The polls are now closed. In near-unanimity,
readers responding to our survey
as the most likely candidate to replace
. Unfortunately, none of our readers (apparently) are on the
Standard & Poor's Index Committee
, which instead chose
For the record, Mercantile completed its announced merger with
today, creating a space in the index. Upon naming Kohl's as the replacement, S&P simultaneously announced that
will replace the department store chain in the
S&P MidCap 400
. After the bell, Dillard's announced second-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share, 3 cents ahead of the 15-analyst
outlook and a nickel above the year-ago figure.
Two readers correctly picked the winner in our contest, but confessed upon a (not-so-) grueling cross examination they had seen the Kohl's news on either
or the newswires before responding. Shame, shame, shame. But we'll spare you the public ignominy of mentioning names since you both confessed. An honorable mention goes to
, who correctly predicted it would be a retailer but diluted his Kohl's bet with the simultaneous suggestion of
. One presumes that's why he's a hedge-fund manager. Besides, he's probably got a drawer full of
Thanks to all who replied.
Aaron L. Task
In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call):
Earnings reports and previews
posted second-quarter earnings of 47 cents per share, 5 cents higher than the 17-analyst view and above the year-ago 38 cents. The retailer said its quarter same-store sales, however, were down 0.2%. The stock reportedly was up to 34 from a close of 32 3/16 in after-hours trading.
announced a fourth-quarter loss of 19 cents per share, a penny below the 14-analyst prediction and below the year-ago profit of 24 cents. The computer retailer, which cited the release of
and product transition delays for the loss, said it remains cautious about business conditions for fiscal 1999. CompUSA said it expects to see flat comparable-store sales for its first quarter and gross margins for that quarter below the year-ago period but higher than in the fourth quarter. The consensus called for first-quarter earnings of 14 cents per share versus the year-ago 25 cents, and full-year 1999 earnings of 95 cents.
said it expects to record second-quarter earnings between 29 cents and 34 cents per share -- below the 14-analyst outlook for 40 cents and near the year-ago 34 cents.
reported second-quarter earnings of 37 cents per share, 7 cents ahead of the six-analyst forecast and in line with the year-ago figure. The company also said it proposed reducing its public units to 15 from 23, that it plans to divest units with $100 million in revenue and that it does not see any short-term benefits from restructuring.
posted a second-quarter loss of 33 cents per share versus the year-earlier loss of 52 cents. First Call did not have estimates for the company.
In other earnings news:
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
filed with the
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in Pittsburgh to acquire eight hospitals from bankrupt
Allegheny Health Education & Research Foundation
for $465 million.
Western Staff Services
said it plans to sell its medical services unit for an undisclosed amount. No buyer was named. The stock rose 1/4 to 14 1/4 in after-hours trading.
said it completed its merger with
, a limited partnership partly owned by
and debuts Thursday.
agreed to give warrants for 23 million Sunbeam shares to
MacAndrews & Forbes
, the former owner of Sunbeam acquisition
. The move is designed to stave off possible lawsuits and to gain MacAndrews' assistance in managing Sunbeam. The warrants have an exercise price of $7 per share; Sunbeam closed today at 6 7/8, up 1/4. Sunbeam has been in turmoil since ousting its former chairman, "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap, in June amid a
Securities and Exchange Commission
shareholders approved the spinoff of
(CSON:Nasdaq), expected to begin trading tomorrow on a when-issued basis under the symbol CSONV. Collagen will change its name to
, continuing to trade under the symbol CGEN. Collagen makes collagen implants and other aesthetic products; Cohesion is in the surgical hemostasis and sealant business.
set a buyback of up to 1.2 million shares.
National Health Investors
agreed to buy two million convertible preferred shares from
at $19.25 each. The shares will be convertible into two million common shares.
American Real Estate Investment
raised its quarterly dividend 20% to 26.5 cents per share.
approved a stock repurchase plan to buy back 500,000 shares.
Comings and goings
said David Bearman resigned as executive vice president and CFO. Bearman left the company to take the same position with
. He replaces John Giering, who is retiring from NCR. Richard Miller, vice president and controller of Cardinal, was named acting CFO until a replacement for Bearman is found.
named President Camille Jayne to the additional post of chief executive.
International Association of Machinists
asked federal mediators to release it into a 30-day strike countdown in its dispute with
. Union members have already rejected tentative contracts with the airline. Separate talks between Northwest and the
Air Line Pilots Association
are officially at an impasse.
was awarded $171 million in damages in a patent dispute between the companies on metallocene catalysts systems. Mobil plans to appeal.
must pay $1.3 million to the parents of a man killed in a jet crash in Colombia that claimed 158 other lives, a federal district court jury ruled.
Tricon Global Restaurants'
unit filed suit against
, challenging its smaller rival's claim of "better ingredients, better pizza."
Golden Books Family Entertainment
was named in a shareholder lawsuit alleging securities violations that artificially inflated the company's stock price. The suit seeks class-action status on behalf of all purchasers between May 13, 1997, and Aug. 4, 1998.
, a privately held supplier in which ITC owns an 8% stake, is in receivership.
settled its dispute with the
Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission
over its stranded-cost claims.
Markets Editor John J. Edwards III contributed to this story