reported second-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, on target with the 20-analyst

First Call

outlook and above the year-ago 20 cents. However, the stock continued its regular-session slide down to 48 9/16, and dropped to 46 in late composite trading.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Aaron Rents


reported fourth-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, a penny above the three-analyst view and ahead of the year-ago 24 cents.

Atchison Casting


said it expects to post third-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 30 cents a share because of delays in customer orders. The two-analyst forecast called for a profit of 38 cents vs. the year-ago 48 cents.



boosted its 1998 results to a profit of 2 cents a share from a loss of 7 cents after a favorable tax adjustment. The company reduced a provision for income taxes.



sees fourth-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 50 cents a share, including a gain from the sale of its

Image Industries

unit to a unit of

Mohawk Industries

(MHK) - Get Report

. The six-analyst estimate calls for operating earnings of 25 cents vs. the year-ago 19 cents.

MicroTouch Systems

(MTSI) - Get Report

warned it will miss first-quarter earnings estimates due to lower-than-expected European gaming sales and a legal charge. The three-analyst estimate called for 33 cents a share compared with the year-ago 28 cents.

Richardson Electronics

(RELL) - Get Report

recorded third-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, matching the three-analyst outlook but falling behind the year-ago 17 cents. The company also said it will buyback up to 1 million shares.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

MCI WorldCom





agreed to pay each other a retroactive rate of 37 U.S. cents a minute in 1998, 25 cents in 1999 and 19 cents in 2000 for routing cross-border calls. Telmex and


(T) - Get Report

agreed to the same terms.

Pacalta Resources


said a takeover bid from

Alberta Energy


recognized only a portion of the company's value and that the offer falls short of its long-term expectations for the stock. Alberta Energy has offered to acquire Pacalta in a deal initially valued at C$748 million, including the assumption of C$274 million in debt.


Nichols Research


named Chairman Chris Horgen chief executive, replacing Michael Mruz, who is retiring.