Company Report: Big Gains 'Applied' to Semiconductor Stocks

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Semiconductor stocks put on a show of strength today, as the sector got a boost from earnings previews and positive research. Applied Micro Circuits (AMCC) popped 19, or 7.7%, to 266 1/16 after it was raised to intermediate-term buy from intermediate-term accumulate at Merrill Lynch.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

jumped 7 15/16, or 9%, to 95 7/8 after

Credit Suisse First Boston

raised its price target to 125 from 112. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

jumped 2.3%.

Among three IPO's that debuted today,

Universal Access

(UAXS)

took first place for largest percentage gain. Shares popped 23, or 164.2%, to 37. The Chicago-based telecommunications company buys and sells unused network capacity.

Goldman Sachs

priced 11 million shares at $14 each, above the estimated range of $11-$13. The company buys and sells unused network capacity. See offerings and stock actions for more IPO results.

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

America Online

(AOL)

added 2 1/4 to 64 1/4 after it and

Bertelsmann

of Germany said they are restructuring their interests in AOL Europe and AOL Australia. Using put and call mechanisms, AOL would ultimately buy out Bertelsmann's share of the interests at a cost of $6.75 billion to $8.25 billion, if the options are exercised. Payment in either cash or stock at AOL's discretion would be made after Jan. 31, 2002.

The companies also set a new global alliance to expand distribution of Bertelsmann's media content and e-commerce properties over AOL's brands worldwide. Under a four-year pact which is valued at $250 million, Bertelsmann will become a preferred provider of media content and e-commerce to the more than 23 million members of AOL's interactive services and over 135 million consumers of its Web-based brands.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Cruise line giant

Carnival

(CCL) - Get Report

shed 5 1/8, or 19.3%, to 21 3/8 after it and Malaysia's

Star Cruises

decided to end their previously announced joint venture to buy

NCL Holding

for $1 billion. Carnival said it and Star could not agree on the detailed terms of the venture.

Separately, Carnival reported first-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, in line with the 18-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate and up from the year-ago 26 cents. The company warned, however, that weaker ticket pricing due to slower booking patterns, compounded by increased fuel costs, could cause second-quarter profits to be slightly lower than the year-ago second quarter.

The company added, however, that it believes that earnings for the second half of fiscal year 2000 will be stronger and estimates that for the entire fiscal year 2000, earnings will be up 8% to 10% from fiscal year 1999. The 17-analyst estimate calls for the company to earn 37 cents in the second quarter.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Complete Business Solutions

(CBSI)

, an information-technology services concern, climbed 2 13/16, or 11.8%, to 26 3/4 after it unveiled a new e-business expansion strategy, which will be helped out by $200 million of growth capital from a fund managed by

Clayton Dubilier & Rice

.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

rose 13/16 to 44 5/8 after saying it is buying the Land Rover sport utility unit from German luxury automaker

BMW

for almost $3 billion.

lastminute.com

(LMIN)

, which went public this week, lost 1/8 to 30 7/8 after it said it will provide

NTL

(NTLI)

with content for its interactive shopping and travel channels.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Acclaim Entertainment

(AKLM)

lost 15/16, or 19.2%, to 3 15/16 after it said it sees second-quarter and full-year 2000 earnings and revenues below expectations due to slow sales in hardware, consoles and game software. The company said it sees a net loss of about $20 million for the quarter and a loss of about $50 million for the year.

Active Voice

(ACVC)

, a provider of messaging and computer telephony software solutions, warned that because of decreased concern over the Y2K issue, it was experiencing lower-than-anticipated revenue during its fiscal fourth-quarter and expects to report a loss of between 50 cents and 70 cents a share. The four-analyst estimate called for the company to post a profit of 16 cents a share. Active Voice shed 39 13/16, or 61.3%, to25 3/16.

American Xtal Technology

(AXTI) - Get Report

lost 2 7/16, or 7.5%, to 30 1/16 after it said its fourth-quarter earnings will not meet already lowered expectations and also said it will restate its results for the year's first three quarters. The company now expects to report a fourth-quarter profit of 5 cents to 8 cents a share because of higher-than-expected losses at its Lyte Optronics unit. The current five-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 14 cents a share.

