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(JWN) - Get Free Report

unveiled plans to forge a separate

unit to concentrate on its growing Internet sales, and said it might offer shares in the unit in the future. The retailer will hold the majority interest in the new subsidiary but Silicon Valley firm

Benchmark Capital

will also take a $15 million stake in the online venture, with its principal, Bill Gurley, sitting on its board.

Madrona Investment

kicked in $26 million in startup capital. Nordstrom co-President Dan Nordstrom will serve as the subsidiary's CEO.

Nordstrom also said it plans to launch the largest online shoe store,

, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The store will boast an inventory of 20 million pairs of shoes.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures


(DIS) - Get Free Report

announced its plans to sell its

Fairchild Publications

division to

Advance Publications

, parent of

Conde Nast

, for an undisclosed amount. The sale of Fairchild, whose publications include fashion magazines



Women's Wear Daily

and women's magazine


, is in line with the company's effort to get rid of some noncore business and cut costs. The Mouse House is holding onto

Los Angeles

magazine, however. Disney didn't disclose the price for Fairchild, but the transaction was previously estimated at about $650 million.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Fremont General


said that its third-quarter earnings will be cut by roughly $1.07 a share, citing insurance losses of $75 million. The insurance and financial services company said it will assume a $50 million after-tax charge for its property and casualty division and an additional $25 million after-tax charge for discontinued operations. Freemont connected the $50 million charge with weakening workers' compensation loss adjustment expenses as a result of a decline in reinsurance recoveries. The company said it accounted for increased asbestos and environmental claims in the $25 million charge.

Mandalay Resort Group


posted second-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, missing the 19-analyst estimate of 30 cents but up from the year-ago 27-cent profit.

Newbridge Networks


posted first-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst estimate of 16 cents. The preceding figures are in U.S. dollars, but the conversion ratio for the year-ago figure of 20 Canadian cents a share was not immediately available.

Wet Seal


reported second-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate of 29 cents but down from the year-ago 35 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

Texas Instruments


said it repealed one of its share buyback programs, allowing its acquisition of

Telogy Networks

for $435 million in stock to qualify as a pooling of interests for accounting purposes. Through its current buyback program, the chipmaker has repurchased 5.5 million shares since September 1997. The company said the program's cancellation sliced the authorized buyback to 2.3 million shares from 4.7 million shares, with the 2.3 million shares related to the company's employee stock repurchasing plan.



(AGN) - Get Free Report

said it has received an approvable letter from federal regulators for its new dry eye remedy,


. The company said the

Food and Drug Administration

highlighted specific areas that its needs to address before receiving marketing approval. In July, an FDA advisory committee suggested the drug not be approved.

National City Bancshares


said it has appointed Michael Vea as chairman and CEO. Vea replaces Robert Vance, who acted as interim chairman and CEO.