Computer Associates Optimistic on Earnings; Deere Issues Sales Warning

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Computer Associates

(CA) - Get Report

forecast its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings will be 83 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of the 25-analyst

First Call

consensus. A year prior, the company earned 71cents a share.

"These results are preliminary in nature, pending completion of the company's regular year-end audit," the company said in a prepared statement. Final results will be released by May 28.

The company gave no reason for the delay of the release of final results, but it may stem from its pending acquisition of

Platinum Technology

(PLAT) - Get Report

. Today, Computer Associates extended until May 10 its $3.5 billion tender offer to acquire Platinum, citing a request for additional information from the

Justice Department

.

There goes the (cyclical) neighborhood!

Deere

(DE) - Get Report

, North America's largest farm equipment maker, warned it sees second-quarter sales volume falling 20% below year-ago levels and full-year sales falling 18% to 20%. Deere blamed low agricultural commodity prices for the news, saying: "The softest area of demand continues to be the large-size, high-margin agricultural equipment segments, in which the company has a particularly strong position."

Inflow into U.S. equity funds for the week ended yesterday totaled $3.9 billion, with 75% of the inflow going into large-cap growth funds and 18% going into international and global funds, according to

AMG Data Services

. European funds reported their sixth straight week of outflow. Small-cap funds reported outflow of $587 million. Taxable bond inflow was limited to high yield and investment grade corporate bond funds.

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

InfoSpace.com

(INSP) - Get Report

reported a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, down from break-even results a year ago but narrower than the five-analyst consensus for a loss of 14 cents. The provider of Internet infrastructure systems was quoted as high as 129 in late

Instinet

trading after a regular close of 118 5/8.

Thomas Nelson

(TNM)

said it expects to record a 23-cent charge in the fourth quarter due to the consolidation of its C.R. Gibson unit.

WavePhore

(WAVO)

reported a first-quarter loss of 19 cents a share, including a $138,000 preferred dividend, vs. a loss of 26 cents a year ago. The company did not provide results excluding the dividend. The single-analyst estimate was for a loss of 27 cents a share.

In other earnings news:

Offerings and stock actions

Anixter

(AXE) - Get Report

said it will buyback up to 1 million shares of stock.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

priced

Marimba's

(MRBA:Nasdaq) 4 million-share IPO above range at $20 a share. Marimba is an Internet-based software management company.

Miscellany

Grand Union

(GUCO)

said it adopted a shareholder rights plan with a 15% trigger but not in response to any known takeover threat.

Guess?

(GES) - Get Report

announced plans to move its distribution facility to Louisville, Ky., from Los Angeles to be closer to its customer base.

Inhale Therapeutic Systems

(INHL)

said Chairman Terry Opdendyk retired and that co-chief executive Robert Chess will assume the post.

Landauer

(LDR)

elected Michael Winfield chairman.

An advisory panel to the

Food and Drug Administration

recommended against approval of

Pharmacia & Upjohn's

(PNU)

Freedox drug, which aims to prevent secondary damage and death from a severe type of stroke.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

(RN)

announced it has discovered a method that can potentially reduce cancer-causing nitrosamines, or TSNAs, in tobacco.

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

reported same-store sales rose 4% from a year ago while total sales for the four weeks ended April 25 increased 23% to $124 million.

Senior Writer Aaron L. Task contributed to this story

.

As originally published, this story contained two errors. Please see Corrections and Clarifications

.