AOL, Amazon Fall After Hours, Despite Solid Numbers

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America Online

(AOL)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, topping both the 30-analyst

First Call

estimate of 11 cents and the year-ago 6 cents. The leading Internet service provider said its total revenue for the quarter came in at $1.38 billion vs. the year-ago $943 million. Shares of AOL slipped in late composite trading to 115 1/16 from a New York close of 116 3/16, and edged down to 115 in after-hours trading.

Elsewhere in earnings (or lack thereof),

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

shares shed 3 7/16 in after-hours trading to 122 following the company's second-quarter report. The online retailer lost 51 cents a share, meeting the 21-analyst forecast and widening beyond the year-ago loss of 12 cents. Amazon, which also set a 2-for-1 stock split, said its customer accounts rose 2.3 million to 10.7 million in the quarter. And the company said it expects to invest more heavily in the second half. But CFO Joy Covey said the third quarter will bring "somewhat higher" sequential revenue growth.

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Business-to-business e-commerce software provider

Ariba

(ARBA)

reported earnings per share exactly in line with expectations.

In the fiscal third quarter ended June 30, Ariba lost 46 cents a share, or a net loss of $6 million, excluding amortization of stock-based compensation. The loss was 4 cents wider than a year ago. Including the amortization of stock-based compensation, the company lost $11.3 million, or 86 cents a share. Revenue jumped to $11.9 million from $2.5 million a year ago.

"The strong revenue growth in the quarter was a result of extending our leading base of blue-chip buyers," said Keith Krach, president and CEO of Ariba.

In the quarter, Ariba made a foray into the mid-market by inking a deal with

J.D. Edwards

(JDEC)

, which primarily makes software that automates back-office tasks. Under the agreement, J.D. Edwards would resell Ariba's products.

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst George Gilbert expects that Ariba and

Aspect Development

(ASDV)

will announce a similar reselling deal on Aug. 2. CSFB has not underwritten for Ariba.

Krach declined to comment on whether such a deal is in the works, but said he expected the J.D. Edwards deal to start adding materially to revenue "over the next few quarters."

Ariba went public on June 23 at $23 a share and closed at 90 that day, making it the fifth most successful IPO in history, according to

IPO Monitor

. The stock closed today up 11 1/2, or 10.5%, to 121.

More good news for software makers includes results from

Vignette

(VIGN)

, which makes content management software for Web sites.

The Austin, Tex.-based company reported a narrower-than-expected loss in the second quarter ended June 30. It lost 22 cents a share, or $5.5 million, excluding acquisition-related charges and amortization of deferred compensation. First Call's eight-analyst consensus called for a loss of 26 cents vs. the year-ago loss of 31 cents. The company's revenue soared 409% to $14.9 million from $2.9 million in the same quarter last year.

--

Medora Lee

Atmel

(ATML)

reported second-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, in line with the nine-analyst estimate. The year-ago loss of 92 cents included charges; Atmel did not provide per-share operating figures for the period.

Bright Horizons Family Solutions

(BFAM) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, a penny better than the seven-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 12 cents. The company also set a buyback of up to 500,000 shares.

Cendant's

(CD)

stock rose to 21 3/8 in after-hours trading from a close of 21 1/8 following the company's second-quarter earnings report. While the company reported operating earnings of 24 cents a share, analysts were apparently comparing their estimates to a profit of 22 cents, according to First Call. The eight-analyst consensus estimate called for 22 cents vs. the year-earlier 19 cents. Cendant also said it plans to sell "several non-strategic" operations in the second half for more than $1 billion.

Cleveland-Cliffs

(CLF) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, beating the two-analyst outlook by a penny but trailing the year-ago $1.48. The company also warned that it expects its second-half earnings to fall below expectations. The three-analyst estimate for 1999 calls for $2.52 a share. Cleveland-Cliffs cited an expected shortfall in sales.

