State Street Sells $5.2 Billion in Debt Securities, Takes Charge

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State Street

(STT) - Get Report

said it would assume a pretax fourth-quarter charge of roughly $57 million, or 21 cents a share after taxes, as a result of selling $5.2 billion in investment securities. State Street said that the sale, which mostly included Treasury and federal agency securities that had an average maturity of less than two years, was part of repositioning its investment portfolio assets. State Street CFO Ronald O'Kelley said roughly 75% of the sale's funds were used to buy Treasury and federal government securities with higher yields, while the remaining proceeds went toward short-term securities. The 12-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate sees the company posting fourth-quarter operating earnings of 73 cents a share.

State Street said it the portfolio repositioning would tack on 3 cents to its EPS each quarter in fiscal 2000.

After-Hours Trading

American Champion Entertainment

(ACEI)

was easily the most active issue on

Island ECN

. The company is best known for

Adventures with Kanga Roddy

, a children's television show. It also operates a chain of karate schools. With no news on the stock, tonight's sudden interest in the company is, well, more inexplicable than usual.

At the No. 2 spot,

Elcom International

(ELCO)

received a huge pop on news that it was a coveted business-to-business play. Technically, that not news. It's just news to investors. The company, which produces electronic commerce systems, has always been a B2B'er, but some people are just finding that out. According to a

Reuters

story, Elcom has languished in the shadow of bigger B2Bs like

Internet Capital Group

(ICGE)

and

Commerce One

(CMRC)

. After-hours investors have sent Elcom to new heights, where it can fly with its brethren.

Speaking of Commerce One, it seems to have recovered nicely from today's late-afternoon stumble.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online 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, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.

--

Eric Gillin

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Century Business

(CBIZ)

said it plans to assume a $25 million to $30 million pretax charge in the fourth quarter due to an office consolidation. Century Business said the consolidation, which is expected to produce pretax yearly savings of more than $15 million, would also reduce its workforce by roughly 200 jobs. The company also said the office consolidation would result in an additional pretax charge in 2000 of between $5 million to $10 million. Century said it would combine 10 of its biggest markets, where the company has bought several businesses in the last three years, including Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Colorado; Northern and Southern California; Cleveland; Chicago; and Texas.

Finish Line

(FINL)

reported a third-quarter loss of 9 cents a share, in line with the eight-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 2-cent profit.

Sodexho Marriott

(SDH)

warned investors that first-quarter earnings would be roughly 5% below the two-analyst consensus estimate of 47 cents a share. The company blamed softer-than-expected operating margins in the its corporate services business, start-up costs for new contracts and Y2K expenses for the disappointing results. The company said its disappointing first quarter could cause fiscal 2000 earnings to fall roughly 5% below the three-analyst consensus estimate of $1.05 a share.