Multimedia giant

AOL Time Warner

(AOL)

released a whopper of an earnings report today, issuing numbers for AOL, for Time Warner and for the newly combined media juggernaut. There are lots of numbers and lots of pages.

AOL beat analyst estimates by a penny, reporting per-share earnings of 15 cents and topping the 14 cents per share expected by the 23 analysts polled by earnings tracker

First Call/Thomson Financial

. That's up from 9 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Accounting for charges and the write-down of certain investments, the company earned 1 cent a share, compared to 11 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Time Warner, on the other hand, earned only 18 cents a share, down from 20 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. In December, Time Warner reduced expectations for 2000 growth to reflect the poor box office performance of "Little Nicky," softness in cable advertising revenue and weaker-than-expected music sales.

Combined, the companies said they earned 28 cents in the fourth quarter, compared to 24 cents in the last quarter of 1999. When merger costs and other expenses are included, the combined company lost 25 cents a share in the last quarter of 2000, compared to a loss of 5 cents in the year-ago period.

The media giant's merger was completed Jan. 11.

The company said it will issue guidance later. Today, it holds a daylong confab for analysts and major investors.

TheStreet.com's

George Mannes

took a look at what will be

served up. AOL Time Warner closed down $1.75, or 3.2%, to $52.56.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Alcoa Corp. Report

, which is the world's largest aluminum producer, said it would sell its Thiokol rocket propulsion systems unit to

ATK

(ATK)

for $685 million.

ATK, an aerospace and defense company, said it expects the acquisition to increase its earnings by 5 cents to 10 cents in fiscal 2002.

The deal's been approved by both boards and is expected to be closed by the end of the second quarter. Alcoa finished the day up $1.50, or 4.3%, to $36.74.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report

: bought a 33% stake in British coffee and sandwichmaker

Pret A Manger

to help support Pret's international expansion. McDonald's closed down 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $29.35.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Avaya

(AV)

, the company spun off from

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, reported first-quarter earnings in line with analysts' expectations and projected it would more than double its bottom line in 2001.

The communications systems and software provider earned 16 cents a share, excluding expenses from its spinoff from Lucent, compared with 24 cents a share from the same period last year. According to a poll by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, three analysts expected 16 cents a share for the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter grew 3.4% to $1.79 billion from $1.73 billion a year ago.

Avaya also affirmed its target of midsingle-digit revenue growth and said it would expects to "more than double" its net income in 2001. Analysts on average are calling for full-year earnings of $1.27 a share in 2001, compared with 55 cents a share in 2000. Avaya ended the day up 51 cents, or 3%, to $17.50 and Lucent closed up 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $18.60.

Clorox

(CLX) - Get Clorox Company Report

failed to sparkle this morning as the company posted second-quarter earnings that slipped from their year-ago levels, despite beating analysts' lowered expectations by a penny.

The household consumer products company, which is based in Oakland, Calif., said second-quarter earnings, excluding special charges, were $74 million, or 31 cents a share, down from $80 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. A 14-analyst poll by First Call produced a consensus estimate of 30 cents a share, though the average estimate was 38 cents a share before the company issued a December profit warning.

Sales for the quarter dipped 6% to $899 million, compared with $954 million last year, amid lagging volumes, sluggish demand and currency woes. Unsold products and deductions also contributed to the decline in sales, Clorox said. Clorox closed up 60 cents, or 1.8%, to $33.75.

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings in line with analysts' expectations and reiterated earnings expectations for 2001, saying it was "poised for a strong year."

The beverage giant said fourth-quarter earnings were 38 cents a share, compared with a loss 31 cents a share, in the year-ago period before write-downs and special items. The First Call 15-analyst estimate was 38 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter dipped slightly to $4.9 billion, from $4.93 billion last year.

