Company Report: Quite eXtraordinary Leap for QXL

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QXL.com (QXLC) soared 29 39/64, or 132.3%, to 51 63/64 after SG Cowen analyst Thomas Bock started coverage with a strong buy and a target price of 1000, or 333 adjusted for a recent 3-for-1 stock split. Bock said the European online auctioneer represents a "unique combination of large market opportunity, defensibility, first-mover advantage and attractive business model." Bock also said that potential rivals eBay (EBAY) - Get Report and Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report faced obstacles in competing with QXL in Europe. QXL traded as high as 117 3/8 before it fell back.

Meanwhile, Amazon rose 2 1/16 to 64 1/4 while eBay popped 16 1/16, or 9.7%, to 182.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Peregrine Systems

(PRGN)

, a provider of infrastructure management software, sank 21 1/4, or 36.6%, to 36 3/4 after it signed a definitive pact to acquire

Harbinger

(HRBC)

in a stock deal valued at $2.1 billion. Harbinger gained 2 7/8, or 10.1%, to 26 9/16. Harbinger provides business-to-business e-commerce delivery solutions. The deal is structured as a stock swap at a ratio of 0.75 share of Peregrine common stock for each share of Harbinger. Peregrine was cut to market performer from buy at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

.

Compaq

(CPQ)

rose 1 1/2, or 5.4%, to 29 3/8 after it entered a deal with five companies, including

Infowave Software

,

VeriSign

(VRSN) - Get Report

,

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

,

AutoProf.com

and

Tally Systems

to boost the wireless security and systems management for e-commerce on its computers using

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

software. VeriSign jumped 24 29/32, or 19.1%, to 155 9/32, Research in Motion gained 6 1/2, or 7.8%, to 89 1/2 and Microsoft moved down 3/8 to 86.

Home improvement retailer

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

rose 7/16 and

NationsRent

(NRI)

, a construction equipment rental company, edged up 3/16 to 5 1/8 after the companies set a strategic partnership to operate NationsRent stores within select Lowe's stores.

Nortel Networks

(NT)

gained 3 5/16, to 120 7/16 after it announced that it will outsource parts of its business, awarding

PricewaterhouseCoopers

a five-year contract to deal with its nonessential business practices such as human resources, accounts payable, employee training and employee expense reimbursement. Over the course of the contract, the deal is worth $625 million.

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

and

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

are jointly developing an electric-gasoline hybrid vehicle and are pondering building a plant in North America to make the car,

The Wall Street Journal

reported, citing a Toyota exec involved in the talks. Toyota fell 5 1/4, or 5.1%, to 98 1/4 while General Motors gained 2 1/4 to 84 11/16.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Internet bellwether

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

reported first-quarter pro forma earnings of 10 cents a share, a penny better than the 24-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago pro forma 3 cents a share. Yahoo! said first-quarter sales more than doubled, while earnings more than tripled and traffic to its Web site increased sharply.

The company also said it named Susan Decker as its new CFO, replacing Gary Valenzuela, who will retire in July. Decker was formerly global head of research at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

(DLJ)

.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Mary Meeker raised earnings estimates on the stock today.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

rose 1 3/4 to 70 15/16 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 95 cents a share, ahead of the 13-analyst estimate of 91 cents and up from the year-ago 60 cents.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

inched up 11/16 despite saying it suffered an 11% drop in March

same-store sales, a steep decline from the year-ago report of a 21% increase. The clothing retailer blamed the disappointing results on "meaningful lower markdowns." The company also said that John Wilson has stepped down from his role as COO. Gap said it would eliminate the position as a part of management restructuring.

Jupiter Communications

(JPTR)

, an Internet research firm, jumped 10 9/16, or 47.5%, to 32 13/16 after it said it expects to post first-quarter revenue of $16.5 million, and it anticipates reporting break-even

EBITDAfor the first quarter.

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

slipped 3/8 to 14 1/16 after it posted a 9.4% drop in March same-store sales.

Kmart

(KM)

slipped 3/16 to 9 1/8 after it said March same-store sales declined by 1.2% because of the late Easter holiday.

Pier 1 Imports

(PIR) - Get Report

inched up 5/32 to 11 7/16 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share, beating the 15-analyst estimate of 31 cents a share and up from the year-ago 27 cents. The home furnishings retailer said that March same-store sales increased 12.4%.

Sodexho Marriott

(SDH)

slipped 1/2 to 13 1/4 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, a penny better than both the three-analyst estimate and the year-ago report.

Sysco

(SYY) - Get Report

gained 7/16 to 38 7/16 after it said it expects to post third-quarter earnings between 29 cents and 31 cents a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of 27 cents a share.

Talbot's

(TLB)

tacked on 2 3/16 to 60 1/16 after it reported a 17.9% increase in March same-store sales. The clothing retailer said it expects to post first-quarter earnings between 87 cents and 90 cents a share, which would beat the 13-analyst estimate of 80 cents a share.

Tellabs

(TLAB)

lost 2 7/8 to 58 1/8 after it warned investors that it would post first-quarter earnings between 25 cents and 27 cents a share, missing the 27-analyst estimate of 30 cents a share. The telecom equipment company attributed them to lower gross profit margins.

Wal-Mart's

(WMT) - Get Report

March same-store sales rose 3.6%. Shares rose 2 7/8 to 61 1/8.

Offerings and stock actions

i3 Mobile

(IIIM)

gained 9, or 56.3%, to 25 in its trading debut.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced 5.1 million shares at $16 each, the top of its $14-$16 estimated range.

Petrochina

(PTR) - Get Report

went nowhere in its trading debut after being priced at $16.44 per ADR. The company, China's largest oil and gas producer, offered 17.58 billion shares globally, with

Goldman Sachs

as lead underwriter. Shares ended the day flat at 16 7/16.

Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals

(RZYM)

fell 2 7/8, or 12.6%, to 19 7/8 after

ING Barings

priced a 3.15 million-share secondary offering at $18 each for gross proceeds of $56.7 million.

Sangamo

(SGMO) - Get Report

inched up an unimpressive 1/16 to 15 1/16 after

Lehman Brothers

priced 3.5 million shares at $15 each, the low end of the estimated $15 to $17 range. The Richmond, Calif.-based company is a genetics research firm. Despite the hot performance of the

Nasdaq Biotechnology Index

, which rose 4.9% today, response to the IPO was unenthusiastic.

Analyst actions

This morning, investment firm

Goldman Sachs

announced that its "Super Seven" list of hot high-tech stocks include:

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

,

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

,

EMC

(EMC)

,

First Data

(FDC) - Get Report

,

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

,

PMC-Sierra

(PMCS)

and

Teradyne

(TER) - Get Report

. Cisco fell 5/16 to 71 13/16, Dell dropped 2 23/64 to 51 9/16, EMC gained 6 1/2, or 5.1%, to 133, First Data gained 2 5/8, or 6.1%, to 45 3/8, Oracle rose 3 15/16, or 5%, to 82 3/16, PMC-Sierra popped 14 3/16, or 8.3%, to 185 and Teradyne jumped 9 1/4, or 10.6%, to 96 1/4.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

added 2 1/2 to 106 11/16: price target UP to 130 from 110 at

Thomas Weisel Partners

by analyst Eric Ross.

Baxter

(BAX) - Get Report

lost 1 7/8 to 60: NEW buy with a 70 price target at

Credit Suisse First Boston

.

BellSouth

(BLS)

inched up 1/4 to 49 1/2: UP to buy from neutral, price target to 70 from 61 at

Lehman Brothers

.

Bluestone Software

(BLSW)

gained 4 3/16, or 15.6%, to 31 1/16: UP to strong buy from buy at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

.

Conexant Systems

(CNXT) - Get Report

rose 6 3/16, or 9.8%, to 69 3/8: UP to strong buy from buy at

Warburg Dillon Read

.

Digital Island

(ISLD)

gained 2 5/16, or 5.9%, to 41 5/16 : UP to strong buy from buy at Thomas Weisel by analyst Jim Linnehan.

Dollar Tree

(DLTR) - Get Report

gained 2 3/16 to 53 5/16: DOWN to hold from buy at Lehman Brothers.

Flag Telecom

(FTHL)

rose 2 15/16, or 17.3%, to 19 15/16: STARTED as a strong buy with a 12-month price target of 45-50 by Warburg Dillon Read analyst Linda Meltzer.

Fortune Brands

gained 1 7/16, or 5.8%, to 26 1/4: STARTED as a market performer with a 12-month price target of 27 at

J.P. Morgan

.

Internet Capital Group

(ICGE)

rose 11/64 to 73 7/8: RESTARTED with a strong buy at Alex. Brown.

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

added 6 7/8, or 11.1%, to 64 9/16: UP to strong buy from buy at Warburg Dillon Read.

Papa John

(PZZA) - Get Report

lost 1 1/2 to 29 5/8: DOWN to buy from strong buy at Thomas Weisel by analyst John W. Weiss.

Polymedica

(PLMD)

lost 15/16 to 52 1/16: STARTED as a buy with a 67 price target at CSFB.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

(REGN) - Get Report

rose 4 13/16, or 22.3%, to 26 3/8: STARTED as a long-term buy with a 12-month price target of 30 by J.P. Morgan analyst Franklin Berger.

Tellabs

(TLAB)

lost 2 7/8 to 58 1/8: DOWN to outperform from top pick at

ABN Amro

.

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

rose 1 11/16, or 8.3%, to 22 1/16: NEW strong buy at

CIBC World Markets

.

Miscellany

Celera Genomics

(CRA)

said it has completed the sequencing phase of one person's genome.

The

New York Stock Exchange

board gave the go-ahead to replace its Intermarket Trading System. The board voted to snub a broker proposal supported by

Goldman Sachs

and

Merrill Lynch

to develop a central limit-order book, which would allow traders and investors to see proposed buy and sell orders for U.S. stocks. An advisory committee suggested that the exchange abandon the proposal. NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso said that costs related to quoting stock trades in decimals instead of fractions need to be examined before an IPO.

The

Federal Aviation Administration

found that

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

needs to toughen up quality controls over its suppliers,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. Boeing said it would comply. Boeing inched up 1/16 to 36 1/8.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

inched up 1/4 to 21 3/16 despite saying it has been charged by the

State Department

with violating arms export laws, according to numerous published reports.

NorthPoint Communications

(NPNT)

, a broadband services provider, named Michael Glinsky CFO, to succeed Henry "Hank" Huff, who is taking an early retirement. Glinsky recently was CFO of Baby Bell

U S West

(USW)

. NorthPoint rose 7/8 to 19 1/4.

The Heard on the Street column in

The Wall Street Journal

today reports that some investors have resisted buying beaten-down technology stocks. Despite the shrunken tech stock valuation, many traders feel that prices haven't fallen low enough to tempt them to buy more.

Over the past six months,

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

, a Saudi Arabian billionaire, has invested $1 billion in tech stocks,

Reuters

reported. The news agency said that the prince, in a statement, declared he had invested $400 million via a family trust in shares of

America Online

(AOL)

, raising the value of his investment in the online giant to $1.05 billion. The prince said he also has invested $400 million in computer maker Compaq and $100 million each in

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

and

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

,

Reuters

reported. America Online rose 2 to 65 while Xerox gained 2, or 7.8%.