, IndyMac, when are you coming back? Indy, Oh, IndyMac, you came back ... you closed up 5.5%, or $1.44, to $27.50.
: DOWN to hold at CSFB. Intraware closed down 56 cents, or 22.8%, to $1.91.
: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB. TriQuint closed down $12.13, or 19.7%, to $49.31.
: NEW outperform at
. Ariba closed down $10.19, or 11.7%, to $76.69.
: NEW neutral at Merrill. Centura closed down 50 cents, or 1.1%, to $43.94. Centura Bank closed down 50 cents, or 1.1%, to $43.94.
: NEW outperform at Lehman Brothers; price target: $55. Commerce One ended the day down $3.38, or 7.7%, to $40.38.
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg. Documentum closed down $3.83, or 6.5%, to $55.55.
Fresenius Medical Care
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg. Fresenius closed down 19 cents, or 0.7%, to $26.50.
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg. Interwoven closed down $8.88, or 9.7%, to $82.31.
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg. Medarex closed down $3.75, or 7.3%, to $48.
Smith & Nephew
: NEW buy at Merrill; price target: $54. Smith & Nephew closed down 25 cents, or 0.6%, to $43.50.
Lehman Brothers initiated coverage on a bunch of clothiers, just in time for the all-important holiday season. Even if you're unaware that Christmas carols have been playing since early October, it's still beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go. Even on Wall Street. Lehman started the following companies at outperform:
- The Gap (GPS) - Get Report: price target $35. The Gap was up 25 cents, or 0.98%, to $25.81.
Intimate Brands (IBI) : price target $21. The stock closed up 25 cents, or 1.7%, to $14.81.
The Limited (LTD) : price target $26. The Limited closed up 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $17.
Talbot's (TLB) : price target $55. Talbot closed down $1.94, or 4.5%, to $41.31.
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Offerings and stock actions
Bank of New York
announced that it will buy back up to 10 million additional shares as part of a stock repurchase program. Bank of New York ended the day down 63 cents, or 1.1%, to $54.31.
said it will buy back an additional 1 million shares, extending its December 1999 pledge to purchase 1.5 million shares. As it stands now, the children's clothesmaker has already bought more than 800,000 shares and this latest extension allows the company to buy back up to 1.7 million shares. The company's stock closed up 50 cents, or 2.5%, to $20.25.
After Monday's Close
priced its initial public offering at $9.50 a share, below the expected $11 to $12 range. That range had in turn been lowered from the originally expected price of $14 to $16 a share. Genvec closed up 38 cents, or 3.95%, to $9.88.
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In the Navy! In the Navy!
donned its most Village People-worthy outfit this morning and announced that it had received a $338.2 million contract to build a guided missile destroyer, called the "DDG 51" Class Aegis destroyer, for the United States Navy. Litton closed down 31 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.38.
announced that Dr. Michael J. Fox was named the company's president and COO. And no, that's not the same short fella who played Marty McFly, Alex P. Keaton or
Jay-Jay Manners. Penwest closed down 63 cents, or 5.1%, to $11.63.
announced that its chairman and chief executive of
Universal Music Group
, Doug Morris, has signed a contract for five more years. Vivendi closed up $2.69, or 4.1%, to $67.69.
After Monday's Close
named Eric Rangen new CEO. He will succeed Scott Meyers on Jan. 29. Alliant closed down 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $58.94.
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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.
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