Greenspan Warning on Risk Knocks S&P Futures; Sun Gains After Hours - TheStreet

Greenspan Warning on Risk Knocks S&P Futures; Sun Gains After Hours

Plus, Enron inks a deal with Simon Property, Donna Karan forges a pact with Liz Claiborne, and more.
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A hawkish

speech by

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

apparently already has rattled some market participants, and the fallout will bear watching Friday morning.

Greenspan referenced asset bubbles from the Dutch tulip craze to more recent Russian speculations and warned risk managers to "stress-test the assumptions underlying their models and set aside somewhat higher contingency resources -- reserves or capital -- to cover the losses that will inevitably emerge from time to time when investors suffer a loss of confidence."

The chairman noted that he wasn't predicting a market selloff, but he said the "key question is whether the recent decline in equity

risk premiums is permanent or temporary. ...

If it proves temporary, portfolio risk managers could find that they are underestimating the credit risk of individual loans based on the market value of assets and overestimating the benefits of portfolio diversification."

The

S&P 500

futures in the off-hours

Globex

session lately were off 11.30 to 1278.70, having reportedly dipped as much as 17.00 upon the 7 p.m. EDT Web release of the speech.

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

was shining after it beat Wall Street forecasts. Sun reported first-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, edging out the 19-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of 31 cents and up from the year-ago 14 cents a share. In addition to its solid earnings, the company said first-quarter revenues bounced to $3.12 billion, a 25% increase from the year-ago $2.49 billion. CFO Michael Lehman said second-quarter revenues should be above 20%, citing the first quarter's backlog.

Sun turned in a strong performance in after-hours trading (see below).

Enron

(ENE)

announced that its energy services division has formed a $1.5 billion energy management pact with

Simon Property Group's

(SPG) - Get Report

Simon Brand Ventures

. According to the deal's terms, Enron will oversee all of the energy commodity requirements within Simon Property Group's portfolio. Enron will assist Simon with electricity and natural gas, energy infrastructure projects and energy related services such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

After-Hours Markets

It may be nighttime, but the sun is out. After releasing positive third-quarter earnings, Sun Microsystems traded heavily on

Island ECN

, posting solid gains.

Paging Network

(PAGE)

was second, while

Fonix

(FONX)

, which evidently isn't hooked on spelling, came in fourth.

Over on

MarketXT

, there was no space at the top for a tie, so

Unisys

(UIS) - Get Report

edged out

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Report

for most-active honors. The pair traded the lead twice in the last 15 minutes. (

TheStreet.com

covered the aftermath of Unisys' revenue warning in a

Thursday story.)

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Prior to Sept. 15 Island offered trading from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT

.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Discover Brokerage 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. EDT Monday through Thursday. Prior to Oct. 11, Market XT traded issues from 6 to 8 p.m.

TheStreet.com

updates the most active issues on both MarketXT and Island ECN in Got a Minute? and in the Evening Update.

--

Eric Gillin

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

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Donna Karan

(DK) - Get Report

and

Liz Claiborne

(LIZ)

unveiled their plans to forge a strategic licensing agreement. According to the deal's terms, Donna Karan would permit Liz Claiborne to use its name to market a new line of women's clothing at department store prices.

Separately, Liz Claiborne set an additional $450 million share buyback.

Mercury Interactive

(MERQ)

said it would acquire privately held network management developer

Conduct

. The transaction, which is to be completed in the fourth quarter, calls for Mercury Interactive to issue 408,000 common shares in exchange for all preferred and common shares of Conduct. Mercury would also taken on all outstanding Conduct options and warrants. Separately, Mercury posted third-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of 20 cents and the year-ago 14 cents.

RailAmerica

(RAIL) - Get Report

said that it plans to purchase

RailTex

(RTEX)

, in a cash and stock deal worth $208 million.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Cardinal Health

(CAH) - Get Report

said it was confident that its first-quarter and fiscal 2000 earnings would match analysts' consensus estimates. The 14-analyst estimate has Cardinal pegged to post earnings of 53 cents a share for the first quarter and $2.53 a share for fiscal 2000.

Iomega

(IOM)

reported a third-quarter loss of 29 cents a share, including charges and special items. The company, which did not provide an operating per-share figure, lost 6 cents a year earlier. The two-analyst estimate called for an operating loss of 3 cents.

K-Swiss

(KSWS)

said it sees a decline in its future merchandise orders, which are distributed between October to March. The sneaker maker said its future orders total $113.1 million, down from the year-ago $113.7 million. K-Swiss reported third-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, beating the two-analyst estimate of 75 cents and the year-ago 26 cents.

PairGain Technologies

(PAIR)

reported a third-quarter loss of 6 cents a share, including an accrual of $1.6 million for a tentative settlement with federal agencies related to the company's 1995 investment losses. The company provided no per-share operating figure. PairGain earned 16 cents a share a year ago; the 10-analyst outlook called for a loss of 5 cents in the most recent quarter.

Sonus Pharmaceuticals

(SNUS)

reported third-quarter earnings of 21 cents a share, including certain payments. The company provided no per-share operating figure. Sonus lost 24 cents a year ago, also reflecting payments. The two-analyst projection for the most recent quarter called for an operating loss of 16 cents.

Theglobe.com

(TGLO)

announced that it would post third-quarter earnings in line with the three-analyst estimate of a 34-cent loss. The company added however, that it expects revenue to miss its target estimates because of a holdup in product development.

In other earnings news:

Offerings and stock actions

Veritas

(VRTS) - Get Report

set a 3-for-2 stock split, payable on Nov. 19 to shareholders of record Nov. 2. Veritas posted third-quarter earnings of 21 cents a share, beating the 20-analyst estimate of 17 cents and the year-ago 12 cents.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

priced a 3.75 million-share IPO for

Women.com Networks

(WOMN) - Get Report

at $10 a share, the high-end of its lowered range. Morgan Stanley had said it expected to price the offering at the low end of the $8-to-$10 range, which had been reduced from $10 to $12.