Compaq Inks Inacom Deal and Budget Issues Earnings Warning

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Compaq

(CPQ)

said it has entered a $370 million cash deal to purchase some operating assets from

Inacom

(ICO)

.

Compaq said it would use the purchase, which would help arrange computers for customers and handle its ordering procedure, to rival

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

at directly selling PCs. Compaq and Inacom said they have also inked a three-year service, supply and sales pacts, which would allow the companies to offer their customers more services.

Budget

(BD)

said its ongoing restructuring, which includes cutting 1,000 jobs, would result in the company assuming a onetime, fourth-quarter, pretax charge between $90 million and $95 million.

Budget said that, excluding the charge, it sees its fourth-quarter results meeting the six-analyst estimate of a 45-cent loss. Budget also said it would cut costs by leaving the car sales business and combining its

Ryder Truck

headquarters and field operations into its North American vehicle rental unit. The company said it plans to restructure its car rental business and expand its presence in Europe.

In other post-close news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Duke Energy

(DUK) - Get Report

said it has agreed to acquire

El Paso Energy

(EPG)

unit

East Tennessee Natural Gas

, in a deal valued at $386.3 million.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Applix

(APLX)

said it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings between a penny to 3 cents a share, missing the three-analyst estimate of 10 cents a share.

International Specialty

(ISP)

warned investors that it expects to post fourth-quarter earnings between 8 cents a share to 9 cents, missing the two-analyst estimate of 21 cents. The company said it sees its 1999 fiscal earnings between 63 cents and 64 cents a share, falling below the two-analyst estimate of 79 cents. International Specialty blamed the disappointing forecasts on higher manufacturing costs and low inventory levels.

RCM Technologies

(RCMT) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate of 35 cents and up from the year-ago 30 cents.

Safety-Kleen

(SK)

reported first-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, missing the six-analyst estimate of 30 cents and down from the year-ago 27 cents.

Sawtek

(SAWS)

said it expects to post first-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, edging out the six-analyst estimate of 21 cents a share. The company attributed the strong earnings to higher profit margins and sales.

Sonic

(SONC)

reported first-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, beating the nine-analyst estimate of 37 cents a share and up from the year-ago 31 cents a share.

Miscellany

New Century Energies

(NCE)

said its has tapped its vice chairman, president and COO Wayne Brunetti to replace its retiring chairman and CEO Bill Helton, as of Mar.1. The board appointed Helton as chairman emeritus. Brunetti is set to serve as CEO after New Century merges with

Northern States Power

and will take on the role of chairman after Northern States chairman Jim Howard leaves his post one year after the deal's closing.

For a look into this evening's after-hours trading action, please check out

TheStreet.com's

The Night Watch.