Intel and Mattel in Toy-Development Pact

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"Where does he get such wonderful toys?"

Jack Nicholson's

Joker wondered about

Michael Keaton's

Batman. A couple of big companies hope the near-future answer will be "from us," and they head our post-close review. By the way, Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

index is off to a rollicking start with a 1.8% morning surge. (Earnings estimates from

First Call

. For a table of further post-close earnings reports, click

here.)

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Mattel

(MAT) - Get Report

announced that they will jointly develop PC-enhanced toys for current and future technologies. They provided an example: a speaking

Barbie

doll that could be plugged into a PC to customize her chatter. Old cliche: "They could put a man on the moon but ..." New cliche: "They could make Barbie talk but ..."

Engelhard

(EC) - Get Report

said its Japanese base-metal-trading operation was one of several companies hit by an "elaborate fraud" involving physical inventories of nickel cathode and ferro-nickel scrap. The company said a preliminary investigation found that its resulting losses could be as high as $55 million, of which $39 million would be booked in 1997 and the rest in 1998. Engelhard said the losses incurred by all the companies stung exceed $200 million. Separately, Engelhard reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of 29 cents per share, in line with the seven-analyst consensus estimate but down from the year-ago 30 cents.

Citizens

(CZC)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 88 cents per share, 35 cents better than the four-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 64 cents.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Report

reported a fourth-quarter operating loss of 9 cents per share, 25 cents better than the five-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago loss of 38 cents.

CNET

(CNWK)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 62 cents per share, 20 cents worse than the eight-analyst forecast and down from the year-ago loss of 32 cents.

Loehmann's

(LOEH)

warned that it expects to report a fourth-quarter loss of 40 cents per share, missing the seven-analyst outlook of a 7-cent profit and the year-ago 14-cent gain. The company said sales for the period would be roughly flat with the year-ago figure. Loehmann's announced a restructuring plan that will include store closings and said it reached a deal with its lenders for an expanded line of credit.

Ameren

(AEE) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 34 cents per share, 14 cents better than the eight-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 18 cents.

Mohawk Industries

(MHK) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 46 cents per share, 13 cents better than the seven-analyst prediction and up from the year-ago 27 cents. The company filed for a secondary offering of 4.1 million shares, offered by a nonmanagement holder for diversification and estate planning.

Chiron

(CHIR) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 19 cents per share, 8 cents better than the 13-analyst outlook and up from the year-ago 8 cents.

Tekelec

(TKLC)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents per share, 8 cents ahead of the five-analyst projection and up from the year-ago 10 cents.

Pixar

(PIXR)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 9 cents per share, 8 cents better than the seven-analyst forecast but down from the year-ago 10 cents.

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

said it expects to earn 95 cents to $1.00 per share in fiscal 1998, compared with the year-ago 70 cents. The 16-analyst forecast calls for 97 cents. Starbucks also said it plans to start selling coffee beans in 3,500 supermarkets in 10 new areas. The company reiterated plans to open 390 stores in the fiscal year.

Electronic Data Systems

(EDS)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 62 cents per share, a penny better than the 22-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 56 cents. The company set a buyback of up to 3.1 million shares to fund its incentive and benefit plans.

Mirage Resorts

(MIR)

is seeking a court order to void its 1996 contract with

Circus Circus Enterprises

(CIR) - Get Report

for development of the "H-tract" in Atlantic City.

BroadBand Technologies

(BBTK)

said it inked agreements with

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

worth more than $50 million over three years. The pacts include a development contract, an OEM contract, an intellectual-property license, a contract-manufacturing agreement and other considerations.

SystemSoft

(SYSF)

warned that it expects to report a fourth-quarter operating loss of 20 cents to 23 cents per share, citing the Asian financial crisis and other factors. The three-analyst view called for a profit of 5 cents per share versus the year-ago profit of 8 cents.

Dal-Tile International

(DTL)

warned that it expects to report a fourth-quarter loss of 40 cents to 45 cents per share, including 11 cents in noncash expenses for its stock appreciation rights plan. The five-analyst estimate called for a loss of 28 cents, mirroring the year-ago profit of 28 cents.

STB Systems

(STBI)

set a 3-for-2 stock split.