Coke also said it remains comfortable with previous estimates for 2001 earnings per share and expects earnings to fall between $1.67 to $1.80 a share. First Call analysts are calling for 2001 earnings of $1.73 a share, and $1.44 a share in 2000, compared with $1.29 a share in 1999. Coke closed up 9 cents, or 0.2%, to $58.

Comdisco

(CDO)

posted first-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share, beating the

First Call/Thomson Financial

five-analyst estimate of 50 cents a share and up from year-ago earnings of 36 cents a share.

During the quarter, the company paid down about $505 million, or 32%, of the $1.6 billion of senior unsecured debt, excluding commercial paper or revolving bank lines, that is scheduled to mature in fiscal 2001. The company paid down the debt with cash on hand, cash flow from operations and the financing of lease receivables. Comdisco ended the day up $1.21, or 8%, to $16.27.

After Tuesday's Close

The earnings game is still going strong, with more big names reporting after Tuesday's closing bell. Last night's most-anticipated contestant was

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

, which beat estimates, but announced some hefty layoffs.

TheStreet.com

wrote more about the online retailer's earnings announcements and its revenue-growth guidance for 2001 in a

separate story Amazon closed down $1.63, or 8.6%, to $17.31..

For more earnings news, check out the following headlines:

Adobe Systems Warns Slowdown Could Impact Revenue Outlook

Advanced Fibre Beats Estimates, Revenue Rises 40% From Last Year

Applied Materials Sees First-Quarter Shortfall

Chiron Beats Estimates, Lowers Guidance for Fiscal 2001

Cymer Beats Estimates, but Sees Near-Term Revenue Remaining Flat

Electronic Arts Hits EPS Estimate, Misses Revenue Target

Emerson Electric Tops Expectations by a Penny

Guidant Tops Estimates, but Sees Tough First Half

Halliburton Surpasses Estimates

PeopleSoft Tops Estimates

RealNetworks Matches Fourth-Quarter Expectations

Drug company

Abgenix

(ABGX)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 5 cents a share Tuesday night, in line with analysts' expectations, according to First Call.

The company, which mainly manufactures antibody therapies, lost 16 cents during the year-ago quarter.

This morning,

Goldman Sachs

raised its 2001 EPS view to break-even from a loss of 63 cents. Abgenix closed down $3.25, or 7.2%, to $42.

Covance

(CVD)

reported better-than-expected earnings of 11 cents a share this evening, topping Wall Street's expected result of a 5-cent gain, according to First Call.

The company, which makes equipment for drug manufacturers, earned 22 cents during the year-ago quarter. Covance closed up 10 cents, or 0.7%, to $13.75.

Onyx Software

(ONXS)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, excluding acquisition-related charges, in line with analysts expectations, according to First Call.

The company also announced that Leslie Rechan has been named president and COO. Onyx finished down 50 cents, or 3%, to $16.

Oplink Communications

TheStreet Recommends

(OPLK)

posted second-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, 2 cents better than the five-analyst estimate and up from break-even a year ago.

The latest quarter's figure excludes amortization of deferred compensation, goodwill and a sales and marketing expense of $8.8 million and includes a pro forma income tax provision using a tax rate of 35%. Oplink ended the day up 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $19.94.

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Analyst actions

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

posted a fourth-quarter

loss that beat estimates, but also revised downward its revenue-growth guidance. Analysts didn't like the news, punishing the stock with downgrades and negative notes.

W.R. Hambrecht

took the stock down to neutral from buy and cut 2001 revenue estimates to $3.4 billion from $4.1 billion.

Credit Suisse First Boston

cut the stock's 12-month price target to $30 from $45 and increased its first-quarter loss view to 30 cents a share from 20 cents.

Merrill Lynch

upped Amazon's 2001 loss view to 87 cents a share from 69 cents.

Upgrades

Valero

(VLO) - Get Valero Energy Corporation Report

: UP to strong buy from accumulate at

Prudential Securities

. Valero closed up 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $34.55.

Downgrades

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report

: 2001 EPS view DOWN to $2.50 from $3.10 at

Lehman Brothers

.