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

lost 3 5/8, or 10.1%, to 32 1/8 after it posted third-quarter earnings last night. The results were above estimates despite a decline in sales, partly because of the dollar's strength against the euro. The company reported third-quarter earnings of 52 cents a share, 2 cents better than the 13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 44 cents. Total revenue fell 1% to $2.162 billion from $2.177 billion a year earlier. European revenue fell 7%, to $558.5 million, hurt by a rising dollar against the common European currency.

Rayonier

(RYN) - Get Report

lost 2 to 40 7/16 after it said it sees first-quarter earnings beating the seven-analyst estimate of 53 cents, possibly by 15 cents to 20 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

added 3/16 to 53 3/16 after it said it will list its wireless tracking stock on the

New York Stock Exchange

following an IPO expected this spring.

Carolina First

(CAFC)

slipped 1/8 to 14 3/4 after it said it was rescinding its share repurchase program in order to satisfy requirements for its $300 million acquisition of

Anchor Financial

(AFSC)

. Anchor slipped 3/4 to 31 1/16.

Cysive

(CYSV)

lost 3 3/8 to 85 3/8 after it said a secondary offering of 3 million shares was priced at $87 a share. Of the shares being offered, 1.5 million are from Cysive and 1.5 million are from certain stockholders.

Robertson Stephens

priced 4.6 million shares of

Integrated Information Systems

(IISX)

at $15 each, above the expected $12-$14 range. Integrated Information gained 5 15/16, or 39.6%, to 20 15/16.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

priced 8 million shares of

Netpliance

(NPLI)

at $18 each, the top of the estimated $17 to $18 range. Netpliance netted 4 1/16, or 22.6%, to 22 1/16.

Analyst actions

Bear Stearns

cut its earnings-per-share outlook for the first and second quarters on

Gateway

(GTW)

. Bear maintained its buy rating on the stock. Gateway gained 2 15/16, or 5.3%, to 58 15/16 despite the news.

>

Adobe Systems

(ADBE) - Get Report

fell 6 3/4, or 7.2%, to 87 11/16: Price target UP to 120 from 90 at Banc of America.

Aetna

(AET)

inched up 3/8 to 54: NEW buy at

J.P. Morgan

; price target: 90.

American Tower

(AMT) - Get Report

climbed 5 3/4, or 12.8%, to 50 3/4: REITERATED buy at

Lehman Brothers

; price target up to 58 from 55.

Beckman Coulter

(BEC)

slipped 9/16 to 58 5/8: UP to buy from outperform at

Lehman Brothers

; price target UP to 72 from 60.

Bemis

(BMS) - Get Report

lost 7/8 to 32 15/16: UP to strong buy from buy at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

.

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

rose 3/8 to 24 3/4: DOWN to intermediate-term accumulate from buy at Merrill Lynch due to "strong absolute and relative price performance."

British Telecommunications

(BTY)

dropped 8 3/4 to 193 1/4: NEW buy at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

.

Career Education

(CECO) - Get Report

climbed 3 1/4, or 10.4%, to 34 3/8: REITERATED strong buy at CSFB.

Columbia/HCA

(COL)

slipped 7/8 to 24 1/16: NEW recommended list at Goldman Sachs.

Cumulus Media

(CMLS) - Get Report

lost 3 7/8, or 22.9%, to 13 1/16: DOWN to market performer from strong buy at

Banc of America

.

Fairchild Semiconductor

(FCS)

climbed 5, or 15.7%, to 36 7/8: price target UP to 52 from 48 at CSFB.

Forest Laboratories

(FRX)

fell 3 3/8 to 80 1/4 : DOWN to hold from buy at

ING Barings

.

Health Management Associates

(HMA)

gained 1 1/4, or 10.1%, to 13 5/8: NEW market outperform at

Goldman Sachs

.

Hispanic Broadcasting

(HBCCA)

: DOWN to intermediate-term neutral from intermediate-term accumulate at Merrill Lynch based on valuation. Hispanic Broadcasting slumped 20 5/8, or 16.2%, to 106 7/16.

Jabil Circuit

(JBL) - Get Report

: price target UP to 95 from 82 at CSFB. Jabil fell 4 1/8 to 81 7/8.

