AT&T

(T) - Get Report

agreed to merge its cable unit into

Comcast

in a $72 billion transaction that will leave existing AT&T shareholders with a 56% equity stake in the combined firm. The new company will have more than 21 million customers.

The pact ends a five-month auction in which AT&T entertained bids from

AOL Time Warner

(AOL)

and

Cox Communications

(COX)

. Comcast will issue $47 billion in new stock to AT&T shareholders, giving them a 56% equity stake and a 66% voting stake in the new firm, while the family of Comcast president Brian Roberts will control one-third of the combined entity's voting interest.

Earnings & Outlooks

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

fell after the company sharply lowered its fourth-quarter revenue and earnings guidance, reflecting caution from carrier customers due to the weak economy. The IP Infrastructure provider expects fourth-quarter revenue to be $150 million to $155 million, down from original guidance of $200 million. Pro forma earnings per share are now expected to be 5 cents. Wall Street analysts had been expecting 10 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Jabil Circuit

(JBL) - Get Report

plunged after the company reported first-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates. Jabil said net income was $22.1 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $48.3 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period. On a pro forma basis, the company earned 11 cents a share, a penny short of analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. Revenue for the quarter was $884.6 million, a 21% drop from $1.13 billion in the same quarter last year. The contract electronics manufacturer also said it expects a slower recovery because of continued economic deterioration.

Riverstone Networks

(RSTN)

said third-quarter earnings were higher than analysts expected, and the company affirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter. Riverstone earned $3.6 million, or 3 cents a share, before charges in the third quarter, a penny better than analysts' forecasts, and said it was comfortable with the existing estimate of 4 cents for the current quarter. Revenue was $60.1 million, up 8.7% from a year ago. The router maker said growth in Asia is helping fuel 6%-10% revenue growth in the current quarter, noting that it recently received a contract to provide business-to-business services to Japan Telecom.

Plexus

(PLXS) - Get Report

said first-quarter sales and earnings will trail Wall Street estimates, citing lower margins caused by falling capacity use. The Neenah, Wis., electronics-industry services provider expects to report cash earnings of a penny to 2 cents a share on revenue of about $200 million; analysts had been expecting earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $212 million. The company will book a $2 million charge in the first quarter related to capacity reductions.

Printronix

(PTNX)

warned demand in its December quarter has been uncharacteristically weak and revenue will be 5% to 10% below the $36.5 million posted in the third quarter. The company said it still expects to turn a profit and be cash-flow positive in the quarter, its fiscal third, which ends Dec. 28. Analysts are expecting earnings of 19 cents a share. The computer printer maker said order flows in December have not reflected the typical seasonal increase.

Mergers

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

moved into the data communications business by agreeing to acquire

IBM's

optical transceiver unit for for $340 million in cash and stock. Ottawa-based JDS could pay up to an additional $85 million in 2003, depending on the unit's performance. IBM recently agreed to sell its global position system unit to

RF Micro

(RFMD)

as it refocuses its microelectronics business on servers and networking.

Miscellaneous

Mirant

(MIR)

plunged in premarket trading after disclosing plans to cut its capital spending, lowering its 2002 guidance and saying it will sell 40 million common shares. On Wednesday, Mirant had its credit rating lowered to junk status by Moody's, which cited "moderating cash flows" due to its $5 billion debt burden. The company will remove $1.5 billion from its 2002 capital budget, saying it will spend only $2.6 billion, primarily on 5,700 megawatts of U.S. generating capacity. The company also plans to raise $1.6 billion from the sale of assets, including $900 million by divesting its Bewag unit. Mirant left 2001 guidance at $1.95 a share before charges but said it now expects to earn $2 to $2.10 a share next year. Analysts polled by First Call had been expecting earnings of $2.55 a share.