News Corp. (NWS) - Get Report and Singapore Telecom could launch a $30 billion counterbid for Cable & Wireless HKT (HKT) , reported The Wall Street Journal . The offer, which would rival C&W HKT's planned merger with Hong Kong-based Pacific Century Cyberworks, takes advantage of the recent weakness in Web companies like Pacific Century that have seen their stock prices decline. News Corp. lifted 1 1/16 to 49.

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

tacked on 2 13/16, or 5.4%, to 54 9/16 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, topping the 14-analyst estimate of 6 cents a share and up from the year-ago 5-cent profit.

Viacom CEO

Sumner Redstone

attributed the strong results to continued strength at its

MTV Network

, as well as advertising. Yesterday, the company¿s merger partner,

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

, reported a first-quarter loss that was narrower than the analysts' consensus estimate. CBS advanced 3, or 5.3%, to 58 11/16.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Internet holding company

Xcelera

(XLA)

was unchanged after it said

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

invested $75 million and 3.76 million Exodus shares in Xcelera unit Mirror Image Internet for a 15% stake. Exodus Communications slipped 3 1/16 to 75 5/16.

Wesley Jessen VisionCare

(WJCO)

, the target of a hostile bid by

Bausch & Lomb

(BOL)

, invited its suitor to make its best offer, but said it had no obligation to set a deadline for bids from other interested parties. Wesley Jessen declined 1/4 to 39 1/16 and Bausch & Lomb sank 1 15/16 to 57 13/16.

Young & Rubicam

(YNR)

is considering a possible merger partner other than

WPP

(WPPGY)

, and has been negotiating a deal to buy

Harte-Hanks

(HHS) - Get Report

for roughly $2 billion, reported the

Journal

. Young & Rubicam slid 2 1/8 to 49 7/8 and WPP bounced 3 7/8, or 5.1%, to 79 5/8, while Harte-Hanks added 1 3/16, or 5.2%, to 23 5/8.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Allegheny Technologies

(ATI) - Get Report

mounted 2 5/16, or 11.1%, to 23 1/16 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, which includes special items. This compares with a year-ago report of 41 cents. The eight-analyst estimate expected the company to post earnings of 34 cents.

Baker Hughes

(BHI)

tacked on 2 7/16, or 8.3%, to 31 3/4 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 4 cents a share, beating the 31-analyst break-even estimate, but lower than the year-ago 14 cents. The company said its search for a new CEO could end in the next month or two.

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

slipped 4 5/16 to 149 1/4 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, topping the 24-analyst estimate of a 3-cent profit and surpassing the year-ago report of 4 cents a share. The online auctioneer said its first-quarter sales tallied $85.8 million, doubling the year-ago result of $42.8 million. eBay also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

stumbled 1 3/8 to 92 after it reported pro forma earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter of $85.8 million, or 11 cents per share, a penny

better than the 10 cents per share Wall Street had expected. The Canadian- and Silicon Valley-based maker of fiber-optics equipment for the telecommunications industry reported revenue of $394.6 million, 40% above sales in the quarter ended Dec. 31, and 2 1/2 times the pro forma sales in the year-earlier period. The company's results reflect the performance of three acquired companies but exclude the affects of accounting charges related to those and other acquisitions.

Including merger-related and other costs, JDS Uniphase reported a net loss of $240.9 million, or 32 cents per share. The company's stock surged 13, or 16%, Tuesday to 93 5/16, on the strength of a strong earnings report earlier in the day from competitor

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

. Shares of momentum-investor darling JDS Uniphase -- colorful traders believe its stock symbol stands for "Just Don't Sell Us" -- remain 39% below their March 7 high of a split-adjusted 153 3/8.

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

shed 1 15/16, or 10.2%, to 17 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.52 a share, which includes special items. This compares to the year-ago loss of 22 cents a share, which also included extraordinary items. Excluding items, the 13-analyst estimate expected the health care services company to report earnings of 29 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

Chemical company

Solutia

(SOI) - Get Report

rose 7/16, or 3.3%, to 13 13/16 after its board authorized the repurchase of an additional 15 million shares, or about 14% of its stock..

Analyst actions

Compaq

(CPQ)

for the most part was enjoying a mixed reaction on Wall Street to yesterday's first-quarter earnings report, which met expectations. The stock closed down 7/8 to 29 3/8.

Merrill Lynch

upgraded the stock to near-term attractive from neutral;

Salomon Smith Barney

upped it to buy from neutral and boosted its 12-month price target to 45 from 25; and

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate to $1.05 a share from $1.00 while repeating a buy rating.

Warburg Dillon Read

, however, trimmed its EPS view to $1.05 from $1.15 and maintained a hold rating.

Upgrades

Alcan

(AL) - Get Report

fell 3/16 to 33 3/4: UP to intermediate-term buy from neutral at Merrill Lynch.

BMC Software

(BMCS)

advanced 3 11/16 to 44 1/2: UP to near-term accumulate from neutral at Merrill Lynch; UP to strong buy from hold at

CIBC World Markets

; price target UP to 97 from 57 at

Credit Suisse First Boston

.

Brio Technology

(BRIO)

lifted 7/8 to 24 15/16: Fiscal 2001 estimates UP to 45 cents from 43 cents a share at Credit Suisse First Boston; fiscal 2001 estimates UP to 60 cents a share from 49 cents.

Dynegy

(DYN)

rose 1/2 to 66 11/16: price target UP to 85 from 52 at

Lehman Brothers

.

Fair Isaac

(FIC)

gained 3 1/4, or 8.2%, to 43: UP to strong buy from buy at

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

added 2 9/16 to 92: 2000 earnings estimate UP to $10.84 from $9.42 and 2001 EPS estimate up to $13.74 from $10.50 at

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson

.

Keebler

(KBL)

traded up 3/4 to 31 1/2: first-quarter earnings estimates UP to 48 cents from 45 cents; fiscal 2000 earnings estimates UP to $1.84 from $1.80 a share at

Salomon Smith Barney

.

Maxim

(MXIM) - Get Report

dropped 6 1/4, or 9.5%, to 59 5/8: price target UP to 80 from 65 at

Thomas Weisel

by analyst Eric Ross.

Nortel Networks

(NT)

advanced 4 to 116 1/2: fiscal 2000 earnings estimates UP to $1.36 a share from $1.30 at Lehman Brothers; fiscal 2001 UP to $1.77 a share from $1.60.

Royal Dutch

(RD)

was up 5/16 to 57: UP to buy from attractive: 12-month price target : 68 at

Bear Stearns

.

Scientific-Atlanta

(SFA)

increased 5 1/2, or 9.6%, to 63: UP to strong buy from buy at

SG Cowen

.

Downgrades

Transaction Systems Architects

(TSAI)

plunged 11 11/16, or 46.8%, to 13 5/16:

Goldman Sachs

removes from recommended list.

Initiations

Maxwell Technologies

(MXWL) - Get Report

lifted 13/16 to 11 3/4: NEW buy at CIBC World Markets; price target: 23.