Company Report: EBAY, VVDIY, VO, MSFT, FON, WCOM, More - TheStreet

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

got hit with two downgrades today, which took the stock down 5 1/4, or 7.7%, to 62 3/4.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

lowered its 2000 EPS estimate for eBay to 15 cents a share from 18 cents today, while

Goldman Sachs

lowered its EPS expectations for the company to 17 cents from 21 cents.

French media group

Vivendi

(VVDIY)

and its pay-television subsidiary

Canal Plus

are in talks with beverage and entertainment giant

Seagram

(VO) - Get Report

about a joint stock-swap bid that would value Seagram at more than $70 a share, or $30.6 billion in stock, according to a report in the

The Wall Street Journal's

online edition. Earlier today, the

Financial Times

reported that Vivendi had resumed talks with Seagram after they collapsed earlier this year over price and management issues. Seagram shares jumped 7 1/8, or 13.4%, to 60 1/8.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Apache

(APA) - Get Report

was 2 1/8 higher to 58 15/16 after it signed a definitive agreement with

Collins & Ware

to acquire long-lived producing properties in the Permian Basin and South Texas for more than $300 million, subject to adjustments.

Closing is expected by June 30, subject to satisfaction of certain approvals and conditions. CFO Roger Plank said, "With this transaction, year to date, Apache has purchased or has under contract total reserves of approximately 126 million barrels of oil equivalent (70% gas) which represent an estimated full-year 2000 reserve replacement of 136% at an average cost of less than $4 per barrel of oil equivalent."

Critical Path

(CPTH)

and

Aether Systems

(AETH)

said they have entered a venture to make and sell wireless messaging devices. According to the terms, Aether, a wireless data systems provider, will enable users to access Critical Path's Web messaging services and will help Critical Path be a reseller of

Research in Motion's

(RIMM)

Blackberry

wireless email services. Critical Path shares were rose 1 5/16 to 46 3/4; Aether Systems were 13/16 higher to 181 13/16; and Research in Motion dropped 7/8 to 45 3/4.

NUI

(NUI)

will acquire

Virginia Gas

(VGCO)

as a wholly-owned subsidiary. NUI shares shed 3/8 to 27 1/4 and Virginia Gas soared 19/32, or 20.4%, to 3 1/2.

Terms of the agreement call for NUI to acquire all of Virginia Gas' common stock for $4 a share in NUI common stock, with the exchange ratio to be established near the time of closing. Based on Virginia Gas' shares outstanding as of March 31, the transaction values Virginia Gas' equity at $22 million.

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

said it entered a pact with

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

that would focus on attracting small-business customers. Office Depot lost 1/16 to 6 13/16, while Microsoft bumped up 2 5/8 to 70 1/2.

The deal calls for Office Depot to be the exclusive product supplier on Microsoft's

bCentral

Web site, which is directed at small businesses. Microsoft also said that it would offer Office Depot's products on

MSNBC.com

,

eShop

and its

WebTV

service.

Executives at

UAL

(UAL) - Get Report

and

US Airways

(U) - Get Report

were questioned by lawmakers yesterday about their plans to merge, with concerns voiced about diminished competition and prospects of a rush of mergers by other large airlines. UAL edged 1 5/16 higher to 55 13/16 while US Airways slipped 3/8 to 42 1/2.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

shares gained 1 1/2 to 60 1/4 after it said that second-quarter revenue is in line with its fiscal 2000 6% to 7% growth forecast and said it would meet the second-quarter and 2000 earnings consensus estimates. For the second quarter, Eastman Kodak said it would post earnings between $1.60 and $1.70 a share, roughly in line with the 10-analyst estimate of a $1.65 profit. The company said fiscal 2000 would come in between $5.50 and $5.80 a share. The 10-analyst estimate calls for a $5.67 profit.

Home improvement and building products company

Masco's

(MAS) - Get Report

shares were unchanged after the company issued an earnings warning today. Masco said it sees second quarter earnings per share of between 41 and 42 cents, 10% below previous forecasts and year 2000 earnings per share of $1.70. The company cited a modest slowdown in sales growth as well as interest rates.

Midas

(MDS)

warned investors that its second-quarter and fiscal 2000 earnings would miss expectations. For the second quarter, the two-analyst estimate saw the company posting a profit of 81 cents a share, and the fiscal 2000 estimate expected Midas to report a $2.46 profit. Midas shares tumbled 4, or 16%, to 21.

