Mannesmann Said in Talks on AOL Europe Stake; Gillette Meets Lowered Estimates

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Mannesmann

(MNNSY)

is in early talks about taking a minority stake in

AOL Europe

, the Friday edition of the

Financial Times

reported. AOL Europe is half owned by

America Online

(AOL)

and half by German media group

Bertelsmann

. While an equity stake in AOL Europe would not block

Vodafone AirTouch's

(VOD) - Get Report

offer, it would help Mannesmann's arguments that it could become dominant in the European Internet market, the

Times

said.

Gillette

(G) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, in line with the lowered 13-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate but down from the year-ago 39 cents. Fourth-quarter sales were $3.03 billion, down 4% from $3.17 billion in the year-ago period. Gillette said that excluding unfavorable foreign exchange rates, sales were "virtually unchanged" compared with the year-ago period.

Inflows continued to equity funds, totaling $8 billion for the week ended yesterday, according to

AMG Data Services

. Technology funds received inflows of $2.2 billion, their largest in absolute or percentage terms ever. Aggressive growth fund inflows continued to accelerate while international equity funds reported inflows. Asian emerging markets sectors showed outflows. Taxable bond funds continued to report outflows, which totaled $2.1 billion, but outflows from high-yield bond funds declined.

In other postclose news (

earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified

):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

ADAC Laboratories

(ADAC)

reported first-quarter operating earnings of 3 cents a share, missing the three-analyst estimate of 5 cents and the year-ago earnings of 18 cents.

Adaptive Broadband

(ADAP) - Get Report

posted a second-quarter loss of 15 cents a share, which excludes a premium, narrower than the seven-analyst estimate. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

American Annuity

(AAG)

said it expects to see a fourth-quarter after-tax charge of about 15 cents a share, related to a realignment within the company's operating units.

Banco Rio

(BRS) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 19.6 cents an ADR, roughly in line with the eight-analyst estimate of 20 cents.

First Data

(FDC) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share excluding items, a penny better than the 13-analyst forecast, and up from the year-ago earnings of 48 cents. The results were overshadowed by an accidental release of the company's outlook filed a day early with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. The company said it expects to deliver earnings per share in the range of $1.95 to $2.02. But that was not a surprise as details of the company's outlook, meant for disclosure to investors at a conference at the

Waldorf-Astoria

in New York tomorrow, were posted in an SEC Form 8-K today.

Indus International

(IINT)

said it expected a loss in the fourth-quarter and had lowered third-quarter profits amid an in-depth review of its financial results. A preliminary review of its third-quarter revenue practices showed it overstated revenues by about $5 million, all of which was related to licensing fees.

Interwoven

(IWOV)

posted a net loss, before charges of 17 cents a share, narrower than the four-analyst expected loss of 19 cents a share, but wider than the year-ago loss of 13 cents.

PP&L Resources

(PPL) - Get Report

said it sees 2001 earnings of $2.95 to $3.00 a share, above the 12-analyst estimate of $2.65.

Sterling Commerce

(SE) - Get Report

said it expects earnings of 33 cents to 34 cents a share for the first quarter and expects a $50 million charge related to the sale of its

XcelleNet

business unit. Including the charge, the company said it expects a loss of 27 cents to 28 cents a share. The 13-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 31 cents.

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter pro forma net income, which excludes purchase accounting adjustments, of 18 cents a share, ahead of the 24-analyst estimate of 15 cents and up from the year-ago 9 cents. The company also set a 3-for-2 stock split.

In other earnings news:

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Merger partners

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

and

GTE

(GTE) - Get Report

offered, as expected, to spin off most of GTE's Internet business to gain regulatory approval for their deal.

Separately, Bell Atlantic said it won a contract worth up to $1.4 billion from the

Government Services Administration

, to provide telecommunication services to U.S. federal government agencies in the Washington area.

First Commerce Bancshares

said it is in discussions with

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

which might lead to its acquisition. The talks currently place a value on First Commerce of about $480 million, or about $36 a share. Shares closed up 5 7/8, or 19.6%, to 37 today in regular trading.

SBS Broadcasting

(SBTV)

said

United Pan-Europe Communications

will invest another $162 million in SBS. UPC will purchase another 3 million common shares for $54.125 a share in cash in a private placement, increasing UPC's stake to about 18%, or about 6 million common shares.

Offerings and stock actions

Centennial Bancorp

(CEBC)

set an 11-for-10 stock split. The extra shares will be made available on March 3, to shareholders of record Feb. 11.

EverTrust Financial

(EVRT)

set a buyback of up to 449,313, or 5%, of its outstanding shares.

InterTrust Technologies

(ITRU)

set a 2-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record Feb. 10.

Suncor Energy

(SU) - Get Report

set a 2-for-1 stock split and said it would add to a major expansion of its business by spending $525 million on the current operation and starting up a new one nearby.

As originally published, this story contained errors. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.