KeySpan Energy

(KSE)

: UP to intermediate-term buy from intermediate-term neutral at

Merrill Lynch

. KeySpan Energy advanced 1 3/8, or 5.9%, 24 11/16.

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

: Fourth-quarter earnings estimate UP to 44 cents from 41 cents at

Lehman Brothers

. Nike slipped 3 5/8, or 10.1%, to 32 1/8.

On Assignment

(ASGN) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB. On Assignment fell 2 to 40 5/8.

Province Healthcare

(PRHC)

: NEW buy at

Banc of America

. Province Healthcare climbed 1 27/64, or 5.9%, to 25 31/64.

Quorum Health

(QHGI)

: NEW market perform at Goldman. Quorum Health fell 9/16, or 6%, to 8 13/16.

7-Eleven

(SVEV)

: NEW buy at

Merrill Lynch

. 7-Eleven increased 3/16, or 5.67%, to 3 1/2.

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

: REINSTATED at buy at CSFB; price target SET at 175. Sycamore Networks rose 7 9/16, or 5.5%, to 144 1/2.

Tektronix

(TEK)

: UP to market outperform from perform at Goldman. Tektronix was up 2 7/16 to 66 15/16.

Tenet Healthcare

(THC) - Get Report

: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs. Tenet Healthcare slipped 11/16 to 23 3/16.

Triad Hospitals

(TRIH)

: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs. Triad Hospitals dropped 1/16 to 14 1/16.

Universal Health Services

(UHS) - Get Report

: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs. Universal Health Services fell 1/16 to 41 11/16.

Miscellany

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

reached a settlement with its engineers' union, the

Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace

, that, if ratified, could end the strike that is in its 38th day.

SG Cowen

upgraded Boeing to strong buy from buy. Boeing climbed 1 9/16 to 37 3/16.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

reached an agreement to settle class-action litigation filed by former employees of the company stemming from its sale of its infrastructure division to

Ericsson

(ERICY)

.

Under terms of the settlement, $8.9 million, minus attorneys' fees and costs, will be distributed to more than 1,000 former employees covered by the lawsuit. Qualcomm said that, while agreeing to resolve the suit, it paid nothing toward the settlement, with all payments to be made by third parties. Qualcomm said a final settlement-approval hearing has been scheduled for April 28. Qualcomm lifted 3 3/8 to 136 1/4, while Ericsson dropped 1/16 to 93 9/16.

Tandy

(TAN) - Get Report

said it recently filed a preliminary proxy statement which includes a proposal to change its name officially to that of its electronics retail division, RadioShack. Tandy ascended 3 1/8, or 7.2%, to 46 1/2.

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

said the

Supreme Court

of the State of New York dismissed all claims of television station group

Chris Craft Industries'

(CCN)

unit

BHC Communications

in its litigation over its UPN partnership with Viacom. The ruling cleared the way for completion of Viacom's proposed $37 billion merger with

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

. Viacom was up 2 1/8 to 56 1/2, Chris Craft Industries rose 1 1/2 to 66 1/4 and CBS climbed 1 7/16 to 59 11/16.

Wendy's

(WEN) - Get Report

, the fast-food chain, said its board named John Schuessler as CEO and president effective immediately. Schuessler previously was president and COO of Wendy's U.S. operations. Wendy's founder R. David Thomas continues as senior chairman of the board. Wendy's fell 1 5/16, or 7.2%, to 16 15/16.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

this week, penned as usual by Gene Marcial, reports there's chatter that

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

may make a takeover offer for

Champion International

(CHA) - Get Report

, which has already agreed to be acquired by Finland's

UPM-Kymmene

.

(

TSC's

Jim Cramer

wrote a

piece this morning on Marcial's picks.)

Elsewhere, the column offers up a bullish item on

Snap-On

(SNA) - Get Report

, whose stock some investors say is on the mend.

Also,

Cornerstone Internet Solutions

(CNRS)

gets positive mention in the column.

The column, citing one unidentified big shareholder in Cornerstone, reports that two things will help juice up the company's stock: Cornerstone will soon have a national rollout of its FOODgalaxy.com service, and the company's forming a strategic tie-up with a giant financial-services company to provide credit facilities to subscribers of FOODgalaxy.com. The column says FOODgalaxy.com allows restaurants and other food-service establishments to post lists online of their supply requirements.