Xerox Reports Solid Earnings, Sets Stock Split

Plus earnings reports from Halliburton, Tellabs, McKesson HBOC and more.
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Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.69 a share, 2 cents ahead of the 13-analyst

First Call

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

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

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.

MTS Systems

(MTSC) - Get Report

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.

NPC International

(NPCI)

posted third-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst prediction and above the year-ago 12 cents.

Raynoier

(RYN) - Get Report

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.

Trans-Industries

(TRNI)

forecast that its fourth-quarter earnings will exceed year-ago results of 26 cents a share. No estimates were available.

Ventana Medical Systems

(VMSI)

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

GTE

(GTE) - Get Report

has retained

Bear Stearns

to help it sell its government systems unit, which accounts for 5% of GTE's revenue.

Medtronic

(MDT) - Get Report

said the exchange ratio for its proposed merger with

Sofamor Danek

(SDG) - Get Report

has been set at 1.65 MDT shares for each Sofamor share.

PepsiCo

(PEP) - Get Report

said it will transfer several bottling operations to

Whitman

(WH) - Get Report

, 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

Frito Lay

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.

Regis

(RGIS)

agreed to merge with

Barbers Hairstyling for Men & Women

(BBHF)

. 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.

TRW

(TRW)

is on the verge of agreeing to a merger with

LucasVarity

(LVA)

, according to

Dow Jones

. LucasVarity rejected a buyout offer from

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

today .

Offerings and stock actions

Delia*s

(DLIA)

filed with regulators for an IPO of $46 million of shares in its Internet unit,

iTurf

. The offering is expected to be completed in the spring by

BT Alex. Brown

,

CIBC Oppenheimer

and

Hambrecht & Quist

. iTurf provides online community and electronic commerce services for the 10-to-24 age bracket.

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

filed for a secondary offering of up to 35 million shares.

Kansas City Life Insurance

(KCLI)

said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split, subject to shareholder approval at its April 22 annual meeting.

Miscellany

Cendant

(CD)

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

CUC International

, which combined with

HFS

to form Cendant in December 1997.

Finlay Enterprises

(FNLY)

said chairman David Cornstein plans to retire from running the day-to-day operations of the jeweler, effective Jan. 31.

Lucent

(LU)

,

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

and

ASM Lithography Holding

(ASMLF)

announced their intention to cooperate in accelerating the development of SCALPEL electron beam lithography.

The

Nasdaq Stock Market

said the

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.

Sunterra

(OWN)

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.