Cisco and AOL Report Better-Than-Expected Earnings

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Shining a bit of light in Tuesday's post-selloff darkness, both

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

and

America Online

(AOL)

reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The networking giant said it earned 48 cents per share, a penny ahead of the 35-analyst consensus and a dime better than last year. It also set a 3-for-2 stock split. However, the company reiterated that it expects its gross margins to decline.

AOL, for its part, reported fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents per share, four cents ahead of the 26-analyst consensus and 20 cents ahead of last year. And Chairman Stephen Case added that he's "very comfortable" with analysts' estimates for fiscal 1999.

Also after the close on Tuesday,

Standard & Poor's Financial Information Services

announced that

Electronic Data Systems

(EDS)

will replace

Western Atlas

(WAI)

in the

S&P 500

index. Western Atlas is being acquired by

Baker Hughes

(BHI)

.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

):

Earnings reports and previews

Browning-Ferris Industries

(BFI)

reported third-quarter earnings of 48 cents per share, two cents shy of the 13-analyst consensus, but three cents better than a year ago.

Equitable Companies

(EQ) - Get Report

announced second-quarter earnings of $1.06 per share, 13 cents better than the 10-analyst consensus and 32 cents better than last year.

Texas Utilities

(TXU)

reported second-quarter earnings of 33 cents per share, missing the 19-analyst consensus of 69 cents per share and compared to 72 cents per share last year. Excluding charges for nonrecurring items, earnings for the quarter would have been 46 cents per share.

EEX

(EEX) - Get Report

, which was spun off by

Ensearch Exploration

before Ensearch merged with Texas Utilities last year, reported a second-quarter loss of 8 cents per share, two cents better than expected and a penny better than a year ago.

Viasoft

(VIAS)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 16 cents per share, down from 22 cents a year ago and four cents shy of the 7-analyst consensus.

Additional earnings news can be found in a related table.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

announced a deal to swap some of its California oil and gas properties with

Mobil

(MOB)

and then to sell the properties to

Vastar Resources

(VRI)

, an Arco affiliate.

Men's Warehouse Suit

(SUIT)

agreed to acquire privately held

Moores Retail Group

, which has 112 men's clothing stores, mainly in Canada.

Comings and goings

Somnus Medical Technologies

(SOMN)

named Robert D. McCulloch CFO, replacing Robert E. McNamara, who's stepping down in September to pursue other interests.

Storage USA

(SUS)

named Christopher Marr CFO, replacing Dennis Reeve, who'll remain with the company.

Harvest Group

(ROTI)

president and CEO Larry Harris resigned, pending the company's merger with

TRC Acquisition

.

Promus Hotel

(PRH) - Get Report

will lose its chairman and CEO Raymond Schultz to retirement and its president and chief operating officer Richard Kelleher to pursue other opportunities as soon as it has selected a new top executive from outside the company, which recently merged with

Doubletree

.

Miscellany

Ford

(F) - Get Report

said its total U.S. car and light-truck sales for July were 3.8% lower than in July 1997. Car sales were 18.4% lower, while light-truck sales were up 8%.

Pacer International

(PACR)

, which had planned on pricing shares in an IPO tomorrow via lead underwriter

BT Alex Brown

, thought better of it and decided to postpone.

Enfinity

(BTU) - Get Report

also postponed its IPO, which had been slated for tomorrow, lead underwriter

NationsBanc Montgomery Securities

said.