reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.69 a share, 2 cents ahead of the 13-analyst
outlook and above the year-ago $1.46. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split, approved a 11% dividend increase and said it sees stronger European and Japanese currencies helping its 1999 earnings. Xerox said it expects earnings growth in the mid to high teens for the next few years and that 2,200 employees left the company under a fourth-quarter restructuring plan.
In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
reported third-quarter earnings of 56 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst forecast and up from the year-ago 43 cents. The company said it is on course to meet its fiscal 2000 profit target of $3 a share; the four-analyst estimate calls for $3.01.
reported first-quarter net earnings of 15 cents a share, including charges. The three-analyst forecast called for operating earnings of 24 cents vs. the year-ago 22 cents.
posted third-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst prediction and above the year-ago 12 cents.
reported fourth-quarter earnings of 57 cents per share, excluding one-time items, down from 70 cents a year-ago but ahead of the seven-analyst consensus of 49 cents. However, the company said it will be "difficult" for first-quarter results to match those of the December period; the six-analyst estimate is 60 cents.
forecast that its fourth-quarter earnings will exceed year-ago results of 26 cents a share. No estimates were available.
Ventana Medical Systems
warned its fourth-quarter earnings will fall slightly below the four-analyst view of 13 cents a share because of increased sales expense accruals, higher costs related to integrating acquisitions and increasing reserves for doubtful accounts. The company made 5 cents in the year-ago period.
In other earnings news:
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
to help it sell its government systems unit, which accounts for 5% of GTE's revenue.
said the exchange ratio for its proposed merger with
has been set at 1.65 MDT shares for each Sofamor share.
said it will transfer several bottling operations to
, its largest independent bottler, for around $300 million to realign bottling territories and create a new Pepsi-Cola bottler in which Pepsi will hold a 35% stake. Pepsi also said it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 24 cents a share after charges and that its
division will take $120 million in charges to close four plants. The 15-analyst forecast called for fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents compared with the year-earlier 29 cents. Whitman -- which plans to buy back up to 16 million shares of stock after the Pepsi deal -- reported fourth-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, in line with the 12-analyst estimate and above the year-ago loss of 15 cents.
agreed to merge with
Barbers Hairstyling for Men & Women
. Under terms of the stock-swap agreement, Barbers shareholders would receive $12.77 per share; the stock closed today at 11 1/2. Earlier, Regis reported second-quarter earnings of 41 cents per share, up from 33 cents a year ago and the eight-analyst consensus of 40 cents.
is on the verge of agreeing to a merger with
, according to
. LucasVarity rejected a buyout offer from
Offerings and stock actions
filed with regulators for an IPO of $46 million of shares in its Internet unit,
. The offering is expected to be completed in the spring by
BT Alex. Brown
Hambrecht & Quist
. iTurf provides online community and electronic commerce services for the 10-to-24 age bracket.
filed for a secondary offering of up to 35 million shares.
Kansas City Life Insurance
said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split, subject to shareholder approval at its April 22 annual meeting.
filed a lawsuit against its auditors,
Ernst & Young
, seeking to recover damages of $700 million sustained in a class-action suit against the marketing firm. The suit, of course, stemmed from Cendant's acknowledgement in April 1998 of accounting irregularities at
, which combined with
to form Cendant in December 1997.
said chairman David Cornstein plans to retire from running the day-to-day operations of the jeweler, effective Jan. 31.
ASM Lithography Holding
announced their intention to cooperate in accelerating the development of SCALPEL electron beam lithography.
Nasdaq Stock Market
Securities and Exchange Commission
approved its request to expand to 15 minutes from five minutes the pretrading initial quotation window for IPOs. The rule will be effective tomorrow.
said it plans to take fourth-quarter charges of $3.1 million, including asset write-downs, to pay for a realignment that will eventually result in the closure of offices in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Mateo, Calif. Sunterra was expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, according to the eight-analyst consensus.