Quest Software (QSFT) flew 51 3/4, or 36.1%, to 195 after it priced a 4.2 million-share secondary offering at $140 a share. Quest also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

But Quest wasn't the only stock to get a pop from a spilt.

Rambus'

(RMBS) - Get Report

leaped 41 17/32, or 10.9%, to 421. after its board approved a 4-for-1 stock split. The two stocks took top honors as the

Nasdaq's

biggest gainers.

A number of initial public offerings turned in mostly solid first-day performances, although

OTG Software

(OTGS)

left the other new kids in the dust, as it racked up a 195% gain. See table below 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

CoreComm Limited

(COMM) - Get Report

, a provider of integrated telephone, Internet and data services to business and residential customers in targeted markets in the U.S., is acquiring

ATX Telecommunications Services

, a privately held company, for $900 million. CoreComm Limited advanced 6 11/16, or 16.2%, to 47 7/8.

Dime

(DME)

said it sued

North Fork Bank

(NFB)

and

FleetBoston

(FBF)

on antitrust grounds , claiming the two interfered with Dime's deal with

Hudson United

(HU)

Dime edged up 1/8 to 15 3/16, as North Fork Bank slid 5/8 to 14 11/16. FleetBoston moved down 1/4 to 25 11/16, while Hudson United slid 3/4 to 19 5/16.

Medarex

(MEDX)

set a pact with

Regeneron

(REGN) - Get Report

to create and market drugs based on antibodies. Medarex fell 23 21/32, or 14.2% , to 143, while Regeneron slipped 1 1/16 to 40.

Phillips Petroleum

(P)

is expected to talk to the

Federal Trade Commission

about acquiring some of Arco's crude oil assets in Alaska, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. Phillips Petroleum dropped 5/16 to 39 15/16.

Qwest Communications

(Q)

said last night that "a major telecommunications company" pulled out of talks to acquire it and

U S West

(USW)

, which are already planning to merge. The major telecom firm mentioned by Qwest has been identified in numerous published reports as

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

. Qwest placed some blame on U S West for the potential acquirer pulling out of the takeover talks. Qwest Communications dropped 6 7/8, or 11.5%, to 53 1/8, while U S West fell 6 1/8, or 8%, to 70 3/8. Deutsche Telekom rose 2 3/8 to 95 7/16.

Reliant Energy

(REI) - Get Report

said it has hired an investment banker to consider options for two of its natural gas distribution companies and its natural gas pipeline operations. Reliant said could sell

Reliant Energy Arkla

and

Reliant Energy Minnegasco

, which service 1.4 million customers in 5 states. Reliant Energy was flat at 21 1/8.

Waste Management

(WMI)

said it is selling its waste services operations in the Netherlands to

Shanks Group

for $328 million. Waste Management edged up 1/8 to 14.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Dial

(DL) - Get Report

said it expects to post fiscal 2000 earnings 10% to 12% below the year-ago report. Dial is also forecasting first- and second-quarter sales to decline 3% to 5% from 1999. J.P. Morgan sliced its rating on Dial to long-term buy from buy. Dial fell 3 1/4, or 22.8%, to 11.

Littelfuse

(LFUS) - Get Report

said it expects to report first-quarter earnings 20% above the seven-analyst estimate of 35 cents a share. Littelfuse lifted 3 1/8, or 9.5%, to 35 7/8.

Sysco

(SYY) - Get Report

slipped 7/8 to 28 3/4 despite saying it sees third-quarter earnings per share ahead of estimates, in the range of 26 cents to 28 cents. The 15-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 25 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

CMGI

(CMGI)

said it expects the IPO for its

AltaVista

portal unit in early April due to

Securities and Exchange Commission

delays. CMGI also said its revenue will increase at a rate of 20% on a quarter-over-quarter basis through 2000. CMGI dropped 8 15/16, or 6.2%, to 136 7/16.

Crown Central Petroleum

(CNP.A)

(CNP.B)

has received an acquisition offer of $9.20 a share from

Apex Oil

for all of Crown Central's Class-A and Class-B common stock. The proposal will expire at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17, Crown Central said. Crown Central Petroleum Class-A shares climbed 9/16, or 7.1%, to 8 1/2.

MCK Communications

(MCKC)

dropped 4 1/8, or 5.6%, to 70 after it filed for a 3 million-share secondary offering.

Metropolitan Life

(MET) - Get Report

cut the number of shares in its IPO to 179 million from 255 million and reduced the estimated price range to $13 to $15 a share, from $14 to $19. The new terms were revealed in an amended filing with the SEC.

MetLife now will sell 73 million shares of common stock in a concurrent private placement to

Banco Santander Central Hispano

(STD)

and

Credit Suisse Group

at the IPO price. The company plans to net about $3.4 billion from the IPO and the private stock sales, based on a $14-per-share initial price. Originally, MetLife had intended to raise as much as $6.5 billion in its public offering.

