MP3.com (MPPP) was taking it on the chin after a federal court found that the company infringed copyright law with the development of its database that enables users to store music and retrieve it using any Web-capable computer. Today's decision comes after the world's biggest record labels brought proceedings against MP3.com, whose database holds more than 80,000 copyrighted albums. MP3.com slid 4 5/8, or 39.7%, to 7.
slid 1 to 88 7/16 after it posted a hefty rise in first-quarter earnings and raised its financial targets for the rest of the year. Profit before financial items surged to $672 million, well above projected estimates. The company said it expected its powerful recovery to continue and increased its income growth forecast to more than 25% for the current year. Second-quarter sales were seen to be over 25% higher.
In related news, Ericsson announced it plans to reorganize its business into six separate units.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
announced that it plans to buy the money management arm of
First Dominion Capital
, a unit of energy company
. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette declined 13/16 to 41 11/16 and Dominion Resources shed 1/2 to 45.
overwhelmingly approved the planned $115 billion merger of the two long distance telephone companies. "The support of shareholders represents an important milestone in our merger approval process," said MCI Worldcom's Chairman Bernie Ebbers. MCI Worldcom added 1/16 to 45 7/16 and Sprint gained 3/16 to 61 1/2.
Finnish telecom equipment maker
announced a number of deals this morning, including an agreement with German
to supply radio access equipment and a deal to supply WAP gateway equipment to British
. Nokia also announced an agreement to supply broadband Digital Subscriber Line systems to Dutch operator
and a wireless joint venture with Chinese software firm
Shenyang Neu-Alpine Software
Credit Suisse First Boston
raised Nokia's price target to 68. Nokia skidded 1/8 to 56 7/8 and KPN Telecom fell 1 3/4 to 102.
Financial services holding company
stated that it was in negotiations to possibly be acquired. The company made no further comment about its talks. Reliastar bounced 12 3/16, or 39.5%, to 43.
British advertising conglomerate
is in talks to buy
Young & Rubicam
in New York, the
New York Times
reported. The deal would combine two of the world's largest advertising companies. WPP Group lost 5/8 to 77 3/8 and Young & Rubicam added 2 13/16, or 5.3%, to 55 11/16.
, the fourth-largest brokerage firm in the U.S., said it plans to buy privately held regional brokerage
for about $620 million in cash. Nashville, Tenn.-based Bradford has 81 offices in 14 states and adds more than 900 financial advisors and $46 billion in client assets to PaineWebber.
PaineWebber is the subject of today's Heard on the Street column in the
. The column says the brokerage firm has undergone a subtle, but significant, shift with respect to the notion of a merger or a sale of the company. According to a securities analyst quoted in the story, this is the first time PaineWebber has set a time frame to start looking for strategic partners. Paine Webber bounced 13/16 to 43 7/8.
Casino mogul Steve Wynn has struck a deal to buy the Desert Inn Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
for about $270 million in cash. Wynn, 58, is set to leave his post at the helm of
after the completion of the sale of Mirage to
. Starwood Hotels & Resort edged up 2, or 7.5%, to 28 7/16 and Mirage tacked on 1/8 to 20 3/8, while MGM Grand shot up 1 5/16 to 29 1/2.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
declined 1/4 to 5 1/2. after it posted first-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, including 13 cents related to the Tritel venture capital investment. The 10-analyst estimate was for 56 cents. Operating earnings in the year-ago period, excluding a gain on sale, were 54 cents. The company also announced that CEO Stephen Hilbert and CFO Rollin Dick have resigned. Conseco said the drop in earnings was partly due to a change in the way its loan unit, Conseco Finance, formerly Green Tree Financial, accounts for profits on securitized loans.