Winnebago

(WGO) - Get Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 74 cents a share, topping the four-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 65 cent-profit. Winnebago shares gained 3/16 to 13 1/16.

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Offerings and stock actions

ADC Telecommunications

(ADCT) - Get Report

was off 3/8 to 78 1/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Certicom

(CERT)

, which provides security products for wireless devices, rose 3/4 to 52 5/16 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split and posted fourth-quarter revenue of $4 million, a 156% increase from the year-ago $1.5 million.

Diodes

(DIO)

jumped 10 7/16, or 28%, to 47 7/16 after it set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Banc of America Securities

priced a 1 million share offering for

EntreMed

(ENMD)

at $22 a share. The company's shares lost 3, or 11.6%, to 22 7/8.

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Analyst actions

This morning,

Bear Stearns'

insurance analyst, Michael Smith, lowered his earnings estimate for

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Report

for the second quarter to 65 cents a share from 70 cents and his full-year estimate to $2.75 from $2.80 a share. Smith maintained his attractive rating on the stock.

After meeting with the company's management, Smith said Allstate's second-quarter will likely be affected by higher-than-expected payouts from storms. Allstate shares lost 1 3/16 to 25 1/2.

Upgrades

Bausch & Lomb

(BOL)

: price target UP to 85 from 75 at

UBS Warburg

. Bausch & Lomb gained 4 7/16, or 6.2%, to 76.

Boise Cascade

(BCC) - Get Report

rose 2 1/8, or 8.3%, to 27 3/4: UP to buy from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

; price target: 54.

Canadian National

(CNI) - Get Report

was off 5/8 to 28: UP to buy from hold at

Credit Suisse First Boston

.

R&B Falcon

(FLC) - Get Report

lost 1/4 to 24 3/4: UP to buy from neutral at

Lehman Brothers

.

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

was 3 higher, or 6.6%, to 48 1/2: UP to strong buy from neutral at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

Downgrades

Alaska Air

(ALK) - Get Report

inched up 3/8 to 29 3/4: DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings.

Centex

(CXP) - Get Report

fell 13/16 to 28: DOWN to neutral from accumulate at

Merrill Lynch

.

CSG Systems

(CSGS) - Get Report

was off 5 3/16, or 10.0%, to 46 3/4: DOWN to hold from accumulate at

Prudential Securities

.

Fatbrain.com

(FATB)

shed 1 1/2, or 15.5%, to 8 3/16: DOWN to market performer from buy at Banc of America.

Kennametal

(KMT) - Get Report

lost 2 1/8, or 8.3%, to 23 3/8: DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings.

NBC Internet

(NBCI)

dropped 1/2 to 17 1/8: DOWN to market perform from buy at Banc of America.

Parker Hannifin

(PH) - Get Report

slipped 2 9/16, or 6.3%, to 37 15/16: DOWN to attractive from buy at Bear Stearns.

Initiations

BioSource

(BIOI)

soared 3 5/8, or 42%, to 12 1/4: NEW strong buy at

Thomas Weisel

; price target: 19.25.

eSpeed

(ESPD)

dipped 3/8 to 35 1/8: NEW strong buy at Prudential; price target: 68.

Factory 2-U

(FTUS)

climbed 1 7/8, or 5.3%, to 37 1/4: NEW buy at Salomon Smith Barney; price target: 46.

Homestore.com

(HOMS)

jumped 2 9/16, or 9.4%, to 29 7/8: NEW buy at UBS Warburg; price target: 40.

Improvenet

(IMPV) - Get Report

edged up 1/16 to 3 13/16: NEW hold at UBS Warburg; price target: 6.

International Flavors

(IFF) - Get Report

edged up 1/2 to 34 1/4: NEW buy at

J.P. Morgan

.

Lilly Industries

(LI)

gained 5/16 to 13 15/16: NEW buy at J.P. Morgan.

Lubrizol

(LZ)

gained 3/8 to 22 3/4: NEW buy at

J.P. Morgan

.

Minerals Technologies

(MTX) - Get Report

slipped 1/8 to 43 3/8: NEW buy at J.P. Morgan.

Paradigm Genetics

(PDGM)

gained 1/4 to 12 3/4: NEW buy at J.P. Morgan.

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

was up 25/32 to 46 5/8: RESTARTED as buy at Bear Stearns; price target: 52.

Sherwin-Williams

(SHW) - Get Report

gained 1/4 to 23 3/4: NEW buy at J.P. Morgan.

