AOL Gains in Late Trading on Upside Earnings, Stock Split

Plus, Thomas & Betts sets an acquisition, MedImmune blows away expectations and other postclose news.
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America Online

(AOL)

rose to 165 1/2 in late composite trading from a 4 p.m. EST quote of 163 1/2 after reporting second-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, 3 cents better than the 31-analyst

First Call

estimate and up from the year-ago 4 cents. The stock reportedly moved up to 166 1/4 in after-hours action. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split. AOL said it now has 15.1 million worldwide members, or 17 million including

CompuServe

customers.

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Bonded Motors

(BMTR)

said it sees a fourth-quarter loss due to costs related to a canceled secondary offering, lower-than-expected unit shipments and more than $3 million worth of customer returns. The single-analyst estimate called for earnings of 2 cents a share vs. the year-ago 7 cents.

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1 a share, in line with the seven-analyst outlook and up from the year-ago loss of $5.91. The company set a 2-for-1 stock split.

M.A. Hanna

(MAH)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, including an unspecified charge for production realignment in its European compounding business. The nine-analyst forecast called for operating earnings of 13 cents vs. the year-ago 34 cents.

Inprise

(INPR)

reported a fourth-quarter pro forma loss of 8 cents a share, far under the five-analyst expectation of a 4-cent profit and down from the year-ago 1-cent profit. The company said it will cut its workforce by 20% and will take a "significant" first-quarter restructuring charge. The four-analyst estimate calls for first-quarter operating earnings of 6 cents vs. the year-earlier 3 cents.

Mattson Technology

(MTSN)

said it will delay the release of its fourth-quarter results, citing recent

Securities and Exchange Commission

comments regarding accounting for acquisition-related in-process research and development. The company wrote off in-process R&D of approximately $5.8 million in the third quarter, as previously reported. The SEC has not inquired about the write-offs, but the company is "determined to take a proactive stance" and will delay the release of its results until it can determine if SEC comments will have any effect. The one-analyst estimate was for a loss of 8 cents a share vs. year-ago profits of 7 cents.

In other earnings news:

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Thomas & Betts

(TNB)

agreed to acquire

AFC Cable Systems

(AFCX)

in a stock swap valued at $490 million.

Miscellany

Tower Air

(TOWR) - Get Report

agreed to temporarily suspend its military chapters, which represented 13.6% of the company's 1998 operating revenue, until the

Defense Department's

commercial airlift review board completes an on-site survey.

Zila

(ZILA)

is the subject of a class-action suit filed by

Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz

on behalf of all persons who purchased common stock issued by the company between June 29, 1998, and Jan. 13. The suit alleges the company failed to disclose material information about its OraTest product during its efforts to obtain

Food & Drug Administration

approval to market the product.