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May 04, 2000|Bloomberg News

Not only have earnings been strong this quarter, but earnings surprises have been, well, surprisingly strong. With 87% of the companies in the blue-chip Standard & Poor's 500 index having reported, 72.1% have beaten analysts' consensus, IBES analyst Joseph Kalinowski said in a report Wednesday. Earnings for S&P 500 companies have topped the consensus by 6% on average, he said, versus the historical first-quarter norm of about 3.5%. . . . EMC Corp. (EMC), the leading maker of computer storage systems, said Wednesday it will split its stock 2 for 1 on June 2 for shareholders as of May 19. The stock fell $2.75 to $136.25 on the NYSE, trimming its year-to-date gain to 24.7%. It will be EMC's sixth split since 1992. A person who bought 1,000 shares for $16,500 at the company's initial public offering in April 1986 would own 36,000 shares today valued at about $4.9 million. . . . Charles Schwab Corp. (SCH), the biggest online broker, said it will split its shares 3-for-2 on May 30 for holders of record May 12. The stock rose 50 cents to $45.25 on the Big Board, bringing its year-to-date gain to 18.3%. Schwab shares are down 10.9% in the last 12 months, however, on investor concern about increased competition from full-service brokerages. Still, $10,000 of stock bought at the company's September 1987 IPO would be worth about $800,000, as this will be the company's eighth split in nine years.

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