Compuware

(CPWR)

posted first-quarter earnings of 24 cents a share, ahead of the 15-analyst prediction of 21 cents and above the year-ago 15 cents. The company's chairman backed a 35% to 40% growth rate in 2000 and said he's "very bullish" on the fiscal year's outlook.

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

set a 2-for-1 stock split and posted a second-quarter loss of 51 cents a share, a penny narrower than the 15-analyst estimate but wider than the year-ago loss of 36 cents.

General Semiconductor

(SEM) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, a penny short of the two-analyst view and down from the year-ago 19 cents. The company warned it expects its 1999 earnings to fall short of 1998's 74 cents, citing additional interest charges from the restructuring of a credit agreement. Estimates call for 1999 earnings of 72 cents.

Kimberly-Clark

(KMB) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 72 cents a share, topping both the 12-analyst estimate of 69 cents and the year-ago 58 cents. The company also said it will restate financial results from 1995 through the first quarter of 1999 following a review by the

Securities & Exchange Commission

. The company said the restatement involves the timing of charges for past restructuring actions and facility closures.

Legato Systems

(LGTO)

reported second-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, 4 cents ahead of the 15-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 9 cents. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Oakley

(OO)

reported second-quarter earnings of 15 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst view but below the year-ago 16 cents. The company also said it doesn't see profitability for its footwear group for the remainder of the year and that its sees second-half sales growth falling below the first-half's growth.

Owens-Illinois

(OI) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 61 cents a share, on target with the nine-analyst view but below the year-ago 75 cents. The company also said its third-quarter earnings will be below the year-ago 69 cents due to demand problems overseas. Analysts are calling for 67 cents.

SkyTel Communications

(SKYT)

reported second-quarter earnings of 8 cents including items vs. a year-ago 22 cents, also including items. The company didn't provide per-share operating figures. SkyTel also set for Sept. 22 a special shareholder vote on its pending merger with

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

.

Stamps.com

(STMP) - Get Report

slipped 1/16 in after-hours trading to 45 3/4 following the company's second-quarter report. The company lost 19 cents a share vs. the year-ago loss of 5 cents. There were no estimates.

Sybase

(SYBS)

recorded second-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share, beating both the eight-analyst view of 10 cents and the year-ago penny. The company's CEO also said he backed 1999 earnings of 36 cents a share, that he sees the company's 1999 revenue coming flat with 1998 and that he sees revenue in 2000 rising 10% to 15% from 1999.

US Search.com

(SRCH)

reported a second-quarter loss of 35 cents a share vs. the year-ago loss of 10 cents. There were no estimates.

Verilink

(VRLK)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 18 cents a share, 6 cents worse than the single-analyst view and down from the year-ago profit of 6 cents. The company said it will substantially consolidate its existing operations into its Huntsville, Ala., facilities. Verilink expects to record a restructuring charge of $6 million to $8 million to cover costs associated with the move.

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Report

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 90 cents a share, 4 cents better than the 13-analyst forecast. The year-ago loss of $1.84 included a charge; the company didn't provide a per-share operating figure for the period.

In other earnings news:

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

H&R Block

(HRB) - Get Report

said it is considering strategic alternatives for its

Option One Mortgage

wholesale mortgage business, including a sale of the business or a joint venture.

Friedman Billings Ramsey

is advising on the matter.

Offerings and stock actions

Ocean Financial

(OCFC) - Get Report

announced a 1.4 million-share repurchase plan.

Miscellany

ADC Telecom

(ADCT) - Get Report

will replace

Nalco Chemical

(NLC)

in the

S&P 500

on July 30.

Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux

of France is acquiring Nalco in a tender offer that expires that day.

Allied Waste

(AW)

will replace

Browning-Ferris

(BFI)

in the S&P 500, also on July 30. The

Justice Department

yesterday approved the companies' merger, which creates the second-largest waste-disposal company.

Hollinger International

(HLR)

said it ended talks to acquire

The New York Observer

.

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.