Disney's Earnings Not Too Magical and WebVan Delivers

Disney's earnings come in as expected and WebVan's IPO hits the Street.
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Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

failed to dazzle investors with its fourth-quarter earnings report. The entertainment giant said excluding charges, earnings were 10 cents a share, in line with the 20-analyst estimate, but down from the year-ago 14 cents.

Excluding charges, fourth-quarter earnings fell 37% to $212 million from $296 million a year earlier amid a slump in its home video and product licensing businesses. Including the charge, net income fell to $85 million. This includes a $132 million charge related to consolidation as well as costs associated with its acquisition of Internet search engine

Infoseek

(SEEK)

.

According to

Reuters

, Michael Eisner said the company would focus on current operations over new products, saying Disney had lost its bottom-line discipline. Eisner said he sees opportunities in DVD, Internet and international operations, and said cost-cutting could achieve $500 million in savings by 2001, Reuters reported.

The much-anticipated IPO of online grocer

WebVan

(WBVN)

was priced top range at $15 a share. Lead underwriter

Goldman Sachs

raised the estimated range on the 25 million shares to $13 to $15 a share from $11 to $13. WebVan offers a wide range of products online -- from hand-cut meats to fine wines -- currently in the San Francisco Bay area.

The offering was

postponed last month in response to

Securities and Exchange Commission

concerns about the company's possible failure to observe quiet-period restrictions in giving pre-IPO interviews and roadshow presentations.

Equity funds reported inflows of $4.1 billion for the week ended yesterday, the largest in 11 weeks, according to

AMG Data Services

, with two-thirds going to all growth sectors. International funds reported inflows, though outflows continue from Latin American and European funds. Inflows to technology funds are the largest since mid-April. Taxable bond inflows totaled $266 million, while inflows return to high yield bond funds for the first time since August 25th.

After-Hours Trading

A late-night push in warrants of

Conolog

(CNLGW)

helped the company regain the top slot on

Island ECN

after dropping to the No. 3 position.

Peapod

(PPOD)

jumped to the No. 2 spot, edging out former No. 1

AmeriTrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

, which fell to No. 3.

So basically, the top three issues on Island played "follow the queen" in the last hour of trading.

With eight of the ten most active valued in the teens and four of those valued below ten, Island was a veritable Lilliput. All that makes

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

and

E*Trade

(EGRP)

stand out even more.

The only thing Lilliputian about

MarketXT

was the trading volume, which was positively anemic. Not one issue traded in quadruple digits.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.

--

Eric Gillin

In other post-close news (earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

CompUSA

(CPU)

posted a first-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, narrower than the eight analyst expected loss of 11 cents, but down from year-ago earnings of 10 cents. CompUSA said it sees direct sales falling 60% in the second quarter of 2000 compared with its year-ago period, though second-quarter retail comparable store sales would be slightly positive. The company said it expects second-quarter non-recurring, transition costs of $3 million to $6 million and said its strategy would hurt quarterly earnings by 3 cents a share through the year.

Dot Hill Systems

(HIL) - Get Report

posted a third-quarter loss of 46 cents a share including items, compared with a year-ago loss of 10 cents a share on items. The single-analyst estimate was for earnings of 10 cents a share.

Netopia

(NTPA)

posted a fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents a share, narrower than the six-analyst estimate of a 6-cent loss and the year ago 51-cent loss.

Star Telecommunications

(STRX)

reported at third-quarter loss of 15 cents a share, narrower than the three-analyst estimate of a 33-cent loss but down from the year-ago 5-cent profit.

Varian

(VSEA)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share, including a 43-cent gain. The seven-analyst expectation was for a loss of 3 cents a share, while the year-ago earnings were 49 cents, which also included a gain.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

The

U.S. Justice Department

approved the $4.6 billion acquisition of

Case

(CSE)

by European rival

New Holland (NH) - Get Report

with the companies agreeing to exit some businesses.

Offerings and stock actions

Miscellany

American Electric Power

(AEP) - Get Report

said it is eliminating about 168 consumer service jobs as part of its plan to phase out segments of its electric technologies unit.

Coca-Cola Bottling

(COKE) - Get Report

said it will restructure some units and take a fourth-quarter charge. The bottler said it was consolidating eight operating divisions into six and that as many as 300 jobs could be affected.

U.S. Airways

(U)

and the

Communication Workers of America

have reached a tentative agreement on an initial contract covering about 10,400 passenger service employees. The agreement, which would cover ticket, reservation and gate agents, among others, is subject to ratification by the union's membership.