Updated from 3:39 p.m. EDT

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

announced a restructuring of its Fingerhut catalog operations, following previous disclosure of credit problems.

Federated is expected to slash 550 jobs at the Fingerhut unit, some at the end of this month and the rest in January. The restructuring is expected to save about $40 million in overhead starting next year. Federated expects to take a hit of $75 million to $100 million related to the downsizing, taken as a charge in the third and fourth quarter of the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, 2001.

In

July, the company said credit delinquencies at the unit, which it bought last year to ramp up its

Internet operations, were rising. On Nov. 8, the company is expected to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, according to the 17-broker

First Call/Thomson Financial

consensus. Federated closed up $3.31, or 12.8%, to $29.25.

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

says it is not filing for Chapter 11 protection, you copy?

A European spokesman for the company said Xerox has a $7 billion revolving credit line that continues until 2002. Unfortunately, the company also has a nasty habit of

warning about the last couple

quarters , which has spurred rumors that the company is in serious trouble and ripe for the pickings. The official Xerox line on its finances is clear. The copier stock closed down, though, by 81 cents, or 7.2%, to $10.44.

Auto rental company

Hertz

(HRZ)

reported earnings of $1.33 a share on net income of $142.8 million, beating the eight-broker First Call/Thomson Financial consensus for $1.30 a share.

The company, of which

Ford

(F) - Get Report

owns 81.5%, saw revenues increase by 7% from the previous year. The company had previously lowered earnings expectations for the third quarter, blaming the rising dollar and

UAL's

(UAL) - Get Report

United Airlines

-related labor dispute for a shortfall in earnings. Hertz closed up 50 cents, or 1.6%, to $32.38; Ford was up $2, or 8.6%, to $25.38.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Agilent Technologies

(A) - Get Report

announced that it was selling some leased assets to

CIT Group

(CIT) - Get Report

. According to the deal, CIT will offer equipment financing and leasing services to Agilent customers. Agilent expects the deal to boost its fiscal fourth-quarter and fiscal 2001 results. Agilent ended the day down 38 cents, or 0.8%, to $44.38; CIT was up 69 cents, or 5.1%, to $14.25.

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

and

United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get Report

have entered an agreement, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. No, Boeing isn't going to cut out the middleman and begin overnighting unruly children in large, well-taped boxes. The airliner, hoping to boost the service end of its business, will refit up to 30 of its MD-11 passenger jumbo jets as cargo planes and deliver them over the next five to six years, ready to ship as much as UPS can pack in there.

Company officials value the transaction at $1.5 billion, which is a whole lot more than you got for your used vehicle at the last trade-in. Boeing closed up $2.63, or 4.7%, to $58.75; UPS was up $1.88, or 3.4%, to $56.63.

Brunswick

(BC) - Get Report

will sell part of its outdoor recreation businesses to

K2

(KTO)

for about $200 million in cash, subordinated debt and convertible stock.

Brunswick said it expects to record a third-quarter charge of about $110 million for discontinued operations relating to its cooler, marine and hunting accessories businesses. The company also said it would take a $40 million charge to further environmental reserves to clean up contamination from a former manufacturing plant and for the write-down of investments in Internet businesses. Brunswick ended the day up 81 cents, or 4.9%, to $17.50; K2 was up $1, or 11.9%, to $9.38.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

completed its acquisition of

Detroit Diesel

(DDC)

, which makes engines for trucks and off-highway vehicles.

DaimlerChrysler will give Detroit Diesel stockholders $23 in cash for each of their shares. Detroit Diesel stock ended trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the close of business Thursday. DaimlerChrysler closed up $2.08, or 4.7%, to $45.94.

NCR

(NCR) - Get Report

wants to buy

4Front Technologies

(FFTI) - Get Report

but it needs approval from the

European Commission

, which was seen as something of a "Mikey, who hates everything" after it put the kibosh on a proposed merger between Warner Bros. Music, a unit of

Time Warner

(TWX)

and

EMI

. But the word is in: The EC likes it! It likes it!

Actually, in this proposed merger, there was none of the hand-wringing and bargaining associated with the far larger Warner/EMI deal. Per EC rules, mergers ruled "uncontroversial" get automatic approval in a month if no one objects.

NCR closed up 75 cents, or 1.9%, to $41, and 4Front was up 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $18.44.

Auf Wiederseh'n,

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

! The U.S. broker is headed to Germany, where the beer steins are bigger than pickup trucks, the bratwurst is tasty and American stereotypes of foreign nations run rampant. Lehman has formed an online distribution agreement with

Consors

, a German online broker. Under terms of the deal, the Brothers Lehman will provide research for 450,000 Consors clients, extending the broker's efforts to push further into the European market. Lehman closed up $7.63, or 6.8%, to $119.69.

