Equitable Resources Expects a $60 Million Charge

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Equitable Resources

(EQT) - Get Report

said it expects to take a $60 million fourth-quarter charge for cost-cutting initiatives, up from a previous estimate of $20 million. The company will take another $60 million charge for the writedown of selected natural gas and oil properties in the Gulf region that have lost their value due to "depressed well head prices for oil and natural gas and dry-hole costs." The company expects to have fewer than 1,600 employees by Friday, down 20% since midyear, leading to projected annual savings of $20 million. The six-analyst

First Call

estimate calls for fourth-quarter operating earnings of 49 cents a share, down from the year-ago 72 cents.



set a 2-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record Jan. 12, with distribution on or about Jan. 27.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Finish Line


reported third-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, matching the 13-analyst forecast but down from the year-ago 14 cents. The company said it expects the adverse retail conditions that hurt its third-quarter results to damage its fourth-quarter performance as well. The estimate calls for fourth-quarter earnings of 18 cents vs. the year-earlier 37 cents.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Alternative Resources


reached an agreement with


(IBM) - Get Report

to terminate an escrow agreement related to ALRC's November 1997 acquisition of

CGI Systems

, which was majority-owned by IBM.


Justice Department

approved an early end to the antitrust waiting period in

Platinum Technology's

(PLAT) - Get Report

acquisition of

Memco Software



Offerings and stock actions

Crown Pacific Partners


CEO Peter Stott bought an additional 6,000 of the company's common units in an effort to show his confidence in Crown despite a recent price slide.



set a buyback of up to 1.5 million shares.

HS Resources


set a buyback of up to $5 million worth of its shares.

Medford Bancorp


set a buyback of up to 5% of its common shares.


CalComp Technology


said it will have to weigh strategic alternatives, including the sale of some or all assets and a shutdown of operations, because majority shareholder

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

will not increase its existing credit capacity.