jumped 8 5/8, or 8.4%, to 111 7/8 following news reports that it and the government could be edging closer to a
settlement to resolve the antitrust case against the software giant.
said, according to sources, that the focus is on changes in Microsoft's business practices, rather than on any proposal to break up the company.
The Wall Street Journal
said a deal could result in tough restrictions on Microsoft's conduct. Citing sources close to the situation, the
said the talks still could collapse but that the gulf between the two sides is narrowing.
Separately, Microsoft also announced a pact with
for tax products on Microsoft Network.
Two IPOs proved to be hot tickets today.
soared 19 13/16, or 99%, to 39 13/16, after it was priced at $20 a share, above the estimated 17-to-19 range.
CIBC World Markets
priced 5 million shares. The company is an Israeli manufacturer of wireless access products that enable connectivity to local area computer networks.
shot up 11 3/4, or 73.4%, to 27 3/4 in its trading debut.
priced 4 million shares at $16 each, above the estimated $12 to $14 range.
The company provides software that allows companies to personalize interactions around communication channels including the Internet, automated response systems, manned customer service systems and others.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
Bausch & Lomb
slipped 7/8 to 55 1/2 after it said it offered to buy
Wesley Jessen Visioncare
for $34 a share, or about $600 million.
Wesley Jessen jumped 8 9/16, or 34.4%, to 33 7/16. Bausch & Lomb said its offer is better for Wesley Jessen shareholders than Jessen's proposed $420 million purchase of
announced Monday. Ocular Sciences lost 1, or 5.8%, to 16 1/4. Bausch & Lomb said it would consider taking its tender offer directly to shareholders if Wesley Jessen refuses to negotiate.
Late in the session, Wesley Jessen said its board "continues to believe in the merits of and is committed to the strategic merger that we have entered into with Ocular," and it believes the deal "is in the best long-term interests of our shareholders."
lost 1 1/8 to 35 1/8, despite saying it booked a firm order for 50 narrow-body 737 jetliners worth about $2.3 billion at list prices.
has been quietly lobbying
over fears that its programming would be denied fair access to
Web sites if the online company's merger with
is approved. Disney gained 1 1/16 to 41 9/16; America Online fell 1 3/16 to 70 13/16 and Time Warner lost 1/4 to 101.
climbed 9/16 to 75 1/2 after it finalized deals to sell most of Mobil's gasoline stations and related supply arrangements in Texas, to meet antitrust regulators' conditions.
gained 11/16 to 114 15/16 after it partnered with
to develop a range of Bluetooth wireless-technology products, which allows wireless data exchange between computers, for IBM's ThinkPad laptops.
said they plan to develop a global B2B marketplace for paper and forest products online. International Paper rose 1 7/8, or 5%, to 39 1/8; Georgia Pacific gained 3/16 to 39 5/8 and Weyerhaeuser jumped 2 5/16 to 56 7/16.
has been working on a strategy in which it could make an unsolicited takeover bid for
, but a bid is viewed as being a long shot,
reported. News Corp. issued a statement saying that "today's report that News Corp. has engaged in talks with General Motors, investment bankers and other third parties regarding a potential acquisition of General Motors is entirely false and without merit." News Corp. lost 1 3/4 to 61 7/16, while General Motors gained 5 1/4, or 6.4%, to 87.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
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.
lost 1/2 to 17 1/4 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 36 cents.
, a supplier of machine vision systems, jumped 9 19/64, or 19%, to 58 19/64 after it said it expects first-quarter earnings-per-share of about 33 cents, 15% better than the seven-analyst estimate of 29 cents per share.
jumped 2 1/2, or 6.7%, to 39 3/4 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, including a gain of 2 cents. The 16-analyst estimate called for earnings of 34 cents while the year-ago EPS was 26 cents. FedEx said income rose 45% in the quarter, with earnings beating estimates despite soaring fuel prices.
slipped 1/2, or 6.1%, to 7 3/4 after it posted fourth-quarter losses of $1.88 per share, below the six-analyst estimate of a $1.30 loss per share but better than the year-ago $1.90.