After Thursday's Close

VoiceStream Wireless'

(VSTR)

planned purchase of wireless provider

Powertel

(PTEL)

cleared a regulatory obstacle yesterday. The

Justice Department

cleared the merger, which now faces a review by the

Federal Communications Commission

. VoiceStream closed up $8.94, or 8.5%, to $114.13.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

What is

Avista

(AVA) - Get Report

? No, it's not the Clive Davis-backed record label. (That's

Arista

.) It's an electric and gas utility, based in Spokane, Wash., and today, Avista announced that its third quarter will come in with profits, crushing analyst estimates, which called for a 13 cent loss. The company will report after the bell Wednesday. Avista closed up $2.63, or 14.3%, to $20.94.

CMS Energy

(CMS) - Get Report

issued a positive preannouncement this morning, saying earnings will be 10% to 15% higher than the company's previous guidance of 40 cents per share. The oil and natural gas exploration as well as production and processing company is expected to report third-quarter earnings Oct. 26. CMS ended the day up 13 cents, or 0.4%, to $28.44.

Yawn. Hear about the latest third-quarter warning?

International Fibercom

(IFCI)

said third-quarter earnings will come in between 8 cents and 10 cents a share, missing the 16 cent

First Call/Thomson Financial

two-broker estimate. The company cited unexpectedly high research and development costs, some start-up costs, lower margins and missed deadlines from some backlogged projects. International Fibercom closed down $2.59, or 21.7%, to $9.34.

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

announced that it is comfortable with third-quarter earnings estimates of 53 cents a share and fourth-quarter forecasts of 48 cents a share. Lowe's ended the day up $1, or 2.6%, to $38.81.

Teppco

(TPP)

posted third-quarter earnings of 41 cents per limited partner and Class B share, which beat the six-analyst estimate of 37 cents and was up from year-ago earnings of 32 cents a share.

Also, the company announced it raised its quarterly dividend to 52.5 cents from 50 cents. Teppco closed down 13 cents, or 0.5%, to $25.38.

After Thursday's Close

Earnings results were mixed after the bell yesterday. PC maker

Gateway

(GTW)

reported strong results, while the news from Internet marketing company

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

seemed less reassuring. Gateway closed up $9.48, or 21.7%, to $53.11, and DoubleClick was down $5.69, or 31.4%, to $12.44.

TheStreet.com

has covered the following earnings releases in separate stories last night:

Gateway Earnings Hit the Mark

DoubleClick Hits Earnings Target, Notes Cash on Hand

Juniper Beats Third-Quarter EPS Target by 8 Cents

Guidant Beats Analysts' 3Q Earnings Estimates by a Penny

PMC-Sierra Beats Analysts' 3Q Expectations

Lam Research Beats Analysts' 1Q Estimates

Veritas Software Tops Expectations

Dallas Semiconductor Beats Analysts' 3Q Earnings Estimates

Chemical company

Union Carbide

(UK)

issued an earnings warning, blaming rising costs for crude oil and other raw materials. The company, which will release earnings Oct. 30, said it expects to earn 20 cents a share for the third quarter. The two-broker First Call/Thomson Financial consensus was for 57 cents a share. The stock closed down $1.75, or 4.8%, to $34.81.

Union Carbide is in the midst of being acquired by

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Report

, the chemical producer that also issued an earnings warning for this quarter.

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

and

PolyOne

(POL) - Get Report

also issued warnings, as chemical companies have seen profits erode due to rising raw materials costs. Dow Chemical ended the day down 50 cents, or 2%, to $24.06; DuPont was down $1.38, or 3.3%, to $40.56; but PolyOne was up 25 cents, or 3.5%, to $7.38.

Advanced Energy

(AEIS) - Get Report

reported earnings of 51 cents a share on net income of $16.5 million, falling short of the 11-analyst estimate of 65 cents. At this time a year ago, the company reported earnings of 20 cents. The stock closed down $9.44, or 36.4%, to $16.50.

Cerner

(CERN) - Get Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, beating the 23-analyst estimate of 14 cents a share and up from year-ago earnings of 2 cents a share.

This is the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company has beaten analysts' estimates. Cerner added that estimates for the 2001 year, 75 cents to 80 cents a share, are appropriate, up from the previous range of 70 cents to 75 cents a share. The 23-analyst estimate for 2001 earnings is 73 cents a share. Cerner closed up $8.88, or 21.7%, to $49.88.

Cree

(CREE) - Get Report

, which makes semiconductor materials and devices, posted first-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share, 2 cents better than the seven-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 14 cents. Cree ended the day down $7.44, or 7.8%, to $87.63.

Cytec

(CYT)

posted third-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share, in line with the eight-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 64 cents. Cytec's third-quarter water and industrial process sales increased in three of its major markets.

