FCC Has 'Serious Concerns' About SBC-Ameritech Merger

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Saying he has "serious concerns" about whether their planned $61 billion merger is in the public interest,

Federal Communications Commission


William Kennard


SBC Communications




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to enter further discussions, such as public hearings, to address agency concerns. Specifically, Kennard said he questions whether the merger will interfere with the companies' willingness to open their local markets to competition. During today's session, both stocks picked up gains on upgrades from

Lehman Brothers


In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Alydaar Software


restated its 1998 earnings to 8 cents a share from the previously reported 19 cents due to an error made in the consolidation of its accounts with its British wholly-owned unit

Alydaar International

. The company's CFO, V. Hollis Scott, resigned.

Indus International


expects to record a break-even first quarter because of lower license revenue. The three-analyst view called for earnings of 6 cents a share vs. the year-ago 8 cents.

Infinium Software


said its second-quarter profit will likely be half of the current five-analyst forecast of 10 cents a share. The company, which earned 10 cents in the year-ago period, cited lower software revenue as companies hold off on spending so they can fix Y2K glitches.

Kansas City Power & Light


said it expects to report first-quarter net earnings of 18 cents a share, reflecting merger costs of 9 cents. The six-analyst estimate called for operating earnings of 30 cents vs. the year-ago 22 cents.



warned its first-quarter loss will be wider than its fourth-quarter loss of 35 cents a share due to lower sales. The four-analyst outlook called for a loss of 16 cents vs. the year-ago loss of $1.10.

Natural MicroSystems


said it sees a first-quarter loss of 30 cents to 32 cents a share due to continued softness and slower revenue growth. The 12-analyst view called for a loss of 19 cents vs. the year-ago profit of 19 cents.

Network Equipment Technologies


expects to post a fourth-quarter loss of 55 cents to 60 cents a share due to a search for a new chief executive, the company's restructuring and a change in order lead-time policies. The five-analyst prediction called for a break-even quarter compared with the year-ago profit of 2 cents.



said it sees a "sizable decline" in first-quarter revenue leading to a quarter loss. The company blamed changes in the timing of orders for the news. The single-analyst forecast called for earnings of 3 cents a share vs. the year-ago profit of 7 cents.

Smartflex Systems


said it will cut 220 jobs, or 23% of its workforce, in a restructuring plan that will result in an unspecified first-quarter charge.


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reported second-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, a penny short of the two-analyst estimate but ahead of the year-ago 31 cents.