Symyx

(SMMX)

was up 1 1/2 to 33 3/8: NEW buy at J.P. Morgan.

Williams Comm Group

(WCG) - Get Report

rolled up 1 11/16 to 39 5/8: NEW buy at

Wasserstein Perella

; price target: $60.

WindRiver Systems

(WIND)

fell 15/16 to 37 1/2: NEW buy at

WR Hambrecht

; price target: 45.

Group Moves

PaineWebber initiated coverage of the following oil and gas exploration and production companies:

  • Triton Energy (OIL) - Get Report as a buy; price target: 47. Triton Energy gained 1 1/4 to 37 1/4;
  • Barrett Resources (BRR) as attractive; price target: 45. Barrett Resources slipped 9/16 to 37 11/16.
  • Houston Exploration (THX) as attractive; price target: 22. Houston Exploration climbed 9/16 to 24 11/16.
  • Patina Oil & Gas (POG) as attractive; price target: 22. Patina Oil & Gas jumped 1/8 to 19 13/16.
  • Louis Dreyfus (LD) - Get Report as neutral; price target: 34. Louis Dreyfus fell 1/8 to 32 15/16. Nuevo Energy (NEV) - Get Report as neutral; price target: 34. Nuevo Energy was off 1/8 to 20 5/16.
  • Evergreen Resources (EVER) - Get Report as a buy. Evergreen Resources rose 1/4 to 27 3/8.

Miscellany

America Online

(AOL)

is the latest company to be put under the antitrust microscope by the

Federal Trade Commission

, according to the

The Wall Street Journal

. America Online shares closed up 1 to 52 5/8.

As part of the FTC's review of AOL's $113 billion buyout of

Time Warner

(TWX)

, federal investigators are examining AOL's dominance in instant messaging, the

Journal

cites lawyers and industry executives as saying.

In an effort to boost confidence in its Delta III rocket,

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

will launch one outfitted with a mock payload in August, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. The last two launches of the vehicle failed, which increased apprehension in potential customers who would use the rocket to carry their satellites. The newspaper said the launch of a Delta III costs about $85 million. Boeing shares were unchanged at 38 13/16.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

moved up 2 5/8 to 70 1/2 after a U.S.

Court of Appeals

agreed to hear its appeal of a federal judge's breakup order and prepared to speed its review of the case of the case while government lawyers formally requested that the matter be sent directly to the Supreme Court.

Sprint

(FON)

Chairman and CEO William Esrey told shareholders "it remains unclear" if the company will receive the necessary regulatory approval it needs for its $115 billion merger with

WorldCom

(WCOM)

, the

Journal

reported. Sprint fell 1 15/16 to 61 11/16, while Worldcom lost 2 7/8, or 6.6%, to 40 13/16.

A Sprint spokesman said Esrey was trying to give shareholders a realistic assessment of the negotiations with the

Justice Department

.

Standard & Poor's

said it plans to make changes to its

S&P 500 index by dropping soon-to-merge paper company

Champion International

(CHA) - Get Report

and computer firm

SGI

(SGI)

from roster. Semiconductor equipment maker

Novellus Systems

(NVLS)

will replace Champion, which is set to merge with

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

, after the market closes Friday. Luxury retailer

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

will replace SGI after the close of trading June 20. SGI is being removed for lack of representation. Champion International climbed 1 to 73 7/16, SGI slipped 3/4, or 8.8%, to 7 3/4, Novellus rose 3 7/8, or 7.5%, to 55 7/16 and Tiffany tacked on 1 to 61 5/8.

Raytheon Systems

, a unit of

Raytheon

(RTN.A)

, is selling its own version of computer-security software called SilentRunner, the

Journal

reported today. Raytheon was unchanged at 23 1/2.

The newspaper said Raytheon has sold licenses for the software to six unnamed federal government agencies involved in defense, intelligence or law enforcement, with one agency buying 12 licenses. The $65,000 program uses complex algorithms to find potentially improper uses of internal computer networks, and Raytheon claims the product can identify hard-to-discern patterns of data traffic that signal fraud, insider trading or espionage by a company's employees, the article said.

The world's largest package delivery company,

United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get Report

, announced acquisition of two privately held service parts support companies in Australia and Latin America. The two companies are Computer Logistics Solutions, an Australian firm with business in more than 13 Asian countries, and Comlasa, which serves Latin America and the Caribbean. The value of the deal was not revealed. UPS lost 1/16 to 61 1/4.

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