For more on this
story , see the coverage provided by
Electronic Data Systems
stumbled 3 3/4, or 5.1%, to 68 3/4 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, in line with the 17-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 36 cents. EDS said revenues in the first quarter increased 5% to $4.5 billion from the year-ago quarter. The company, which said it was comfortable with second-quarter and 2000 earnings estimates, attributed the strong earnings to successful restructuring in 1999 and its growing eSolutions unit.
lost its perk, despite reporting second-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, in line with the 21-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 10 cents. The coffee shop chain said same-store sales were up 10% over the year-ago period, while revenue came in at $505 million, up 34% from the year-ago $376 million. Starbucks also upped its fiscal 2000 domestic licensed store opening goal to 200 from 100, and upped its international target to 150 from 100. Starbucks fell 6 13/16, or 18.2%, to 30 1/14.
Offerings and stock actions
said Pan-Asian Internet company
will split its stock 2-for-1. Chinadotcom hopped 10 3/16, or 26.5%, to 48 5/8.
analyst Jessica Reif-Cohen raised her rating on
to long-term buy from long-term accumulate and set a target of 50. The near-term rating was kept at accumulate. The "increasingly positive outlook reflects Disney's accelerated turnaround and improved visibility in virtually all of its business segments, with the exception of consumer products," according to the report. Disney climbed 1 11/16 to 43 5/16.
: UP to strong buy from buy at
. About.com posted strong financial results yesterday and enjoyed a boost of 4 13/16, or 16.3%, to 34 5/16.
: UP to buy from neutral at
. The company traded up 3 3/4, or 5.9%, to 67 1/4.
: fiscal 2000 earnings estimate UP to $2.24 from $2.21 a share and fiscal 2001 estimate UP to $2.70 from $2.65 a share at
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
; fiscal 2000 estimates UP to $2.26 from $2.21 at
Warburg Dillon Read
. Waters advanced 8 5/16, or 9.6%, to 94 3/4.
: price target UP to 85 from 67 at
Salomon Smith Barney
. WinStar hopped 4 5/16, or 12%, to 39 7/8.
American Eagle Outfitters
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at DB Alex. Brown. American Eagle Outfitters lost 2 5/16, or 12%, to 17.
: DOWN to intermediate accumulate from buy at
. AT&T Canada gained 15/16 to 42 5/8.
: DOWN to hold from buy at Lehman Brothers. Burlington Resources 1 13/16 to 39 5/16.
: DOWN to hold from buy at
, following the company's lower than expected earnings report. CenturyTel fell 4 3/4, or 16.2%, to 24 1/2.
: DOWN to an intermediate-term accumulate from buy at
; second-quarter earnings estimates DOWN to 10 cents from 16 cents a share and fiscal 2000 estimate DOWN to 85 cents from 90 cents a share. Polymer lost 1 1/8, or 8.8%, to 11 5/8.
Sierra Health Services
: DOWN to market perform from buy. Sierra Health Services dropped 5/8, or 14.9%, to 3 9/16.
NEW buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
. BSquare added 5/16 to 17 1/2.
: NEW buy at
, price target:85. Cisco increased 21/64 to 69 21/64.
: NEW speculative buy at
Salomon Smith Barney
. eMachines rose 2 3/8, or 38.4%, to 8 9/16.
: NEW buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
; price target of 70. Mediaplex traded up 1 5/8 to 51 1/4.
, which develops novel enzymes and biological applications, announced that it received a patent to expand its right for sequence-based gene discovery that allows rapid screening of populations for use in developing drugs, agricultural products and chemicals. Diversa moved up 4 3/8, or 19.3%, to 27.
named president and CEO Carlos Gutierrez as chairman, replacing the retiring Arnold Langbo. Kellogg ascended 3/8 to 24 1/4.
and most states suing
will urge a federal court today to split the company into two parts,
The Wall Street Journal
reported. According to the story, the government intends to ask the court to create rival companies, one built on Office applications software, and the other built on the flagship Windows operating software, the source of the company's monopoly power. Despite the latest news, a breakup is not imminent, the story says. Even if Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson accepted the proposal, an appeals process could take year or more. Microsoft lost 1/16 to 69 3/4.