Updated from 6:06 p.m. EDT.
phoned in sick today, and its bad vibes helped tug down at the rest of the market. AT&T's shares were off 7 1/16, or 14.4%, to 41 15/16 at the close after it reported slim revenue growth and cut its profit and sales forecasts for the rest of the year. The company did report earnings in-line with a 15-analyst estimate of 53 cents a share. But they were down from the year-ago 61 cents.
AT&T, which plans to acquire cable television company
, said its first-quarter operating profits fell 13.1%, as merger costs and declining consumer sales offset strong sales of wireless and business services.
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analysts downgraded the retail sector late Tuesday, according to one investor. Among the stocks downgraded to either market outperformer or market performer from buy were
Abercrombie & Fitch
A Goldman analyst confirmed that Abercrombie had been moved from the recommended list to market performer, but no one was available to confirm the other downgrades.
The sector has been under pressure all year due to fears of higher interest rates and increasingly difficult same-store sales comparisons.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
, an Internet telecommunications provider, saw its shares drop 5 to 69 1/2 after it announced it will acquire
, a data networking products maker, in a stock deal valued at approximately $189 million. Act gained 3/8 to 14 1/4.
rose 1/8 to 33 1/8 after it announced a deal with privately held hotel operator
. The two companies have agreed to establish a Web company that would sell supplies to hotels. The hotel giants said their own hotels would purchase about $5 billion in supplies from the site and expect other companies to sign on to the venture, which will be launched later this year. The companies said they have selected Dennis Baker, executive vice president of Marriott, as the venture's COO.
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Real estate firm
Security Capital Group
shares inched up 3/16 to 15 1/8 after it announced it had agreed to pay $4.10 a share, or about $64 million, for a stake in lodging operator and owner
. This stake gives Security Capital group 100% control of Homestead.
was up 15/16 to 50 13/16 and
Energy Conversion Devices
climbed 1 1/4 to 23 1/4 after the two companies announced a joint venture agreement. Under the agreement, Texaco would purchase a 20% stake in Energy Conversion for $67.3 million. The companies said that they would set up partnerships involving the development of advanced energy technologies. Texaco's stake will be run by its
Texaco Energy Systems
was still down 2 3/4 to 86 1/8 after it said today it would put
back on the air. The ABC network's parent,
, was back up 1/2 to 42 1/2.
Time Warner pulled the network from its cable systems early yesterday morning. Disney and Time Warner disagreed about the fee Disney wanted to charge the cable operator to carry the
. Disney said it will allow Time Warner to carry ABC programming for free until July 15.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
fell 1/8 to 3 3/8 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, in line with both the 11-analyst estimate and the year-ago report.
dipped 1 1/4 to 49 13/16 after director Mort Topfer told investors at a
technology conference that the computer maker would probably not experience a recovery in Europe until the second half of 2000. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999, the company reported 8% revenue growth in Europe as compared with its total revenue growth of more than 30%.
reported second-quarter earnings of 82 cents a share, a penny better than the 11-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 74 cents. The company said it is confident that its fiscal 2000 earnings will fall in line with earlier expectations but said that its positive outlook is moderated by slowness in the automation market recovery and ongoing devaluation of the euro. The 11-analyst estimate expects the company to post a fiscal 2000 profit of $3.31.
said its EnronOnline Internet trading operation notched up $2.5 billion in sales during the last week of April. The online operation was launched in late November to enable businesses to buy and sell electricity, natural gas and other commodities with Enron acting as the principal in all deals. Separately, Enron told
the company expects to start wholesale electricity trading in Japan within three months.
dipped 5/16 to 55 7/16 after posting a third-quarter loss of 40 cents a share, narrower than the four-analyst estimate of a 57-cent loss. The company does not have a year-ago per share comparison because its IPO was held in November 1999.
The Web travel service, which is 85% owned by
, posted revenue of $31.9 million, greatly surpassing the year-ago report of $11.2 million. Expedia attributed the strong results to the success of its hotel room and tour package sales.
fell 1 to 84 1/4 after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst estimate of 27 cents but down from the year-ago 45 cents.
was down 3/16 to 26 7/16 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, a penny better than the eight-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 22-cent profit.
was unchanged at 25 1/2 after it reported a first-quarter loss of 22 cents a share, narrower than the six-analyst estimate of a 24-cent loss but down from the year-ago 6-cent profit.
Offerings and stock actions
rose 3/16 to 35 7/16 after it announced plans to buy back up to $300 million in shares.
climbed 7 1/8, or 50.9%, to 21 1/8 after Goldman Sachs priced 3.6 million shares at $14 each. The Salt Lake City-based company designs and manufactures hearing aids.
