Office Depot Slumps After Issuing Warning; After-Hours Trading Update

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Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

said it will post disappointing results for the rest of the year, citing slumping sales and tighter margins. The retailer said it would also assume third-quarter charges and repurchase $500 million worth of stock. Office Depot expects second-half earnings of 30 cents to 40 cents a share, greatly missing the analyst estimate of 50 cents to 52 cents a share. The estimates do not include a $28.3 million third-quarter restructuring charge. Office Depot will also assume a $34.2 million write-off for sluggish store and warehouse inventories.

Office Depot stock ended the New York session at 13 3/4 but slumped to 10 1/2 in late composite trading.

Last Trades on Island ECN (Times EDT)

ATML: 36 9/16 at 3:59 p.m.

KLAC: 63 9/16 at 3:52 p.m.

DELL: 46 1/8 at 4:52 p.m.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Discover Brokerage and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Monday through Thursday.

TheStreet.com

updates MarketXT's 10 most active issues in Got a Minute? and in the Evening Update.

TSC

also reports how MarketXT's three most active Nasdaq-listed issues finished the Island ECN session, which ends at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Check out

TheStreet.com's

updated Night-Owl's Guide to After-Hours Trading for more information on postclose trading

.

--

Eric Gillin

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

CompUSA

(CPU)

posted a fourth-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, beating both the 13-analyst estimate of a 24-cent loss and the year-ago 19-cent loss.

Dycom Industries

(DY) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, beating both the five-analyst estimate of 42 cents and the year-ago 32 cents.

US Liquids

(USL) - Get Report

said it anticipates disappointing third- and fourth-quarter results while the

FBI

continues to probe into allegations that the company illegally disposed hazardous material at its Detroit facility. US Liquids CEO Mike Lawlor said the investigation has resulted in the temporary closing of its Detroit waste treatment facility, which accounts for 10% of the company's profits. US Liquids is expecting to post third-quarter earnings of 21 to 23 cents a share, greatly missing the analyst estimate of 33 cents and fourth-quarter gains of 19 to 21 cents a share, far below the analyst estimate of 36 cents. The company also attributes the gloomy forecasts to slower-than-expected revenues in its oilfield waste operations.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Georgia Gulf

(GGC)

said it would acquire the vinyls business of Germany's

RWE-DEA's

chemical subsidiary for $270 million, slating Georgia Gulf as one of the U.S.' leading vinyl producers. According to Georgia, the purchase will upset earnings in the first year but will become accretive. The company also said it expects higher productivity and cost savings to contribute $20 million to profits. As a result of the transaction, Georgia Gulf will have businesses in 12 locations, 23 production facilities and 1,500 employees.

Guidant

(GDT)

unveiled plans to buy cardiac surgery instrument maker

CardioThoracic

(CTSI)

for $19.50 a share. The transaction, which is estimated at $313 million, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter, having no effect on 2000 earnings.

Pioneer Hi-Bred

(PHB) - Get Report

said that

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

and

Monsanto

(MTC) - Get Report

do not have plans to forge a business deal but talks may continue. According to a

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing, Pioneer said DuPont and Monsanto have discussed "a variety of different types of transactions" since March, when DuPont inked a deal to purchase Pioneer in a transaction estimated at $7.7 billion.

Reader's Digest

(RDA)

announced plans to acquire the privately held discount books seller

Books Are Fun

for $380 million. The company said the purchase would contribute to its product line and serve as an additional distribution outlet.

Union Planters

(UPC)

revealed plans to purchase a wholesale mortgage origination franchise from a

Colonial Bancorp

(CNB)

division. Union Planters anticipates the transaction's completion in October.

Miscellany

Florsheim

(FLSC)

said it would shut down a production facility, moving manufacturing to India and eliminating 300 jobs. The shoemaker said it would assume a $3 million third -quarter restructuring charge for costs relating to the closing of the Cape Girardeau, Mo., plant. The closing of the facility should save the company an estimated $4.5 million a year.

Republic Services

(RSG) - Get Report

said its core business is on track despite its announcement than it anticipates slower earnings growth than it first projected. Today, the stock tumbled after

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

sliced the shares rating to buy from strong buy.

Salomon Smith Barney

also cut the stocks 1999 and 2000 estimates.