Goldman Sachs

cut its 2001 EPS view DOWN to $1.70 from $2.67 and 2002 EPS view DOWN to $2.25 from $3.46. Applied Materials closed down $2.13, or 4.1%, to $50.31.

Centurytel

(CTL) - Get CenturyLink, Inc. Report

: 2001 EPS view DOWN to $1.65 from $1.90 at Goldman. Centurytel closed down $4.83, or 13.3%, to $31.38.

Cymer

(CYMI)

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. Cymer closed down 88 cents, or 2.5%, to $34.38.

DiamondCluster

(DTPI)

: DOWN to market perform from buy at Lehman, and price target DOWN to $35 from $50. DiamondCluster closed up $2.81, or 8.6%, to $35.50.

Digital Impact

(DIGI)

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB; and 12-month price target DOWN to $12 from $30. Digital Impact closed up 50 cents, or 12.1%, to $4.63.

Mastec

(MTZ) - Get MasTec, Inc. Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley. Mastec closed down 86 cents, or 4.3%, to $19.13.

McLeodUSA

(MCLD)

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley. McLeodUSA closed down $2.06, or 9.9%, to $18.69.

Quanta Services

(PWR) - Get Quanta Services, Inc. Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley. Quanta closed down 92 cents, or 2.8%, to $32.24.

PeopleSoft

(PSFT)

: DOWN to neutral from outperform at Morgan Stanley. PeopleSoft closed down $7.94, or 16.2%, to $41.

Steel Dynamics

(STLD) - Get Steel Dynamics, Inc. Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley. Steel Dynamics closed flat at $10.94.

Initiations

D.R. Horton

(DHI) - Get D.R. Horton, Inc. Report

: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs. D.R. Horton closed up 31 cents, or 1.3%, to $23.53.

Micromuse

(MUSE)

: NEW buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $90. Micromuse closed down $3.19, or 3.8%, to $80.81.

Professional Detailing

(PDII)

: NEW buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $120. Professional Detailing closed down 97 cents, or 0.9%, to $103.34.

Transmeta

(TMTA)

: NEW long-term and intermediate buy at Merrill. Transmeta closed up $2.81, or 10.8%, to $28.81.

Ventiv Health

(VTIV)

: NEW strong buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $25. Ventiv Health closed up $1.75, or 16.6%, to $15.63.

Group Moves

Prudential upgraded major oil stocks:

  • Chevron (CHV) : to accumulate from hold. Chevron closed up $1.42, or 1.7%, to $83.28.
  • Conoco (COC.A) : to strong buy from hold. Conoco closed up 23 cents, or 0.8%, to $27.55.
  • ExxonMobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report: to accumulate from hold, and UP to strong buy from neutral at Lehman. ExxonMobil closed up $2.65, or 2.2%, to $84.15.
  • Phillips Petroleum (P) : to strong buy from hold. Phillips closed up $1.03, or 1.8%, to $58.63.
  • Royal Dutch Petroleum (RD) : to accumulate from hold. Royal Dutch closed up $1.03, or 1.7%, to $60.35.
  • Texaco (TX) - Get Ternium S.A. Sponsored ADR Report: to accumulate from hold. Texaco closed up 50 cents, or 0.8%, to $61.40.
  • USX-Marathon (MRO) - Get Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) Report: to strong buy from hold. USX-Marathon closed up 34 cents, or 1.3%, to $27.36.

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Offerings and stock actions

After Tuesday's Close

Utility company

Exelon

(EXC) - Get Exelon Corporation Report

declared its first dividend of $0.5525 a share. Exelon closed down 63 cents, or 1%, to $60.51.

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Miscellany

After Tuesday's Close

The

U.S. Air Force

announced

Boeing's

(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report

McDonnell Douglas unit was awarded a $1 billion contract to develop improvements for the U.S. military's C-17 cargo aircraft. Boeing closed up $2.35, or 4.2%, to $58.50.

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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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