eGreetings Network

(EGRT)

shares shot up 84% at the beginning of the session on news that the online card provider entered a deal with

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

. The terms call for Egreetings to become the exclusive application service provider of card services for Microsoft's

MSN

Web services network. eGreetings ended with a gain of 1 7/32, or 51.3%, to 3 19/32.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Allegheny Energy

(AYE)

and

PPL

(PPL) - Get Report

would pay

Pepco

(POM)

$152.5 million for its 9.72% stake in the

Conemaugh

generating station, according to Pepco. Pepco said that the sale's price is more the two times the net book value of the plant. Allegheny Energy slipped 3/16 to 30 1/16; PPL stayed flat at 23 9/16; Pepco climbed 1/4 to 24 7/8.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Carlisle Holdings

(CLHL)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, in line with the one-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago earnings of 18 cents a share. Carlisle Holdings slid 3/32 to 7 3/8.

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Analyst actions

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded several energy and oil companies this morning. Analyst Philip Pace downgraded

Swift Energy

(SFY) - Get Report

,

Apache

(APA) - Get Report

and

Noble Affiliates

(NBL) - Get Report

to buy from strong buy and

Pogo Producing

(PPP)

and

Vastar Resources

(VRI)

to hold from buy. Swift Energy decreased 5/16 to 24 7/16; Apache slipped 1 21/32 to 58 7/8; Noble Affiliates shed 11/16 to 39 1/2; Pogo Producing declined 3/8 to 24 15/16; Vastar Resources fell 5/8 to 80 9/16.

Upgrades

ADC Telecommunications

(ADCT) - Get Report

: price target UP to 75 at

WR Hambrecht

. ADC Telecommunications declined 2 1/8 to 58 5/16.

Brocade Communications Systems

(BRCD)

: UP to outperform from buy at

Salomon Smith Barney

. Brocade staggered 7 3/8, or 6.3%, to 110 1/4.

FactSet Research Systems

(FDS) - Get Report

: UP to strong buy from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. FactSet was off 1 1/2, or 6.3%, to 22 7/16.

Idexx Laboratories

(IDXX) - Get Report

: price target UP to 30 from 20 at

Prudential

. Idexx lifted 1/16 to 26.

Kana Communications

(KANA)

: UP to strong buy from buy at

ING Barings

; price target: 100. Kana traded up 3 3/4, or 9.5%, to 43 1/4.

Mandalay Resorts

(MBG)

: UP to attractive from neutral at

Bear Stearns

; price target: 28-30 ; fiscal 2001 earnings estimate UP to $1.60 from $1.35 a share at

Goldman Sachs

. Mandalay Resorts lowered 1/8 to 21 7/8.

Network Appliance

(NTAP) - Get Report

: UP to buy from outperform at Salomon Smith Barney. Network Appliance declined 3 7/8, or 5.6%, to 65 1/8.

Niku

(NIKU)

: fiscal 2002 loss estimate IMPROVED to 59 cents a share from $1.12. Niku decreased 4 3/4, or 18.1%, to 21 1/2.

Portal Software

(PRSF)

: fiscal 2001 EPS estimates UP to 9 cents a share from nil. Portal Software increased 8 1/8, or 20.8%, to 47 1/8.

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

: fourth-quarter EPS estimate UP to 6 cents from 4 cents; fiscal 2001 EPS estimate UP to 30 cents from 20 cents a share. Sycamore Networks slumped 11 5/16, or 12.3%, to 80 15/16.

USFreightways

(USFC)

: UP to strong buy from buy at ING Barings; price target: 55. USFreightways traded up 1 3/16 to 31 15/16.

Downgrades

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

: DOWN to neutral from buy at

Lehman Brothers

. Equant dropped 6 3/16, or 13.2%, to 40 11/16.

Flowers Industries

(FLO) - Get Report

: DOWN to trading buy from recommended list at Goldman Sachs. Flowers Industries rose 7/16 to 18 1/4.

Four Seasons

(FS)

: DOWN to hold from accumulate at Prudential. Four Seasons dropped 1 9/16 to 57 7/16.

National Computer

(NLCS)

: DOWN to market perform from buy at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

. National Computer fell 10 3/8, or 18.3%, to 46 1/4.

Owens-Illinois

(OI) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB. Owens-Illinois lowered 15/16, or 6.7%, to 13.

Playtex

(PYX) - Get Report

: DOWN to outperform from buy at Salomon Smith Barney. Playtex decreased 1 7/8, or 14.6%, to 10 15/16.

Initiations

Allmerica

(AFC)

: NEW buy at Lehman Brothers; price target: 70. Allmerica gained 1 13/16 to 58.

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

: NEW outperform at Salomon Smith Barney; price target of 22. MetLife was off 23/32, or 3.8%, to 18 3/16.

