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Roundup: Global Crossing, Newbridge top estimates

Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GBLX) posted a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss.

After market close Tuesday, the communications provider reported a first quarter loss of $279.4 million, or 36 cents per share. First Call consensus predicted a loss of 43 cents per share.

First quarter revenue increased to $1.12 billin, up 5 percent sequentially. Data revenue rose 27 percent to $519.2 million.

Telecom revenue gained 7 percent to $860 million, with high sales to business offsetting lower consumer sales. Local telephone operations, which Global Crossing acquired when it bought Frontier Corp. last year, had revenues of $187 million, essentially unchanged from the fourth quarter.

Global Crossing said on Monday it had hired investment bankers to help it explore the possibility of selling the local business. The move, which has been widely expected, could fetch up to $4 billion, analysts said.

The company plans to launch an initial public offering of a tracking stock for GlobalCenter and have an IPO for its Asia Global Crossing business. Both offerings are expected to be completed this summer.

Due to its recent offering of common and preferred shares, as well as its planned IPOs, Global Crossing said it will have enough funding to fuel its spending plans through the end of this year. If it sells its local telephone operations, it would be fully funded through the end of 2001, executives said.

Capital spending for Global Crossing and its various partnerships will be about $6 billion this year. Capital spending should drop by about one-third in 2001.

Global Crossing said it doesn't plan to offer wireless services on its own, but it may provide broadband capacity -- transmitting voice and data services around the world -- for other wireless carriers.

Other companies reporting quarterly results Tuesday:

S1 (Nasdaq: SONE) topped estimates in the first quarter.

The provider of software and services for online banks reported a first quarter operating loss of $110.8 million, or $2.20 per share. First Call consensus predicted a loss of $2.26 per share.

First quarter revenue increased 320 percent year-over-year to $50.4 million from $12 million. License revenue rose 364 percent. Services revenue gained 345 percent. Data center revenue rose 127 percent.

Perot Systems (NYSE: PER) edged past the consensus estimate in the first quarter.

The IT services firm reported first quarter net income of $18.9 million, or 17 cents per share, excluding one-time items. Analyst consensus called for a profit of 16 cents per share, according to Zack's Investment Research.

Revenue in the first quarter was $274.6 million, about the same as the year ago period. Perot signed $355 million in long-term contracts during the first quarter.

ECI Telecom (Nasdaq: ECIL) beat the consensus forecast by a penny in the first quarter.

Excluding one-time events, the communications equipment vendor earned $31 million, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $288.2 million in the first quarter. First Call consensus predicted a profit of 33 cents per share.

Including a non-recurring gain of $31 million from the sale of Terayon Communications Systems (Nasdaq: TERN) stock, restructuring costs of $14.9 million, and in-process R&D expenses of $87.3 million related to the acquisition of Tadiran, ECI earned $61.6 million or 66 cents per share.

Newbridge Networks (NYSE: NN) looks like it's going to make its final a quarter as an independent company a good one.

Late Tuesday, the network-equipment maker said its fourth-quarter earnings will come in between 20 cents to 25 cents a share, well above the First Call estimate of 14 cents a share.

In two weeks, shareholders will vote to approve its proposed sale to French telecom giant Alcatel.

Alcatel shareholders will vote the same day on an all-stock deal which was valued at $7.1 billion when announced February 23.

Newbridge, which reports the rest of its fourth-quarter results in Canadian dollars, expects sales of more than C$600 million in the quarter ended April 30, up from C$457 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Its shares closed up 3 1/2 to a 52-week high of 39 15/16 Tuesday.

-- Larry Barrett contributed to this report.>