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USWeb/CKS Jumps on Investment From Microsoft; After-Hours Trading Update

Plus, Gillette warns of a sales decline but says it will meet earnings estimates.
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said that



will take a $67.5 million stake in the company over the next year, supporting new application services and technologies. In 18 months, USWeb, in accordance with the deal, will give Microsoft royalties on service offerings associated with the technologies. In addition, Microsoft agreed to buy warrants for $14.9 million, enabling the company to buy 1 million USWeb/CKS shares for $27.59 each at any time over the next five years. USWeb rocketed 4 1/8 to 34 3/4 in after-hours trading on

Island ECN

(see below).

Separately, Microsoft has factored into its budget $3.8 billion for research and development in fiscal 2000, a 36% increase from $2.8 billion in fiscal 1999, according to documents filed today.



warned investors that, although third-quarter earnings are in line with analysts' consensus estimates of 32 cents a share, it expects to post a 1% decline in sales, citing slow economic conditions and unfavorable exchange rates in Latin America and Western Europe.

After-Hours Markets

Many stocks took their cue from the Boss and danced in the dark in Island ECN's after-hours trading. Fiery

Foundry Networks


, hot off today's IPO, was up 10 1/2, while USWeb was up 4 1/8.

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Global Crossing








were all up more than a point on the exchange.

Elsewhere in cyberspace,


toyed around with leader

Toys "R" Us


, unchanged on 2,000 shares.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Prior to Sept. 15 Island offered trading from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT


MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter'sundefinedDiscover Brokerage and Mellon Bank'sundefinedDreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Monday through Thursday.

updates the most active issues on both MarketXT and Island ECN in Got a Minute? and in the Evening Update.


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

Basset Furniture


reported third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, missing the four-analyst estimate of 37 cents and the year-ago 28 cents.



warned investors that it would post a greater loss for its fourth-quarter than the three-analyst consensus estimate of a 15-cent loss. The company blamed delays in obtaining export licenses and softer sales for the disappointing results.

M.S. Carriers


said it is on track to meet the third-quarter analysts' consensus earnings estimate of 64 cents a share.



blamed weak financial performance at two operations for disappointing third-quarter and second half results. The company said that it expects to report a loss for fiscal 1999, greatly missing the analyst estimate of a 54-cent gain.



warned investors that it expects to post third-quarter earnings between 5 and 15 cents a share, greatly below the 15-analyst estimate of a 49-cent profit, citing price competition and increased claims in its commercial and personal divisions.



warned investors that it would post $1.7 million third-quarter revenue loss, with results falling below the analysts' consensus estimate of 52 cents a share. The company cited computer database problems for the weak results.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

CIT Group


said it had been awarded


approval for its planned acquisition of Canada's

Newcourt Credit Group

in a stock deal valued at $2.7 billion.



said it is considering selling its natural gas distribution division. The company announced in June that it would separate its business divisions including baseload generation, peaking units, gas operations, electric transmission and distribution and marketing in order to comply with a new Ohio law that disallows energy companies from grouping their businesses.

Ralston Purina


announced its plans to sell its

Energizer Power Systems Original Equipment Manufacturer

division to Tucson, Ariz., based-tech company


, for an undisclosed amount. The deal will be completed by October.

Wells Fargo


said it forged a $240 million agreement to purchase

Ragen McKenzie


, in an effort to increase its financial services. The transaction calls for Wells Fargo to issue $18.75 worth of common stock for each share of Ragen McKenzie, about a 6% premium to today's closing price of $17.63. Wells Fargo said its own stock price could alter the price of the deal.

Offerings and stock actions

JDS Uniphase


set a 2-for-1 stock split.


(NTSL:Nasdaq) 3.7 million-share IPO priced top-range at $13 a share through

BancBoston Robertson Stephens



(SPNX:Nasdaq) 8 million-share IPO priced below-range at $14.50 a share through

Credit Suisse First Boston


WMS Industries


said that it has axed plans for its planned 3.5 million-share secondary offering. The company blamed current market conditions for the cancellation and said that it does not feel that its shares' current market price indicates the actual value of the stock.


American Home Products


validated reports that it has been negotiating for months to arrive at a national settlement with former fen-phen users. The controversial diet pill, which can contribute to potential heart valve damage, has sparked 4,100 lawsuits from former users alleging that they were not full warned of the drug's side effects of the





Filene's Basement


announced its plans to shut down 17 of its 49 stores, in an effort to regain profits. The retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, said roughly 400 full-time employees, which account for 1/4 of its workforce, could be left out of work as a result of the closings. Filene's expects to close the stores by the end of the year.

Material Sciences


said that it has arrived at an agreement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

regarding a probe into accounting irregularities in April 1997. Material Sciences complied with a cease and desist order and neither admitted nor denied the SEC's findings.