Sun Microsystems Comes In a Penny Ahead of Expectations

Also, reports from Documentum and Onsale and a fine for American Ailines pilots' union.
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Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

reported presplit third-quarter earnings of 71 cents a share, a penny ahead of the 21-analyst

First Call

consensus. A year ago, the company earned 59 cents. Sun's revenue rose 24% from year-ago levels, but the company said it expects revenue growth will be around 19% in the third quarter. The company also tempered analysts' enthusiasm about its earning prospects for fiscal 2000.

Inflow into U.S. equity funds for the week ended yesterday totaled $722 million, according to

AMG Data Services

. Large-cap growth funds posted inflow of $1.9 billion while small-cap growth funds reported outflow of $866 million. International funds posted outflow of $423 million. Among other fund categories, taxable bond funds reported inflow of $588 million, municipal bond funds reported outflow of $535 million, and money market funds reported outflow of $3.1 billion.

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Document management software maker

Documentum

(DCTM)

said it lost 26 cents a share in the first quarter, more than the six-analyst estimate for a loss of 20 cents. The company also said it expected a significant operating loss for the year, but will buyback $20 million worth of stock.

"Based on current market prices, we believe that our stock is undervalued and that the repurchase program is a good investment of available funds," said CEO Jeff Miller. Stock will be bought on the open market or through private transactions.

Documentum's total revenue in the first quarter tallied $24 million, down 4% from a year ago but within the $23 million to $26 million range the company had set when it preannounced April 1. License revenue slipped to $11.2 million from $17.1 million a year ago but service revenue rose to $12.8 million from $8 million. Net loss was $4.4 million, compared with net income of $2.3 million in the same period last year.

Operating expenses jumped to $22.9 million from $16.5 million, which Miller attributed to increased head count. He said the company added 140 to 150 new people from a year ago, although the head count remained nearly flat in the first quarter due to attrition.

Miller remained upbeat about the business going into next year when Y2K bugs will be fixed and corporate spending on software picks up. He expected to increase head count to between 700 and 750 people by year-end from 615 now and noted that "because we still believe in the fundamentals of the business, we're continuing to invest in new products so we're well positioned coming out of 1999 and into the new millennium."

But as for 1999, the company warned in its earnings statement that "based on the first quarter's shortfall, the company expects 1999 license revenue to be, at best, flat from 1998 levels. As a result, the company anticipates a significant operating loss in 1999. The company expects to return to license revenue growth in the year 2000."

-- Medora Lee

Arvin

(ARV)

said it expects to post record results in 1999. Last year, the company earned $3.23 a share. The two-analyst consensus for this year is $3.50. Additionally, president and CEO V. William Hunt has been given the additional post of chairman.

Citation Computer Systems

(CITA)

said its expects to report fourth-quarter results between breakeven and 2 cents a share vs. a loss of 37 cents a year ago. The one-analyst estimate was for a loss of 5 cents.

C-Cube Microsystems

(CUBE) - Get Report

reported first-quarter profits of 32 cents a share, including charges, vs. 27 cents a year ago. The company did not provide operating results excluding the charge. The five-analyst estimate called for 31 cents.

Delphi Financial

(DFG)

said its expects first-quarter earnings of "slightly more" than $1 a share vs. the four-analyst estimate of $1.04. A year ago, the company earned 96 cents.

Knight Ridder

(KRI)

said its total advertising revenue for March hopped up 5.5%.

Onsale

(ONSL)

reported a first-quarter loss of 28 cents a share, including one-time items, vs. a loss of 22 cents a year ago. The company did not provide operating results excluding the charge. The 11-analyst estimate was for a loss of 27 cents.

PG&E

(PCG) - Get Report

, the parent of

Pacific Gas & Electric

, said it will delay the release of its first-quarter earnings, pending the

California Public Utilities Commission's

decision on a rate case.

Phoenix International

(PHXX)

forecast a first-quarter loss of up to 15 cents a share vs. the year-ago profit of a penny. The two-analyst estimate calls for a profit of 10 cents.

RadiSys

(RSYS) - Get Report

forecast its first-quarter earnings will exceed the six-analyst estimate of 18 cents.

Rational Software

(RATL)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share vs. year-ago results of 12 cents and the 10-analyst estimate of 21 cents. Additionally, the company said co-founder Mike Devlin has been named CEO.

Tasty Baking

(TBC) - Get Report

forecast its first-quarter earnings will be 12 cents to 14 cents per share, down from 21 cents a share a year ago and vs. the four-analyst estimate of 13 cents.

Unicom

(UCM)

reported first-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, including various gains and charges. The 11-analyst outlook called for operating earnings of 36 cents vs. the year-ago 25 cents.

For additional earnings, see the

earnings table.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Germany's

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

and Italy's

Telecom Italia

(TI)

are in advanced talks to merge, the

Financial Times

reported.

Olivetti

recently launched a hostile bid for Telecom Italia.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

said they will co-develop a pirate-proof format for sending music over the Internet. The companies said they will focus on making Sony's copyright protection technology compatible with IBM's electronic music management system.

Stericycle

(SRCL) - Get Report

said it will spend $440 million to buy a medical waste unit that

Allied Waste Industries

(AW)

will acquire (temporarily, it seems) in its previously announced buyout of

Browning Ferris Industries

(BFI)

.

Miscellany

A federal judge fined the pilots' union of

AMR

(AMR)

unit

American Airlines

more than $45 million for the February sickout that led to the cancellation of more than 6,700 flights.

Fortune Brands

(FO)

filed a registration with the

Securities & Exchange Commission

to sell up to $550 million in debt securities.

As originally published, the story contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.