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Stocks to Watch Friday: Nordstrom, Belo, Newport, Wachovia

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  • M&A
  • Earnings/revenue
  • Analyst actions
  • Offerings/stock actions
  • Updated from 1:56 p.m. EDT

    Bank of America (BAC) said it would cut between 9,000 and 10,000 jobs, or close to 7% of its 150,000 employees, over the next year to reduce costs and kick-start growth.

    The company, which has $680 billion in assets, said the move would result in a third-quarter layoff-related charge of up to $500 million. The bank said most of the cuts will be in middle- and senior management.

    TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom wrote about the layoffs in a story earlier today.


    Nortel (NT) is paying $7.8 billion worth of stock to buy Alteon WebSystems (ATON), which develops content-switching technology that enables Web site operators to process, track and direct Internet traffic.

    Nortel said the purchase will help it better integrate Internet data centers with its high-performance optical and wireless network equipment. Under terms of the agreement, Alteon shareholders will receive 1.83148 Nortel common shares for each share of Alteon. Yesterday, Nortel and Corning (GLW) disclosed that they had broken off talks for the sale of Nortel's optical-components business to Corning in a deal that potentially was worth $100 billion.


    Nordstrom (JWN) warned that its second-quarter earnings will come 12 cents to 16 cents a share below a 22-analyst estimate of 55 cents a share. The company attributed the missed target to lower-than-expected sales, above-plan markdowns and promotional activities. It said increased selling and other expenses also contributed to the earnings shortfall.

    After the announcement, Banc of America cut the stock to market perform from buy and cut its 2000 EPS to $1.35 from $1.73 a share.

    For more, check out the story on Nordstrom's warning by TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom.


    After Thursday's closing bell, iVillage (IVIL), a provider of women's content online, announced its losses. The company, whose stock has been hit in recent months, posted a second-quarter loss of 94 cents a share, greater than the seven-analyst prediction of an 88-cent loss and the year-ago 63-cent loss. The company blamed a reorganization of its accounts due to a change in strategy, Reuters reported. Earlier this month, iVillage sold its iBaby e-commerce operations.

    Additionally, iVillage named its president, Doug McCormick, to the position of chief executive. He replaces Candice Carpenter, who will become chairman.

    It Takes What, Again?
    iVillage, one year

    Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

    EMI Group and MP3.com (MPPP) settled a copyright infringement suit by entering into a nonexclusive, North American licensing agreement that lets MP3 use EMI-controlled recordings on its software services. MP3 entered into settlements with Time Warner's (TWX) Warner Music Group and Bertlesmann's BMG Entertainment over copyright infringement suits. In January, EMI and Time Warner announced plans to create the world's largest music company. EMI shareholders approved the merger in June.

    Interpool (IPX), which leases cargo containers, said it's buying the North American intermodal division of Transamerica Finance's Transamerica Leasing unit for about $675 million in cash. The company expects the acquisition to be completed by the end of the year, subject to receipt of financing and of Hart Scott Rodino approval.

    NTL (NTLI) and Virgin Group will split up their Virgin.net joint venture. The deal calls for NTL, which already owns 49% of the unit, to pay 10% cash and the rest in stock for the 51%-stake in Virgin.net's ISP arm owned by Virgin. Also, Virgin will have 100% ownership of the venture's content and commerce business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    SBC (SBC) and Verizon (VZ) put their cable-TV operations up for sale, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report said the companies owned the cable-TV properties as a result of mergers. "They don't strategically fit with what we're doing," a Verizon spokesman told the Journal, while an SBC spokesman said it is "exploring several options for the business, including the outright sale" of its cable-TV properties.

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    Earnings/revenue reports and previews

    LG&E Energy (LGE) posted earnings of 39 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate and the year-ago earnings.

    Viacom (VIA) said it would take one-time charges of about $1.5 billion against second-quarter earnings, covering expenses related to Viacom's acquisition of CBS and new film accounting rules, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing analysts' estimates and a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the company.

    Also, Viacom said it plans to make about $3 billion in merger-related accounting adjustments. A three-analyst estimate currently expects a loss of 6 cents, excluding the one-time items.