The company has also restated 1999 earnings, revising third-quarter earnings at a loss of 52 cents per share compared with the 14-cent loss it originally reported. For the second quarter, the company amended losses at $1.28 per share from a loss of $1.30 per share originally filed. Finally, it restated its first-quarter loss as $1.44 per share, compared with a loss of $1.46 it originally filed.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
moved up 4 39/64, or 5.1%, to 94 3/4, after it reported first-quarter earnings of $1.34 a share, better than the 12-analyst estimate of $1.06 and up from the year-ago 88 cents.
added 9/16 to 21 15/16 after it said its first-quarter earnings will be higher than estimates, with sales growing in the mid-single digits from a year ago. The eight-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 20 cents a share.
lost 3/8 to 7 7/8 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, in line with the eight-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 3 cents.
Offerings and stock actions
climbed 5 1/16 to 136 9/16 after it said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split.
added 13/16 to 64 3/8 after it set a $3 billion share-repurchase program.
inched up 5/8, or 5.2%, to 12 5/8 after it said it will buy back an additional 20 million shares.
Genzyme Molecular Oncology
dropped 2 3/4, or 11.3%, to 21 1/2 after it said it would offer 3 million shares of common stock.
This morning, Dow component
rating was upgraded to buy from outperform and its price target was boosted to 200 from 150 at
. General Electric advanced 8 5/8, or 5.7%, to 159 1/2.
: named focus one stock at
. Bell Atlantic rose 1 3/4 to 59 5/8.
: rating DOWN to market perform from buy and price target cut to 30 at
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
. Compuware slipped 3, or 11%, to 24 1/4.
: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 54 at
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
. Dycom climbed 2 7/8, or 6.4%, to 47 13/16.
: price target UP to 225 from 175 by
analyst Jim Linnehan; 12-month share price target UP to 210 from 175 at Lehman Brothers. Exodus Communications lifted 1 5/8 to 171.
: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 98 price target at Lehman. Gilead moved up 5 9/16, or 8.7%, to 69 5/8.
: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and an 80 price target at Alex. Brown. Masco was up 1 to 22 3/4.
: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 80 at
. Palm gained 6 5/8, or 12.9%, to 58 3/16.
: INITIATED attractive at
. Pets.com advanced 1/4 to 6 1/8.
: coverage RESUMED with a buy rating and a 69 price target at Alex. Brown. Quanta Services jumped 5 1/2, or 9.7%, to 62.
: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 140 12-month price target at J.P. Morgan. Sonicwall ascended 4 15/16, or 5.4%, to 96 1/8.
: INITIATED with a buy rating and a 50 price target at
. US Freightways rose 1 7/16 to 36 1/16.
said Dale Morrison resigned as president, CEO and a director of the company. The New Jersey-based company said its board has appointed David Johnson to serve as CEO until a special committee concludes a search for a new long-term CEO. Johnson had served as Campbell's president and CEO from 1990 to 1997.
The soup company hasn't been looking so
M'm! M'm! Good! of late. It was hit with shareholder lawsuits this year, alleging that company documents misled shareholders about revenue. Last month, Campbell recalled 109,000 pounds of canned vegetable beef soup in 13 states after consumers found long pieces of metal in the soup. What would
think? Campbell Soup lifted 3/8 to 30 1/16.
board of directors withheld a 1999 bonus from Chairman and CEO Vance D. Coffman at his request because of the defense company's poor financial performance. Lockheed Martin fell 1/16 to 17 1/16.
said it named Francis Cash as CEO effective April 17. The former CEO, David Benson, resigned in January. Meditrust dropped 1/16 to 2 5/8.
British cable television operator
said it would offer its digital service on 90% of its network by June and aimed to have 500,000 customers by the end of the year.
upgraded Telewest to intermediate-term buy from neutral. Telewest moved up 4 1/4, or 6.2%, to 73.
The Heard on the Street column in the
announcement that it is buying the 15% of
Travelers Property Casualty
it doesn't already own. The move suggests Citigroup could be looking to buy other insurance companies using its own higher-priced stock, which sells for about 18 times earnings. Citigroup lifted 3 1/16, or 5.2%, to 61 13/16.