The company said higher selling volumes and lower operating costs benefited operating earnings, but that a decline in exchange rates -- principally in Europe -- and a rise in costs of petroleum derivatives more than offset those benefits. Cytec closed up 19 cents, or 0.6%, to $31.25.

Expeditors International of Washington

(EXPD) - Get Report

said it expects third-quarter earnings in a range of 46 cents to 48 cents a share, well above the 12-analyst estimate of 41 cents a share expected for the quarter. Expeditors reported 33 cents a share for the same quarter a year ago. The company will release its earnings report before the open Nov. 7. The stock closed up $3.06, or 7.6%, to $43.56.

Infonet Services

(IN)

said it expects to report a second-quarter profit, which would beat the three-analyst estimate of a 1 cent loss per share.

The company, which sells network communications services, expects to end up with higher capacity than planned for the current fiscal year as a result of declining capacity costs. Infonet ended the day up 63 cents, or 9.6%, to $7.13.

Microchip Technology

(MCHP) - Get Report

, a computer chipmaker, reported fiscal second-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, matching the eight-analyst consensus. The company reported earnings of 17 cents a share for the same time period last year. Microchip closed up $2.63, or 9.1%, to $31.56.

Powerwave Technologies

(PWAV)

, which designs amplifiers for wireless technology, reported earnings of 18 cents a share on net income of $11.6 million, beating the eight-analyst consensus of 15 cents. The year-ago figure was 9 cents.

The stock was upgraded to strong buy from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. Powerwave closed up $8.25, or 25.3%, to $40.88.

Silicon Storage

(SSTI) - Get Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, a penny better than the three-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 1 cent. The stock was flat at $22.44.

Laser-technology company

Visx

(EYE) - Get Report

reported earnings of 19 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst consensus estimate by 1 cent. The company reported earnings of 36 cents at this time last year. Visx ended the day up 31 cents, or 1.4%, to $22.25.

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Analyst actions

Just in case you'd forgotten about her,

Goldman Sachs'

strategist Abby Joseph Cohen said this morning that the

S&P 500

index is undervalued by about 15% and reiterated her year-end S&P target of 1575. That's pretty remarkable, because in order to get there, the S&P would have to rise 18.4% in about two-and-a-half months to get there.

Cohen's

comments in years past seemed prudent and reassuring; she was notable for reassuring the market in the midst of the Asian meltdown in late 1998. The strategist last spoke Oct. 3 to calm investors, but like any other strategist, she isn't bigger than the market, which has declined steadily despite her long-term bullishness.

Opinions vary on

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

this morning.

Credit Suisse First Boston

started coverage on the company today with a buy rating and a price target of $25, while

ING Barings

lowered its price target to $35 a share from $55, maintaining its buy rating.

SG Cowen

also dropped its rating on the company, to buy from strong buy. The Internet marketing company reported earnings of 3 cents a share last night for the third quarter, but concerns about a weak Internet advertising market smacked the stock in after-hours and preopen trading. As noted above, DoubleClick closed down $5.69, or 31.4%, to $12.44. The stock's 52-week high was $135.25.

Upgrades

Blackrock

(BLK) - Get Report

: UP to outperform from neutral at

Lehman Brothers

; price target: $42; 2000 earnings per share estimate to $1.34 from $1.33; 2001 EPS estimate to $1.64 from $1.60. Blackrock closed up $2.75, or 7.7%, to $38.63.

Ciber

(CBR)

: UP to outperform from neutral at

Salomon Smith Barney

; price target: $8. Ciber ended the day up 13 cents, or 1.96%, to $6.50.

Diamond Technology

(DTPI)

: UP to strong buy at

W.R. Hambrecht

; price target: $90. Diamond closed up $6.31, or 14.2%, to $50.69.

Pinnacle West

(PNW) - Get Report

: UP to buy from hold at CSFB. Pinnacle West closed up 13 cents, or 0.3%, to $50.06.

Redback

(RBAK)

: UP to strong buy from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. The stock closed up $18.84, or 18.4%, to $121.53.

Red Hat

(RHAT)

: UP to buy at W.R. Hambrecht; price target: $30. Red Hat ended the day up $3.25, or 28.7%, to $14.56.

Televisa

(TV) - Get Report

: UP to strong buy from buy at CSFB. The stock closed up $4.56, or 10.1%, to $49.69.

Wisconsin Energy

(WEC) - Get Report

: UP to buy from hold at CSFB. Wisconsin Energy closed up 38 cents, or 2%, to $18.81.

Downgrades

Costco

(COST) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings. The stock ended the day up 88 cents, or 2.8%, to $32.13.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

: DOWN at CSFB: 2000 earnings per share to $9.22 from $9.77; 2001 earnings per share to $9.70 from $10.10. DOWN at Goldman Sachs: 2000 earnings per share to $9.08 from $9.32; 2001 earnings per share to $8.70 from $9.70. DOWN at

PaineWebber

: 2000 earnings per share to $9.23 from $9.80; 2001 earnings per share to $8.80 from $10.25. Lehman downgraded the company last night and also cut earnings estimates. GM closed up 31 cents, or 0.5%, to $57.69.