Pactiv

(PTV)

: NEW outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

; price target: 13. Pactiv missed 1/16 to 8 7/8.

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

: NEW buy at CSFB; price target: 57. RealNetworks decreased 1 to 35 3/8.

Group Moves

Bear Stearns analyst Jason Ader launched coverage of the online travel sector by placing buy ratings on two stocks:

  • Expedia(EXPE) - Get Report: price target: 26-27.
  • Travelocity.com (TVLY) : price target: 34-35. Expedia fell 1 1/8, or 5.7%, to 18 1/2, while Travelocity.com was off 5/8 to 20 7/8.

Lehman Brothers initiated coverage of several retailers with buy ratings:

  • Jones Apparel (JNY) : NEW buy; price target: 36.
  • Liz Clairborne (LIZ) : NEW buy; price target: 57.
  • Tommy Hilfiger (TOM) : NEW outperform; price target: 10. Jones Apparel advanced 1/8 to 27 1/8; Liz Claiborne decreased 3/4 to 41 11/16; Tommy Hilfiger traded down 3/16 to 7 3/16.

Merrill Lynch reinstated coverage of several regional banks with near-term neutral ratings and long-term accumulate ratings:

  • Compass Bancshares (CBSS) .
  • First Virginia Banks (FVB) .
  • Huntington Valley Bancshares(HBAN) - Get Report.
  • National Commerce Bancorporation (NCBC) : with a long-term buy. Compass Bancshares decreased 7/8 to 19; First Virginia Banks moved down 1 5/8 to 37 11/16; Huntington Valley Bancshares fell 5/8 to 17 5/16; National Commerce slipped 13/16 to 17 7/16.

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Offerings and stock actions

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

(DLJ)

said it would buy back 10 million shares. DLJ lost 1/16 to 42 1/16.

Estee Lauder

(EL) - Get Report

said the Lauder family filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to sell 10 million common shares. Estee Lauder declined 3 7/8, or 7.8%, to 45 11/16.

Level 3 Communications

(LVLT)

CEO James Crowe said he would continue a plan, which he initiated last year, to sell 500,000 of his Level 3 shares this year. The sale represents roughly 5% of his common stock and 4% of his total holdings. Level 3 Communications dropped 6 5/8, or 8.7%, to 69 13/16.

Goldman Sachs priced an ADR IPO of

Parthus

(PRTHV)

at $12 a share. Parthus jumped 8 3/16, or 64.9%, to 20 13/16.

Salomon Smith Barney priced a 5.75 million-share IPO for

Pixelworks

(PXLW) - Get Report

below its expected range of $12 to $14 at $10 a share. Pixelworks added 57/64, or 8.9%, to 10 57/64.

Suiza Foods

(SZA)

added $100 million shares to its current stock buyback. Suiza Foods advanced 3/4 to 44 1/8.

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Miscellany

Aetna

(AET)

said Michael Cardillo is retiring as president of its

U.S. Healthcare

division. Aetna lifted 2 11/16 to 61 11/16.

The

Federal Aviation Administration

said it would request that airlines inspect Boeing 767 aircraft for defective bolts that attach the engines to the wings after it was discovered that one plane had three damaged pieces. The FAA said it would issue an order for 120 U.S. registered 767s to be examined over the next five to 10 days, depending on their manufacturing date. An FAA spokeswoman said that

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

notified the agency that the cracked bolts were found in a major airline's 767. Boeing shed 11/16 to 36 15/16.

CyberOptics

(CYBE) - Get Report

announced it's launching a company that will develop and market automation systems aimed at the broadband telecommunications sector. The company, which will be called CyberOptics Communications, will also process management tools for manufacturing high-precision fiber optic components for broadband telecommunications systems.

The new company will be headed by CyberOptics' Chairman and founder Steven Case. CyberOptics will have a minority equity interest in the new venture. The launch is not expected to have a material impact on the company's 2000 consolidated earnings. CyberOptics hopped 2 1/4, or 6.4%, to 37 1/4.

Separately, the company set a 3-for-2 stock split.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

issued a recall for 220,000 AC adapters that are used with IBM ThinkPad notebook computers and other mobile products, according to the

Consumer Product Safety Commission

. The agency said that the adapters could overheat and become flammable. The CPSC said it received nine reports of the parts overheating, including one small fire. IBM lifted 3/4 to 106 13/16.

As reported earlier, the

Justice Department

said it reached a tentative settlement with

Columbia/HCA Healthcare

(COL)

on charges of fraud at its hospitals and other facilities. Under the agreement, Columbia/HCA, the nation's largest for-profit hospital operator, will pay the federal government $745 million.

For several years, the Justice Department has been investigating allegations that Columbia made false claims and statements in submitting cost reports under Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs. Columbia/HCA fell 2 5/15, or 7.6%, to 28 3/16.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

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