Amazon.com Sees Sequential Growth; eBay Jumps After Hours

Plus a slew of other earnings news, and more.
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Online retailer

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

announced a fourth-quarter loss of 14 cents a share, 4 cents narrower than the 21-analyst view but deeper than the year-ago loss of 8 cents. The company attributed the loss to an aggressive marketing effort.

As expected, Amazon said it had fourth-quarter sales of $253 million, including $33.1 million in music sales. Although sales benefited from the usual holiday-season boost, the company said it expects to see sequential growth in the first quarter.

TheStreet.com

reported on Amazon's results in a

story this evening.

Elsewhere in Internet earnings,

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

reportedly surged to 238 after hours from its close of 220 7/8 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the nine-analyst

First Call

outlook and up from the year-ago 1 cent. The online auctioneer also set a 3-for-1 stock split. eBay said it hosted 13.6 million auctions in the fourth quarter, up from 9.2 million in the third quarter, and had 2.1 million registered users at the end of December, up from 1.2 million at the end of September.

Just before the close,

Warner-Lambert

(WLA)

agreed to acquire

Agouron Pharmaceuticals

(AGPH)

in a stock deal valued at $2.1 billion. Warner-Lambert said the deal would not be dilutive but also would not be immediately additive to earnings. WLA continues to expect 1999 year-over-year earnings growth of 30%. Agouron's headquarters will remain in California (Warner-Lambert is based in New Jersey), and no job cuts are planned.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

AmeriSource

(AAS)

recorded first-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share, 1 cent ahead of the nine-analyst view and above the year-ago 60 cents. The company also said it set a 2-for-1 stock split and filed to offer 6 million shares.

Broadcom

(BRCM)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, 8 cents better than the eight-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 6 cents. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Cellstar

(CLST)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate by 8 cents but falling below the year-ago 29 cents. The company also said it will sell its reseller and retail operations in the U.S.

Chronimed

(CHMD)

reported second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, on target with the two-analyst outlook and above the year-ago 15 cents. But the company warned that third- and fourth-quarter results will fall below expectations because profit pressures experienced as the company pursues increased market share. Analysts called for third-quarter earnings of 18 cents, vs. the year-ago 12 cents, and fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents, vs. the year-ago 15 cents.

CKE Restaurants

(CKR)

said it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 25 cents to 28 cents a share, below the 10-analyst outlook of 34 cents. The company, which earned 24 cents in the year-ago period, cited severe weather in the Midwest and Southeast.

DSP Group

(DSPG) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst prediction and ahead of the year-ago 33 cents. But the company said it expects first-quarter earnings to fall from fourth-quarter levels and then improving during the second quarter once shipments of new products begin. Analysts call for 37 cents in the first quarter compared with the year-earlier 31 cents.

First Union

(FTU)

said its plan to eliminate a gain-on-sale method of accounting on certain securitizations will lower its 1999 earnings by 8 cents to 12 cents a share. The 27-analyst forecast called for $4.29 vs. the year-ago $3.77.

Harman International

(HAR)

reported second-quarter earnings of 86 cents per share, before charges, in-line with the eight-analyst consensus and up from 84 cents a year ago. However, the company forecast third-quarter earnings of 70 cents per share and fourth-quarter results of $1.15; the current estimates are $1.01 and $1.16, respectively.

Houston Industries

(HOU)

said it expects to record a first-quarter charge of $85 million as a result of the Brazilian currency devaluation.

Imation

(IMN)

said it sees break-even fourth-quarter results due to a slowdown in its photo and printing and publishing units. The four-analyst estimate called for 18 cents a share vs. the year-ago 2 cents.

Komag

(KMAG)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 30 cents a share, 10 cents better than the five-analyst forecast but down from the year-ago profit of 2 cents. The company said it sees its operating loss narrowing in the first quarter and expects a return to profitability in subsequent quarters if unit volume improves. The two-analyst first-quarter estimate calls for a loss of 17 cents vs. the year-earlier loss of $1.10.

Katy Industries

(KT) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, excluding a gain and a charge. The single-analyst forecast called for 35 cents vs. the year-ago 43 cents.

Montana Power

(MTP) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter net earnings of $1.26 a share, including a 65-cent gain. The five-analyst forecast called for operating earnings of 89 cents vs. the year-ago 80 cents.

Oryx Energy

(ORX)

posted a fourth-quarter writedown of $49 million, blaming weak natural gas prices.

Rochester Medical

(ROCM)

posted a first-quarter loss of 14 cents per share, 2 cents better than the three-analyst consensus and up from a loss of 11 cents a year ago. However, the company said its second-quarter sales will be below expectations.

Sauer

(SHS)

said it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 8 cents to 10 cents a share, below the three-analyst call for 22 cents and the year-ago 14 cents. The company blamed charges, inventory adjustments, lower sales and a poor sales mix.

Tupperware

(TUP) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 64 cents per share down from 77 cents a year ago but a nickel better than the five-analyst consensus. The company forecast a "modest increase" in its first-quarter earnings as it expects sales to be "flat or slightly down"; the five-analyst consensus for the first-quarter earnings is 17 cents.

Whirlpool

(WHR) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.09 a share, a penny better than the eight-analyst estimate and higher than the year-ago 85 cents. But the home appliance maker said its first-quarter results could be hurt by the Brazilian currency devaluation. A two-analyst outlook calls for $1.01 vs. the year-ago 90 cents.

In other earnings news:

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

CenturyTel

(CTL) - Get Report

agreed to sell all of the operations of its Brownsville and McAllen, Texas, wireless markets to

Western Wireless

(WWCA)

for $95 million in cash.

Illinois Tool Works

(ITW) - Get Report

said its tender offer for

Trident International

(TRDT)

has received early termination of the

Hart-Scott-Rodino

antitrust waiting period.

Medtronic

(MDT) - Get Report

said the exchange ratio for its proposed merger with

Arterial Vascular Engineering

(AVEI)

has been set at 0.77 of a MDT share for each AVEI share.

Offerings and stock actions

Automatic

(AUD)

announced a 2-for-1 stock split and a 15% dividend increase.

Conestoga

(CENI)

set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

set a buyback of up to 8 million common shares.