    Wisconsin Energy (WEC) posted earnings of 31 cents a share, missing the seven-analyst estimate of 39 cents and down from year-ago earnings of 42 cents. The company said significantly cooler weather, higher purchased-power costs and items related to its acquisition of WICOR were factors contributing to the missed earnings. Wisconsin Energy also warned that full-year earnings would be worse than previously expected.


    After Thursday's Close

    Starbucks (SBUX) served up third-quarter numbers in line with the 20-analyst prediction. The champion of the tall latte posted earnings of 18 cents a share, above the year-ago 13-cent profit.

    Also in line with Wall Street expectations was EDS (EDS). The professional services firm listed a second-quarter profit of 53 cents a share, even with the 15-analyst prediction and above the year-ago earnings of 44 cents a share.

    CDNow (CDNW) posted a loss of 43 cents a share for the second quarter, besting the one-analyst 52-cent loss prediction and above the year-ago loss of 76 cents a share.

    MagneTek (MAG), a maker of electronic parts for voice and data transmission, announced plans to sell its electrical-component operations and predictions for a fourth-quarter loss of about 5 cents a share. Wall Street analysts called for the company to come in at 16 cents a share. MagneTek posts earnings Aug. 25.

    Upside Surprises
    Company Qtr EPS First Call View Yr. Ago EPS Number of Analysts
    ADAC Laboratories (ADAC) 3Q 21c 19c -64c 4
    Allmerica Financial (AFC) 2Q $1.37 $1.36 $1.32 10
    Airgas (ARG) 1Q 15c 12c 14c 6
    Anadarko Petroleum (APC) 2Q 56c 52c 6c 1
    Breakaway Solutions (BWAY) 2Q -2c -4c -9c 11
    Bsquare (BSQR) 2Q 7c 2c 3c 5
    Clarent (CLRN) 2Q 1c -2c -$2.73c 6
    Conectiv (CIV) 2Q 48c 27c 31c 5
    Cooper Cameron (CAM) 2Q 36c 35c 24c 23
    Cox Communications (COX) 2Q 17c -8c 90c 3
    Cylink (CYLK) 2Q -20c -25c -10c 2
    Coherent (COHR) 3Q 36c 32c -21c 1
    E-Loan (EELN) 2Q -22c -26c -30c 14
    Eastman Chemical (EMN) 2Q $1.28 $1.09 54c 9
    Energy East (NEG) 2Q 43c 36c 39c 7
    Georgia Gulf (GGC) 2Q $1.04 $1.01 15c 7
    Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) 2Q -16c -18c -5c 8
    ICOS (ICOS) 2Q -38c -39c -32c 2
    Newmont Mining (NEM) 2Q 10c 6c 4c 14
    Ocular Sciences (OCLR) 2Q 24c 21c 40c 3
    OpenTv (OPTV) 2Q -7c -9c -3c 2
    Quokka Sports (QKKA) 2Q -43c -46c -50c 7
    Reinsurance Group (RGA) 2Q 64c 60c 56c 5
    STC (STCS) 2Q -21c -24c -14c 2
    Downside Surprises
    Company Qtr EPS First Call View Yr. Ago EPS Number of Analysts
    NiSource (NI) 2Q 18c 22c 18c 9
    Western Digital (WDC) 2Q -19c -17c -90c 7
    In-Line Reports
    Company Qtr EPS First Call View Yr. Ago EPS Number of Analysts
    ACT Manufacturing (ACTM) 2Q 40c 40c 8c 7
    Brightpoint (CELL) 2Q 17c 17c 3c 8
    California Micro Devices (CAMD) 1Q 12c 12c -9c 1
    Crompton (CK) 2Q 36c 36c 56c 7
    Solutia (SOI) 2Q 32c 32c 61c 9
    Spacelabs Medical (SLMD) 2Q -33c -33c 27c 3

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    Analyst actions

    EarthLink (ELNK) beat analysts' estimates yesterday, but was cut to neutral from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and buy from strong buy at ING Barings.

    Upgrades

    Allergan (AGN): UP to outperform from neutral at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

    Hotjobs.com (HOTJ): 2000 EPS view UP to a $1.03 loss from a $1.28 loss at PaineWebber.

