Halliburton Charge Is Expected to Gouge Earnings

Plus, online spending saw a happy new year, Uno says it will top its numbers despite costly cheese and other news.
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Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

said it plans to take a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of $24 million, or 5 cents a share, to cover 2,750 additional job cuts in its energy services group. The oil-services giant cited low crude oil prices and customers' plans to cut spending in 1999. Halliburton expects to report net fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 16 cents a share, including the charge and costs related to project losses. The 22-analyst

First Call

estimate calls for operating earnings of 36 cents a share vs. the year-ago 58 cents.

Holiday shopping on the Internet leapt to $5 billion this season, nearly quadrupling year-over-year, according to a survey from

Marketing Corp. of America

. That tops other estimates putting the figure at $2.3 billion to $3.4 billion. The news comes after a session that saw stocks such as

Active Apparel Group

(AAGP)

and

SkyMall

(SKYM)

skyrocket on e-commerce-related announcements.

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Halter Marine

(HLX) - Get Report

warned that it will be just "marginally profitable" in the third quarter, missing the seven-analyst projection of 26 cents a share and the year-ago 29 cents. Halter cited the steep drop in energy prices and reductions in capital spending by oil companies.

Network Equipment Technologies

(NWK)

warned that it expects its third-quarter earnings to fall short of the six-analyst estimate of 20 cents a share. The company made 11 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Network Equipment cited weakness in Asian markets and fluctuations in lease revenue. The stock reportedly dipped 1 5/8 to 12 in after-hours trading.

Uno Restaurant

(UNO)

said its first-quarter earnings growth will top its internal estimate of 20%, despite high cheese costs. The company made 11 cents a share in the year-earlier period. First Call had no estimates for the current quarter.

Valley National Gases

(VNGI)

said it expects its second-quarter earnings to match or fall short of the first quarter's 9 cents a share. The three-analyst outlook called for second-quarter earnings of 9 cents vs. the year-earlier 11 cents. Valley National also set a buyback of up to 230,000 shares, or about 2.3% of the shares outstanding.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Ziegler

(ZCO)

has hired an investment bank to seek a buyer for its environmental services unit,

WRR Environmental Services

.

Offerings and stock actions

Community West Bancshares

(CWBC) - Get Report

set a buyback of up to $2 million worth of its shares.

Three Rivers Financial

(THR) - Get Report

set a buyback of up to 90,000 shares.