Williams Cos. Delays Earnings Pending Spinoff Results

PNC Financial is forced to restate earnings; Tyco slides after reports of a $20 million fee to an outside director; plus more of today's stocks in the news

Williams Cos. (WMB ) says Tuesday's planned release of 2001 results has been delayed pending internal assessment of the company's contingent obligations related to Williams Communications Group. The company sees $2.35 2001 "recurring" EPS, including a $0.12 Enron-related charge.

PNC Financial (PNC ) was halted after saying it expects 2001 EPS to be reduced by about $0.53 as result of a consolidation of three units of a third party financial institution in which PNC has preferred interests. PNC says the deal should not impact 2002 results. The company is being forced to restate its earnings after a Federal Reserve review raised questions about its accounting principles.

According to press reports, Tyco (TYC ) paid $20M to an outside director and a charity he controls in return for his help in brokering an acquisition. S&P keeps buy. Merrill is defending Tyco, and reiterates strong buy.

Merck (MRK ) plans an initial public offering of a portion of Merck-Medco, its pharmacy benefits management unit, by mid-2002. The company sees 2002 EPS at the same level as 2001, and its core pharmaceutical business to deliver double-digit EPS growth in 2003.

Texas Instruments (TXN ) posted a $0.06 fourth quarter loss per share vs. $0.31 EPS (pro forma) on a 41% revenue decline. The company expects first quarter revenue about level with the fourth quarter. Merrill and Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares. S&P keeps accumulate.

Black & Decker (BDK ) posted $0.72 vs. $0.64 fourth quarter EPS from operations despite 3% lower sales. The company expects first quarter sales to be down from a year ago, and EPS of $0.30-$0.35, including new goodwill accounting standard.

Honeywell (HON ) posted $0.55 vs. $0.70 fourth quarter EPS on 9% lower sales. The company sees $2.36 2002 EPS, including new goodwill accounting.

Gillette (G ) posted $0.32 vs. $0.33 fourth quarter EPS from operations 3% lower sales (excluding forex).

American Superconductor (AMSC ) posted a $0.53 3Q loss vs. a $0.20 loss on 37% revenue decline, saying orders of D-SMES solutions have been delayed. The company cuts its $8M-$10M fiscal 2002 SMES revenue guidance to $2M-$6M. Merrill downgraded.

USA Networks (USAI ) posted $0.10 vs. $0.09 fourth quarter cash EPS from operationss (pro forma) on 8.7% revenue rise.

Expedia (EXPE ) posted better than expected $0.31 second quarter EPS before non-cash, non-recurring items on 84% revenue rise, and posted $0.08 GAAP EPS. Prudential upgraded. CIBC World raised estimates and target.

Intersil Corp. (ISIL ) announced that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has selected its Endura ICs to power Samsung's next generation notebooks.

Coca-Cola Co. (KO ) posted $0.37 vs. $0.10 fourth quarter EPS from operations on a 4% revenue rise. The company sees 2002 currency neutral EPS from operations growing in line with 11%-12% long-term expectations, S&P maintains accumulate.

Expedia Inc. (EXPE ) posted better than expected $0.31 second quarter EPS before non- cash, non-recurring items on 84% revenue rise. The company posted $0.08 GAAP EPS. Prudential upgraded the shares. CIBC World raised its estimates and price target.

Stryker (SYK ) posted $0.40 vs. $0.33 fourth quarter op EPS on a 16% revenue rise. S&P upgraded the shares to buy.

C.R. Bard (BCR ) posted $0.74 vs. $0.16 (including items) fourth quarter EPS on an 8% sales rise. Bard says net income trends remain solid and predictable.

Prudential upgraded Intimate Brands (IBI ) and Limited Inc. (LTD ) to buy from hold.

United Parcel Service (UPS ) posted $0.57 vs. $0.63 fourth quarter EPS despite a 2.4% revenue rise. The company says capital spending in 2002 will total less than $2 billion, down from $2.4 billion in 2001.

AT&T Wireless (AWE ) posted a $0.14 fourth quarter loss from continuing operations vs. $0.18 EPS on a 19% revenue rise. The company notes the impact from net gains in the 2000 fourth quarter, and a decrease in net equity earnings from investments in the fourth quarter of 2001. The company sees low 30%s 2002 EBTIDA growth.

Qwest Communications (Q ) posted a $0.07 fourth quarter loss vs. $0.16 EPS (pro forma) on 6.3% revenue rise. It trimmed its $4.2B-$4.3B 2002 capital expenditures forecast to $4.0B-$4.2B, and expects to be free cash flow positive starting in second quarter of 2002.

Morgan Stanley downgraded Ceridian (CEN ) to underperform from neutral. The firm believes Ceridian's EPS turnaround will be postponed. Morgan Stanley also downgraded Automatic Data Processing (ADP ) to underperform from neutral.

Research In Motion (RIMM ) says AT&T Wireless will offer its corporate customers new model of BlackBerry Wireless Handheld that provides ability to place phone calls over AWE's advanced GSM/GPRS network.

TicketMaster (TMCS ) posted 42% higher fourth quarter EBITDA and $0.06 vs. $0.02 cash EPS on 11% revenue rise.

Therma-Wave (TWAV ) posted a $0.45 third quarter loss vs. $0.49 EPS on an 81% revenue decline Gross margins were 13.9% vs. 51.5% a year ago. Therma-Wave expects fourth quarter revenues to be flat to up by 20%. Banc of America downgraded.

Airgas (ARG ) CEO Peter McCausland says he entered a variable share forward contract to sell up to 1.2M shares.

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