RJR Nabisco Issues Third-Quarter Warning

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Blaming weak market conditions in Russia and its surrounding neighbors,

RJR Nabisco

(RN)

projected its third-quarter earnings will come in between 46 cents and 48 cents a share. That's below the 10-analyst

First Call

forecast for 60 cents and the year-ago 75 cents. Shares of the blue-chip stock fell 1 15/16 to 25 in after-hours trading.

Paychex

(PAYX) - Get Report

will replace

Dresser Industries

(DI)

in the

S&P 500

beginning tomorrow, following Dresser's completed $7.7 billion merger with

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

today.

Cambridge Technology Partners

(CATP)

will replace Paychex in the

S&P MidCap 400

. Separately, Halliburton said it will take a $900 million third-quarter charge related to the combination.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Unocal

(UCL)

said it expects its third-quarter earnings to fall somewhere below 10 cents a share due to low oil prices, recent storms and higher expenses. The 20-analyst estimate called for earnings of 19 cents vs. the year-ago 38 cents.

Premisys Communications

(PRMS)

said its first-quarter earnings will fall below estimates because of declines in shipments and orders of its telecommunications products, coming in between 15 cents and 17 cents a share. The six-analyst prediction called for earnings of 19 cents vs. the year-ago 10 cents.

Lone Star Technologies

(LSS)

said it expects to report a third-quarter loss deeper than previously anticipated because of weak markets for its oil field and specialty tubing products. The four-analyst view called for a loss of 5 cents compared with the year-ago profit of 48 cents.

ThermoLase

(TLZ)

announced plans to record a fourth-quarter restructuring charge of $15 million, increasing its quarter loss by about 38 cents a share. The two-analyst forecast called for a loss of 17 cents vs. the year-ago loss of 9 cents.

Aspec Technology

(ASPC)

delayed its third-quarter earnings report to on or about Oct. 9. The company said its new auditors,

PricewaterhouseCoopers

, had not yet completed its review of the quarter. The two-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 6 cents a share.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

A unit of

Wolters Kluwer

agreed to acquire

Ovid Technologies

(OVID) - Get Report

for $200 million or $24.59 a share.

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

said it will take a $3.1 billion charge related to its acquisition of

MCI

.

Offerings and stock actions

Apollo Group

(APOL)

approved a $40 million stock buyback program.

Comings and goings

Yankee Energy System

(YES)

said its chairman, president and CEO, Branko Terzic, resigned because of major differences about the company's future strategy. Vice President Charles Gooley was named president and CEO.

Miscellany

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

said its

Janssen Pharmaceutica

unit will discontinue a cancer drug development agreement with

NeoRx

(NERX)

. Although Phase II trials of the

Avicidin

product in patients with advanced colon and prostate cancers showed evidence of some antitumor effects, results also included unacceptable diarrhea and decreased blood counts.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

said it filed three copyright and trademark infringement lawsuits involving software, two of which fall under Arizona's new anti-counterfeiting law.

Norwest Bank Minnesota

, lead bank of

Norwest

(NOB)

, cut its prime lending rate to 8.25% from 8.5% following today's

Fed action.

MBIA

(MBI) - Get Report

said it obtained $170 million of reinsurance that it expects will cover anticipated losses from the bankruptcy of the

Delaware Valley Obligated Group

. The company added it doesn't expect exposure to this insured credit to affect its earnings.