    Newport (NEWP): UP to strong buy from buy at Wit Soundview.

    Noble Drilling (NE): 2000 EPS view up to $1.27 from $1.19 at PaineWebber.

    J.C. Penney (JCP): UP to buy from attractive at PaineWebber. The upgrade comes on the heels of the appointment of Allen Questrom, formerly CEO of Barneys, as chief executive.

    Scientific-Atlanta (SFA): UP near-term buy from accumulate at Merrill Lynch.

    USX-Marathon (MRO): UP to market outperformer from performer at Goldman Sachs.

    VerticalNet (VERT): price target UP to 80 from 60 at W.R. Hambrecht; 2000 EPS up to a loss of 86 cents from a loss of 87 cents and 2001 EPS up to 7 cents from a loss of 1 cent.

    Downgrades

    Amazon.com (AMZN): DOWN to market perform from buy.

    Cox Communications (COX): DOWN to near-term accumulate from buy at Merrill Lynch.

    DSL.net (DSLN): DOWN to market perform from buy at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

    eToys (ETYS): DOWN to market outperformer from trading buy at Goldman Sachs.

    MGIC Investment (MTG): DOWN to attractive from buy at PaineWebber.

    National Information Consortium (EGOV): DOWN to buy from strong buy at Credit Suisse First Boston.

    Scientific Atlanta (SFA): 2001 EPS UP to 1.40 from 1.15 at Merrill Lynch.

    Initiations

    Concurrent Computer (CCUR): NEW outperform at Morgan Stanley.

    Harley-Davidson (HDI): NEW market outperformer at Goldman Sachs.

    Kenneth Cole (KCP): NEW buy at Banc of America.

    MapInfo (MAPS): NEW buy at ABN Amro; price target: 55.

    Group Moves

    UBS Warburg started coverage on five retailers:

    • Wal-Mart (WMT): NEW hold; price target: 65.

    • Kohl's (KSS): NEW buy; price target: 80.

    • Costco (COST): NEW hold; price target: 36.

    • Kmart (KM): NEW reduce.

    • Target (TGT): NEW hold; price target: 34.

    Back to top

    Offerings and stock actions

    Nokia (NOK) said it will repurchase up to 36 million, or less than 1%, of its 4.86 billion outstanding shares starting Aug. 4. The company said the repurchased shares will be used for several purposes, including to finance business acquisitions and further develop the company's capital structure.

    Avici (AVCI) 7-million-share IPO soared, shooting up more than 200%, or 63, to 94.

    Belo (BLC) announced it will repurchase up to 25 million shares, or about 21% of its outstanding stock. The company has bought back 1.3 million shares since June as part of a previous buyback.

    Lexent (LXNT) was trading up $6 after its $15-a-share IPO of 6 million shares.

    LSI Logic (LSI) announced that its board has approved a 5 million share buyback.

    NeoPoint withdrew its $75 million IPO, citing unfavorable market conditions. The company, which makes SmartPhones that integrate voice, data transmission and Web access services, counts Siemens as one of its major backers. The offering was to be handled by Merrill Lynch, Chase Hambrecht & Quist, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. NeoPoint had applied for a Nasdaq listing under the symbol "NEOI."

    Tripath Tech's initial public offering was cut to 5 million shares at $10 to $12 a share from 7.5 million shares at $12 to $14 a share. The company applied for a Nasdaq listing under the symbol "TRPH."

    Wachovia's (WB) board declared a third-quarter dividend of 60 cents a share, up 11% from the 54 cents a share paid in the previous quarter and in the year-ago quarter.

    Waste Connections (WCNX) announced an offering of 3.5 million shares.


    After Thursday's Close

    Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) priced an initial public offering of 6 million shares above the estimated price range, at $18. The stock was lately up 3 7/16, or about 19%.

    Long-distance equipment manufacturer Corvis (CORV) priced its 31.625-million share IPO above the estimated price range, at $36 a share. The stock shot up close to 120%, or 43 to 79.

    Illumina (ILMN) priced a 6 million-share IPO at $16, above its estimated price range. Illumina was also up triple digits. It was lately up 110%.

    Direct marketer of computers Insight Enterprises (NSIT) announced plans for a 3-for-2 stock split.

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