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Monday: Columbia/HCA Names New President

Compiled by John J. Edwards III
Staff Reporter

Divergence looks like the big market story as this week gets underway, with stocks headed up and bonds headed down. As you wait to see which way everything goes on Tuesday, take a break with some post-close items of interest (earnings estimates from

First Call

):

Columbia/HCA Healthcare

(COL)

named Jack Bovender president and chief operating officer, succeeding David Vandewater. Vandewater resigned last week amid the federal investigation of alleged Medicare fraud by the hospital chain. Bovender retired as chief operating officer of

Health Corp. of America

in 1994 upon its acquisition by Columbia. He takes over his new position immediately.

Polo Ralph Lauren

(RL:NYSE) reported first-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share, 2 cents better than the five-analyst consensus estimate and up from the year-ago pro-forma 12 cents.

ASM International

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said it is in mediation with

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Applied Materials, Inc. Report

at a federal court's request. Litigation in the companies' ongoing patent dispute has been stayed.

Lone Star Steakhouse

(STAR) - Get iStar Inc. Report

said it expects its third-quarter earnings to be 10 cents to 13 cents per share below analysts' estimates. The 11-analyst outlook is 47 cents versus the year-ago 38 cents.

Lamar

(LAMR) - Get Lamar Advertising Company Class A Report

agreed to buy certain assets from

Outdoor Systems

(OSIA)

for $115 million. Lamar is buying some of the assets that Outdoor Systems agreed to buy in its proposed acquisition of

3M's

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National Advertising

unit.

General Nutrition

(GNCI)

reported second-quarter earnings of 28 cents per share, 2 cents better than the eight-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 19 cents.

Rare Hospitality

(RARE:Nasdaq) reported second-quarter earnings of 17 cents per share, a penny better than the eight-analyst view but down form the year-earlier 20 cents.

For information on Monday's market activity, see the

Market Roundup.