Still No Confirmation of Alcatel-Newbridge Deal - TheStreet

Still No Confirmation of Alcatel-Newbridge Deal

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There was still no confirmation of the intense speculation that Alcatel (ALA) would announce an acquisition of Newbridge Networks (NN) . As reported earlier, Canadian networker Newbridge this evening postponed its planned third-quarter earnings release, heightening speculation that a deal announcement was imminent and that French telecom-equipment giant Alcatel would be the buyer. Analysts say they expect an announcement early Wednesday.

Arizona Sen.

John McCain

defeated Texas Gov.

George Bush

in the Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries, according to TV network exit-poll projections.

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

Astec Industries

(ASTE) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 21 cents a share, a penny better than the nine-analyst expectation but down from the year-ago 29 cents. The company said it expects 20% earnings and revenue growth in 2000.

Clear Channel Communications

(CCU) - Get Report

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, falling short of the three-analyst expectation of a 1-cent profit. The company earned 4 cents a year earlier.

Crown Castle

(TWRS)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 24 cents a share, 4 cents narrower than the five-analyst view but wider than the year-ago 9-cent loss.

R.H. Donnelley

(RHD)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst prediction and up from the year-ago 14 cents.

Fluor

(FLR) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 68 cents. The company said it expects weaker second-quarter earnings but a strong second half.

Longs Drug Stores

(LDG)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 61 cents a share, 7 cents short of the six-analyst outlook but up from the year-ago 60 cents. The company blamed the shortfall on labor and other costs connected with the opening of new stores.

MRV Communications

(MRVC)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 1 cent. MRV also agreed to acquire fiber-optic equipment maker

Fiber Optic Communications

for $263 million, and said it is exiting its enterprise LAN switching business.

Neiman Marcus

(NMG.A)

reported second-quarter earnings of 84 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the four-analyst expectation and up from the year-ago 64 cents.

Papa John's

(PZZA) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, in line with the 12-analyst view and up from the year-ago 33 cents.

Pride International

(PDE)

reported a fourth-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, narrower than the 17-analyst estimate of a 14-cent loss but down from the year-ago profit of 21 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

C&D Technologies

(CHP)

set a buyback of up to $25 million of its common shares.

Kimberly-Clark

(KMB) - Get Report

set a buyback of an additional 25 million shares. The buyback is in addition to about 7 million shares remaining under a previous authorization. Separately, the company said it will invest $300 million in new tissue machines in Jenks, Okla., and Loudon, Tenn., with production phased in over a two-year period starting in mid-2001.

The 23.5 million-share IPO of

Nextel Partners

(NXTP)

was priced at $20 a share, the top of the $18-to-$20 range.

Goldman Sachs

and

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

are the lead underwriters. Nextel Partners is an affiliate of

Nextel Communications

(NXTL)

, offering digital wireless communications services in small and midsize markets.

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

set a buyback of up to 81 million shares, or about 5% of its 1.6 billion outstanding shares. The company said about 35 million shares remain on a separate 82 million-share authorization, set Sept. 28.

Miscellany

Praxair

(PX)

named Dennis Reilley president and CEO. Reilley had been COO of

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

.

Visx

(VISX)

said it would slash the licensing fee for its laser vision correction technology to $100 from $250. The go-for-growth strategy has gone over poorly with traders so far, with Visx down 3 1/4 to 18 5/8 in after-hours trading on

Island

. (See

The Night Watch for more on the action in Visx.) Separately, Visx set a buyback of up to 10 million shares.