Updated from 11:57 a.m. EST.

The ever-troubled copier maker

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

reported a loss of 31 cents a share, missing the already reduced

First Call/Thomson Financial

11-analyst estimate by a penny and way down from year-ago earnings of 41 cents a share.

Xerox

warned in December of weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results, adding that it had drawn down all of an emergency credit line it was tapping for daily operations. This morning, the company is saying its turnaround plans, including asset sales, cost reductions and plans to exit the financing business, are on track.

Xerox said it strengthened its cash position in the fourth quarter and ended the year with more than $1.7 billion in cash. Operational improvements reduced inventory in the quarter by more than $400 million. The company said its cost-reduction plans are expected to yield more than $1 billion in savings by the end of 2001. Xerox cut about 2,000 jobs worldwide in the fourth quarter and plans to cut 4,000 more jobs in the first quarter with additional job cuts throughout the year.

Earlier this month, the company

denied plans to file for bankruptcy and was able to

arrange secured financing from General Capital, a unit of

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

. Xerox finished the day up $1.07, or 15.6%, to $7.94.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Business-to-business softwaremaker

Ariba

(ARBA)

said it will acquire

Agile Software

(AGIL)

in a stock swap valued at $2.55 billion.

In a release on Ariba's web site, the company said the Agile acquisition provides a strategic extension to the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform, and provides several essential assets for deploying a new class of inter-enterprise solutions.

Terms of the agreement call for each share of Agile common stock to be converted into 1.35 shares of Ariba, resulting in a net aggregate purchase price of about $2.55 billion based on the closing price of Ariba common stock of $40 on Jan. 26, 2001. The acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of Ariba's fiscal year 2001. The company believes that the transaction will be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2002.

The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of each company and is subject to governmental approvals, Ariba and Agile stockholder approvals and customary closing conditions. Ariba closed down $1.63, or 4.1%, to $38.38 and Agile finished up $7.56, or 17.7%, to $50.38.

Maxim Integrated Products

(MXIM) - Get Report

agreed to acquire

Dallas Semiconductor

(DS) - Get Report

, a specialty semiconductor maker, in a stock deal worth about $2.5 billion.

Maxim, which makes analog circuits, said it will issue about $2.5 billion for Dallas' shares outstanding and stock options. The company expects to complete the acquisition in the second quarter, and sees the deal adding slightly to its 2001 earnings from operations, excluding acquisition-related expenses. The deal requires the approval of Dallas Semiconductor's shareholders. Maxim finished down $3.44, or 5.4%, to $60.06.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Falling long-distance profits dragged

AT&T's

(T) - Get Report

fourth-quarter earnings down 51% from year-ago levels, in line with analysts' lowered expectations.

The telecom giant earned 26 cents a share, excluding charges, down from 53 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 1999. The consensus earnings estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by First Call was 26 cents a share. That estimate was lowered following a warning by AT&T on Dec. 20 that its fourth-quarter earnings wouldn't meet the previous target of 29 cents to 33 cents per share. AT&T ended the day up 50 cents, or 2.2%, to $23.81.

International Flavors & Fragrances

(IFF) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 25 cents, excluding non-recurring charges and its Bush Boake Allen business, in line with the four-analyst estimate, but down from year-ago earnings of 37 cents a share. International Flavors & Fragrances closed up 4 cents, or 0.2%, to $21.29.

After Friday's Close

Natural Fuel Gas

(NFG) - Get Report

posted first-quarter earnings of $1.32 a share, missing the First Call seven-analyst estimate of $1.38 but above year-ago earnings of $1.14.

The utility attributed its lower earnings to a $10 million decrease in rates for its New York customers, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2000, in connection with the three-year rate settlement agreement reached with the New York State Public Service Commission. Natural Fuel Gas ended the day down 84 cents, or 1.5%, to $53.84.

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Offerings and stock actions

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

said its board approved the repurchase of up to $300 million of the company's common stock over a period determined by its management. The company, a semiconductor maker based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has about 313.4 million shares outstanding. AMD closed up $1.63, or 7.6%, to $23.

After Friday's Close

Alliance Data Systems

, which makes business software, slashed its IPO to an offering of 13 million shares from 20 million. It also cut the estimated price range to $12 to $14 a share from $14 to $16. The company applied for a

New York Stock Exchange

listing under the ticker ADS.

Rollins Truck Leasing

(RLC)

announced it would defer a decision on its quarterly dividend because

Penske Truck Leasing

was initiating a tender offer for its shares. Penske has offered Rollins $754 million in cash. Rollins finished the day down 2 cents, or 0.2%, to $12.85.

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Miscellany

Software group

Autonomy

(AUTN)

entered into a deal with

iManage

(IMAN)

to embed its infrastructure technology into Web-based software products being developed by iManage. Autonomy closed down 13 cents, or 0.4%, to $31.81.

German-American automaker

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

said it will cut 26,000 jobs, or about 20% of its workforce, over next three years in order to "regain competitiveness under difficult business circumstances." The Auburn Hills, Mich. company, which has been facing problems at its U.S. unit, also said it plans to idle six North American manufacturing plants over the next two years. DaimlerChrysler closed down 95 cents, or 1.97%, to $47.29.

After Friday's Close

Loews Cineplex Entertainment

(LCP)

said it will keep running normally despite defaulting on a $750 million bank credit line.

The movie theater operator, which announced Monday that it will shut 675 screens, said it is still talking to bank lenders to address its liquidity needs. Loews also said it believes it has enough cash on hand to last through the talks. Loews closed down 1 cent, or 1.8%, to 55 cents.

Newport News Shipbuilding

(NNS)

was awarded a $3.8 billion contract by the

U.S. Navy

for the design and construction of the tenth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, CVN 77.

The as-yet unnamed CVN 77, which is scheduled for delivery in 2008, will be a transition ship to a new class of carriers because, unlike other Nimitz-class carrier construction contracts, Newport News is also responsible for delivering the ship's warfare system, a task previously performed by the Navy. This includes development and procurement of the warfare system through a subcontract to

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

and overall integration of the warfare system into the ship.

In a statement, Newport News president Bill Fricks, said, "CVN 77 is an important transitional step toward the evolution of future carriers and an important milestone in the company's growing role as an overall platform integrator." Newport News closed up $1.22, or 2.5%, to $50.28.

United Shipping

(USHP)

said its chairman, Peter Lytle, will step down as CEO. He'll be succeeded by Jeff Parrell, currently the company's president. Parrell is also CEO of United Shipping's primary operating subsidiary, Velocity Express. He will retain his current duties. United Shipping closed up 22 cents, or 11.1%, to $2.19.

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