Microsoft shares slid 3 9/16 to 69 7/8 after influential Morgan Stanley Dean Witter tech analyst Mary Meeker reiterated her market outperform but said that she likes the stock "in the 60s."
: UP to strong buy at
Credit Suisse First Boston
; price target: 70. BroadVision popped 3 7/8, or 9%, to 46 15/16.
: fiscal 2000 earnings estimate UP to $4.25 a share from $3.60 and fiscal 2001 estimate UP to $6.10 from $4.75 at Credit Suisse First Boston; price target UP to 180 from 170. Credence Systems tacked on 1/16 to 141 13/16.
earnings-per-share estimate UP at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown. Ericsson slipped 1 11/16 to 89 7/16.
: revenue estimates UP to $47.8 million from $45.5 million for 2000 at Lehman Brothers. Globix lost 3 1/2, or 13.9%, to 21 9/16.
price target UP to 36 from 32 at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; outperform recommendation maintained. Analysts said the recovery in the Far East economy and
production increases was causing the tanker market to tighten.
Morgan Stanley said an imminent new building boom would drive new building prices and secondhand values higher, although ultimately this poses a threat to the industry. The new price target was a result of an increased year-end Net Asset Value estimate of $30, raised from $26, which was then boosted by the standard 20% share price premium for the stock. Teekay slid 5/8 to 32 7/16.
: first-quarter earnings estimate DOWN to 16 cents a share to 26 cents at Credit Suisse First Boston; hold rating REITERATED. Compuware skidded 1/2 to 11 7/8.
: CUT to buy from strong buy at
US Bancorp Piper Jaffray
. Pacific Sunwear fell 9 5/16, or 26%, to 26 1/2.
Shared Medical Systems
DOWN to hold from buy at UBS Warburg following the company's announcement of a proposed merger with Germany's
. Shared Medical tacked on 13/16 to 71 5/16.
Stone & Webster
: DOWN to sell from hold at Credit Suisse First Boston. Stone & Webster declined 2 1/4, or 36%, to 4.
: ADDED to recommended list at
. Kana leaped 3, or 6.4%, to 49 5/16.
: NEW buy at Credit Suisse First Boston. Maxygen stumbled 9 7/8, or 16.2%, to 51.
: NEW strong buy at CSFB, price target: 35. Modem Media gained 3 1/16, or 22%, to 16 13/16.
: NEW intermediate, long-term buy at
. Saba Software lost 4 5/8, or 14.5%, to 27 1/8.
: NEW buy at
. Ulticom declined 7/8 to 29 1/4.
A number of brokerages started coverage of
- ABN Amro initiated coverage with a buy and a price target of 40.
Merrill Lynch initiated coverage with an intermediate and long-term buy rating and a 12-18 month price target of $44 a share.
Goldman Sachs started coverage with a recommend rating and a year-end 2000 price target of $42 a share.
UBS Warburg initiated coverage as a buy and set a price target of 43.
AT&T Wireless stumbled 3 3/16, or 9.0%, to 32 1/16.
UBS also initiated coverage of
Palm (PALM) as a hold with a target of 24. Palm declined 1 to 28 3/4.
Lehman Brothers initiated coverage of four brokerages this morning:
- Charles Schwab (SCH) at neutral. Charles Schwab shed 7/8 to 44 3/4.
Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report at neutral. Goldman Sachs lost 4 to 93.
Merrill Lynch (MER) at outperform. Merrill Lynch slipped 4 1/16 to 103 13/16.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (MWD) at neutral. Morgan Stanley stumbled 4, or 5%, to 75 3/4.
lost 3 13/16, or 6.3%, to 56 1/8 after it said is making a foray into the culinary market with a new online kitchen store. Amazon said the store will offer recipes, cooking tips, product reviews and culinary products and accessories.
USA Today publisher
slid 1 3/16 to 62 9/16 after it said Douglas McCorkindale, 60, who joined the company in 1971, will succeed John J. Curley as CEO on June 1. Curley, 61, will continue as chairman until he retires early next year.
Standard & Poor's
said software maker
. CBS is set to be bought by
for about $47 billion in stock. Siebel Systems tacked on 3/16 to 123 1/2.
President Robert McTeer late yesterday told the
Washington Association of Money Managers
that "U.S. inflation is showing signs of resisting arrest," which could ignite investors' fears of a 50-basis-point rate hike at the May 16
Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
McTeer, who has held the principle that higher productivity growth enabled the economy to flourish with lower inflation, also called the stronger-than-expected March
Consumer Price Index figure a "terrible number," according to
. However, McTeer went on to say he thinks the overall U.S. inflation rate is likely to decline in coming months as energy prices ease.
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Corrections and Clarifications.