Stocks to Watch: Bell Atlantic, Vodafone to Swap Wireless Systems With Alltel - TheStreet

Stocks to Watch: Bell Atlantic, Vodafone to Swap Wireless Systems With Alltel

Nokia reports strong numbers and says it's seeking a 4-for-1 stock split.
Author:
Publish date:

The wireless-phone joint venture of

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

agreed to swap wireless systems in 13 states with

Alltel

(AT) - Get Report

in a deal valued at more than $3 billion.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of about 72 cents a share, 5 cents better than the 17-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate. The wireless giant also said it's seeking a 4-for-1 stock split, and it reiterated a net sales growth target of 30% to 40% for 2000.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Oneok

(OKE) - Get Report

said it would buy the midcontinent area assets of

Dynegy

(DYN)

for $307.7 million. Among other things, the assets include eight gas-processing plants from Dynegy as well as interests in two others.

National Westminster Bank

(NW)

said it rejected increased offers from hostile bidders

Bank of Scotland

and

Royal Bank of Scotland

as inadequate and risky.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Aetna

(AET)

said it agreed to amend past financial statements following a review by the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. The company said the statements cover 1998 and the first three quarters of 1999, and said it will report fourth-quarter results next Tuesday. Aetna said the revisions would cut first- and second-quarter 1999 net income by $10 million, or 7 cents a share, but boost its third-quarter 1999 net income by $30 million, or 20 cents a share.

Chubb

(CB) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 91 cents a share, a penny better than the 18-analyst estimate and the year-ago earnings of 90 cents.

Expedia

(EXPE) - Get Report

posted a second-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, narrower than the single-analyst estimate of a 29-cent loss.

The

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

affiliate also said it has agreed to acquire

Vacationspot.com

and

Travelscape.com

. The company said that it would issue roughly 2.6 million shares and options worth about $82 million for Vacationspot.com and issue another 3 million shares, options and warrants valued at roughly $95 million for Travelscape.com.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

(MGM) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter net income of 8 cents a share, a penny ahead of the five-analyst forecast and up from the year-ago loss of 41 cents.

Sprint

(FON)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 49 cents a share, well above the 13-analyst estimate of 38 cents and the year-ago 52 cents, which includes a gain of 7 cents.

Torchmark

(TMK)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 66 cents a share, in line with the 10-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 60 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

Reliability

(REAL) - Get Report

said it will buy back up to 1.5 million, or 22.6%, of its shares.

Analyst Actions

Warburg Dillon Read

started coverage of

Boise Cascade

(BCC) - Get Report

with a buy rating.

Credit Suisse First Boston

trimmed

FogDog's

(FOGD)

first-quarter loss-per-share view and reiterated a buy rating.

First Boston started coverage of

B.F. Goodrich

(GR)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 34.

Miscellany

The Heard on the Street column in

The Wall Street Journal

says

Pharmacia & Upjohn

(PNU)

and

Monsanto

(MTC) - Get Report

executives are hoping to sway some less-than-pleased investors to accept their merger by hinting there could be a premium down the road from even larger deals or acquisitions. The proposed merger of equals, with a value of $22 billion, offers no premium, the story says. At the top of the list of possible future partners is

American Home Products

(AHP)

, according to the story.

For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call, now published separately.