Infonet

(IN)

:

ABN Amro

dropped it from its "top pick" list to its buy list; price target: $25. As noted above, Infonet ended the day up 63 cents, or 9.6%, to $7.13.

Initiations

Active Power

(ACPW)

: NEW recommended for purchase at Goldman Sachs. The stock closed up $7.19, or 18.9%, to $45.25.

Web MD

(HLTH)

: NEW buy at

UBS Warburg

. Web MD ended the day down 50 cents, or 5.9%, to $8.

Group Moves

CSFB initiated coverage on the PC hardware industry:

  • Apple (AAPL) - Get Report: NEW buy; price target: $32. The Big Apple closed up $2.06, or 10.3%, to $22.06.
  • Compaq (CPQ) : NEW strong buy; price target: $43. CPQ closed up $2.67, or 11.9%, to $25.20.
  • Dell (DELL) - Get Report: NEW hold; price target: $33. Dell ended the day up $4.13, or 17.8%, to $27.31.
  • Gateway (GTW) : NEW strong buy; price target: $70. Gateway closed up $9.48, or 21.7%, to $53.11.
  • IBM (IBM) - Get Report: NEW hold; price target: $138. IBM closed up $5.94, or 5.8%, to $109.06.
  • Hewlett-Packard (HWP) : NEW hold; price target: $115. HWP closed up $6.94, or 8.3%, to $90.63.
  • Network Engines (NENG) : NEW buy; price target: $50. The stock closed down $2.69, or 8.2%, to $30.
  • Ingram Micro (IM) : NEW hold; price target: $18. Ingram ended the day up 13 cents, or 0.9%, to $13.63.
  • Tech Data (TECD) - Get Report: NEW hold; price target: $45. Tech Data closed up $4.06, or 11.4%, to $39.63.

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Miscellany

Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Report

, which announced that it was going to miss fourth quarter estimates back in September, announced today that it would offer rebates on its Power Mac G4 cube computer and its PowerBook to customers who buy them between now and the end of the year. As noted above, Apple closed up $2.06, or 10.3%, to $22.06.

Drug manufacturer

Immunex

(IMNX)

won permission to promote its cancer-fighting drug Novantrone to treat advanced forms of multiple sclerosis. The stock ended the day up $4.38, or 11.6%, to $42.

Netguru

(NGRU)

, which has watched its stock drop 66% in the last three sessions, this morning said it was "very concerned" with the drop in the price. Boy, that's novel. Netguru closed up 75 cents, or 14.3%, to $6.

The

European Commission

said that it has granted conditional approval for the planned acquisition by

Vivendi

(V) - Get Report

and its subsidiary

Canal Plus

of

Seagram

(VO) - Get Report

. Vivendi closed up 44 cents, or 3.1%, to $14.75, and Seagram was up $3.25, or 6%, to $57.25.

After Thursday's Close

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

and

Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates

(VSEA)

reached a settlement of all outstanding lawsuits between them.

As part of the settlement, Applied Materials released all claims for infringement of four of its physical vapor deposition patents, and also dismissed Varian from a patent infringement lawsuit. Varian agreed to make an undisclosed payment and dismissed all of its counterclaims in the patent-infringement lawsuit and in its entire antitrust lawsuit against Applied Materials.

Related patent-infringement litigation between Applied Materials and

Novellus

(NVLS)

is ongoing.

AMAT closed up $5.44, or 11.3%, to $53.50, and Varian was up $3.45, or 10.96%, to $34.95.

Motorola

(MOT)

said the executive vice president and president of the communications enterprise unit, Merle Gilmore, has resigned. The stock ended the day up $1.94, or 9.6%, to $22.13.

Get ready for a little game of

Twister

.

Standard & Poor's

announced

Power-One

(PWER)

will replace

Unicom

(UCM)

in the

S&P 500 after the close of trading Wednesday, and not Monday, as previously announced. Peco Energy is acquiring Unicom in a transaction expected to close that day, and it will change its name to

Exelon

(EXC) - Get Report

. Power-One closed up $10.44, or 16.2%, to $74.94; Unicom closed up $1.25, or 2.4%, to $53.44.

Simula

(SMU)

settled its disputes with

Autoliv

(ALV) - Get Report

concerning a licensing agreement.

Autoliv will pay certain consideration to Simula, and the companies agreed to grant each other certain nonexclusive technology rights as part of the agreement. Pending U.S. litigation and international arbitration proceedings will also be dismissed, with neither party admitting liability. Simula closed up 69 cents, or 50%, to $2.06; Autoliv was up 44 cents, or 2.2%, to $20.81.

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By the Numbers

The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

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