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

inched up 1/16 to 10 7/16 after it added $100 million to its current stock repurchasing program.

Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Report

added 3/8 to 17 7/16 after it set a share buyback for up to $100 million .

Analyst actions

ING Barings

upped its rating on American Management

(AMSY)

to buy from hold and set its price target at 45. American Management bounced 6 3/4, or 19.7%, to 40 15/16.

Warburg Dillon Read

upped its price target on

Antec

(ANTC)

to 70 from 56. Antec slipped 7 15/16, or 14.5%, to 46 1/2.

Lehman Brothers

raised its rating on

Becton Dickinson

(BDX) - Get Report

to buy from neutral. Becton Dickinson lifted 1 1/8 to 32.

Salomon Smith Barney

lowered its first-quarter loss estimates on

Bethlehem Steel

(BS)

to 8 cents a share from 20 cents, citing higher-than-expected shipments. Bethlehem Steel tacked on 3/8, or 6%, to 6 9/16.

Merrill Lynch

cut its intermediate-term rating on

Cable Design Technologies

(CDT)

to neutral from accumulate. Cable Design Technologies lost 7, or 17.2%, to 33 1/2.

J.P. Morgan

sliced its rating on

Clorox

(CLX) - Get Report

to long-term buy from buy. Clorox declined 3 15/16, or 11.6%, to 29 7/9.

PaineWebber

upgraded

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

to buy from attractive and set a 12-month price target on the stock of 78. Dell gained 13/16 to 51 1/4.

ING Barings upped its rating on

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

to strong buy from buy. Electronic Arts retreated 6 1/4, or 6.3%, to 92 13/16.

SG Cowen

started coverage of

Exodus

(EXDS)

with a strong buy rating. Exodus mounted 6 to 164 9/16.

ING Barings rolled out coverage of

Globix

(GBIX)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 85. Globix added 2 15/16 to 62.

Credit Suisse First Boston

rolled out coverage of

Lante

(LNTE)

with a buy rating and a price target of 90. Lante gained 1/2 to 69.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage of

Lightspan

(LSPN)

with a strong buy and set a price target of 28. Lightspan rose 2 1/2, or 11.4%, to 24 3/8.

Warburg Dillon Read upped its price target on

National Sermiconductor

(NSM)

to 100 from 68. National Semiconductor stumbled 9 1/4, or 11.7%, to 69 3/4.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

raised its rating on

Nextlink Communications

(NXLK)

to top pick from buy. Nextlink Communications shot up 14 15/16, or 13.7%, to 123 5/16.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimates on

Royal Dutch

(RD)

to $3.00 a share from $2.95 and its fiscal 2001 estimates to $3.10 a share from $3.05. Royal Dutch declined 1/4 to 56 3/8.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Time Warner

(TWX)

and

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

with buy ratings. Time Warner slipped 1 7/8 to 85 and Disney shed 1 1/8 to 35 1/8.

Warburg Dillon Read rolled out coverage of

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

with a strong buy rating and a price target of 75. Viacom lost 11/16 to 54 1/16.

Miscellany

Advanced Tissue Sciences

(ATIS) - Get Report

was flying after it announced that one of its products stimulates new blood vessel formation in damaged heart tissue. It was up 5 5/8, or 78.2%, to 12 13/16.

CNet Networks

(CNet) - Get Report

slid 1 1/8 to 67 3/4 after it said vice chairman Shelby Bonnie has been named CEO, while Halsey Minor, CNet's founder and current CEO will continue as chairman.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

hopped 1 to 101 after it introduced a dedicated video game console, code-named

X-Box

.

A class action lawsuit was brought against

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

, claiming that the company made misleading statements regarding its financial situation, plaintiffs' lawyers said Friday. The law firm of

Wechler Harwood Halebian & Feffer

, which filed the proceeding in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, are representing investors who purchased the stock between Jan. 25 and March 6. Earlier this week, P&G warned investors that its third-quarter profits would decline 10% to 12%, down from previous forecasts of 7% to 9%. The warning knocked the stock down 31% in Tuesday's trading session. Procter & Gamble slipped 4 3/8, or 7.5%, to 53 3/9.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

this week penned as usual by Gene Marcial, shines a positive light on

American Home Products

(AHP)

. Robert Lyon, president and chief investment officer of

Institutional Capital

in Chicago, thinks

Novartis

, the Swiss drug giant, will try to acquire AHP before long, the column reported. American Home Products was unchanged at 49 1/2.

Also garnering positive mention is

Concord Camera

(LENS)

. The column, citing an unnamed investor close to the company's management, said that Concord, in conjunction with a big overseas cell-phone maker, has developed a phone capable of taking pictures that can be transmitted to the Net via cellular airwaves. Concord Camera lifted 1 5/16 to 52 7/16.

Meanwhile, Israel's

ForSoft

(FORS)

receives positive mention in the column. ForSoft advanced 3 1/8, or 17.4%, to 21.