WorldCom Meets Street's Lowered Expectations

WorldCom Inc. (WCOM ) posted $0.20 vs. $0.31 Q4 EPS as higher costs offset a 15% revenue rise. The company reiterated its $1.55-$1.65 2001 cash EPS guidance.

Wal-Mart (WMT ) posted 6% higher January total company same store sales, and 13% higher total sales.

QLT Inc. (QLTI ) and Novartis' eye health unit announced results that showed Visudyne therapy reduces risk of vision loss in a new population of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration.

Electronic Data (EDS ) posted $0.70 vs. $0.61 Q4 EPS from operations on a 14% revenue rise. S&P maintained its accumulate ranking.

AT&T (T ) CEO C. Michael Armstrong threatened to pull the plug on its nascent efforts to secure a foothold in the local phone service market in New York and Texas, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Unilever (UN ) posted 31% higher operating profit on 19% higher sales.

British Telecom (BTY ) posted 0.46 GBP vs. 0.80 GBP earnings per ADR, despite 11% higher revenues.

Ann Taylor (ANN ) sees $0.18 Q4 EPS (excluding charge), and $1.95 fiscal 2001 EPS on 14% revenue rise. The apparel company says it did not achieve a pre-holiday sell through on an incremental investment in occasion merchandise, and posted 14% lower January same store sales.

General Semiconductor (SEM ) posted $0.26 vs. $0.23 Q4 EPS on a 6.3% sales rise. The chipmaker sees $0.18-$0.20 Q1 EPS from operations, and a 6%-9% Q1 sequential revenue decline.

Sears Roebuck (S ) posted 2.6% higher January comparable domestic sales, and 3.9% higher total domestic sales.

Cendant (CD ) posted $0.20 vs. $0.18 Q4 EPS (adjusted) despite a 12% revenue decline. The company raised its projected 2001 EPS from continuing operations to $0.93.

Mandalay Resort (MGB ) says Q4 EPS will approximate year ago's $0.01, and its operational cash flow will be up roughly 15%. The company cites adverse weather and lower than expected results in some properties, as well as higher interest expense and depreciation.

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL ) posted $0.52 vs. $0.33 Q3 EPS on a 20% revenue rise. The fashion retailer sees $0.42-$0.44 Q4 EPS on a 15% revenue rise, and sees $1.93-$1.98 fiscal 2002 EPS on 5%-7% revenue growth as well as improved gross margins and lower operational costs.

Talbots (TLB ) posted a 4.1% January same store sales rise and a 34% total sales rise. The classic apparel company sees $0.49-$0.51 Q4 EPS vs. the consensus $0.48 and also sees higher total domestic sales.

Kmart (K ) posted 4.3% higher January same store sales and 4.3% higher total sales.

Safeco (SAFC ) cut its quarterly dividend 50% to $0.185 and says it will make a series of "tough decisions" in the coming months.

Robertson Stephens downgraded Aether Systems (AETH ) to long term attractive from buy, and SG Cowen cut its rating to neutral from buy. On Wednesday the company posted a $0.90 Q4 loss vs. a $0.18 loss as higher costs offset a sharp revenue rise.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF ) posted flat January same store sales, and 63% higher total sales.

Gottschalks (GOT ) posted 7.8% higher January same store sales, and 35% higher total sales. The results exclude the additional week in January 2001.

Watchguard Technology (WGRD ) posted $0.03 Q4 EPS vs. a $0.14 per share loss (pro forma) on a sharp revenue rise. UBS Warburg maintained its buy rating. Pacific Crest downgraded the stock to buy from strong buy.

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