analyst Rick Sherlund cut his third-quarter revenue outlook for
to $5.75 billion from $5.95 billion, citing faltering demand for PCs.
"We are reducing our March quarter revenue estimate due to growing evidence that PC unit growth did not likely come up to our expectations," wrote Sherlund. "PC growth was very sluggish from November through February, and while it reaccelerated in March, it does not appear to have occurred fast enough to offset the weakness earlier in the quarter."
, the consumer products giant, is
buying privately owned
, the maker of diet shakes and bars, for $2.3 billion in cash. Florida-based Slim-Fast had net sales of $611 million and operating profits of $125 million for the year ended November 1999.
Separately, it's official: Unilever is buying
Ben & Jerry's Homemade's
for $43.60 a share, or $366 million.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
plan for a three-way merger with France's
unraveling in the face of antitrust opposition,
The Wall Street Journal
reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Alcan could announce as early as today that it won't resubmit its merger plan with Pechiney to the
and, as a result, may be forced to renegotiate its $4.1 billion deal with Algroup, the story said.
, an information technology products and services provider, is buying
, a unit of
Applied Digital Solutions
, for $375 million in stock.
Level 3 Communications
said it would sell a 25% ownership stake in its undersea cable system to
. The part-ownership stake is valued at more than $150 million.
said they will form a venture to use TeraBeam's fiberless optical networking system that provides high-speed data networking between local and wide area networks. Under terms of the agreement, Lucent will invest $450 million in cash, research and development, and products in the venture. Lucent also said it will create 500 jobs as it invests $150 million over the next three years in a major extension of a plant in Dublin.
A dozen or more oil and chemical companies including
Royal Dutch/Shell Group
are planning to launch an electronic exchange later this year, the
reported. The story said the companies expect the exchange will account for tens of billions of euros of their spending in the first year alone.
, an Australian telecommunications company, announced a strategic alliance with
Pacific Century CyberWorks
that will allow each company to expand its regional reach in Asia's telecommunications market,
The Wall Street Journal
reported in its online edition. Telstra will invest a total of $3 billion in cash in CyberWorks and a new joint venture between the two companies.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
warned that fourth-quarter earnings will come in between 13 cents to 15 cents a share, far below the 15-analyst estimate of 35 cents. The company said it expects to announce its earnings on Monday, May 1.
posted first-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share, a penny better than the 14-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago pro forma 50 cents.
posted first-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share, before a special gain, well ahead of the 10-analyst estimate of 80 cents and up from the year-ago 44 cents.
reported first-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, above the 20-analyst forecast of 37 cents and the year-ago 34 cents.
posted break-even results for its fiscal second-quarter, far above the 15-analyst estimate, which expected the online broker to lose 16 cents.
, the Milwaukee-based maker of motorcycles, reported stronger-than-expected earnings of 26 cents a share, smacking down the 12-analyst estimate of 24 cents and easily outpacing last year's 19-cent return.
reported first-quarter earnings of $3.37 a share, far above the 10-analyst estimate of $2.81, and up from the year-ago $3.01. Net income totaled $628 million, up from $600 million in the year-ago period. Return on common equity was 23% in the quarter, compared with 22% in the first quarter of 1999. J.P. Morgan said strong momentum in equities, investment banking and asset management services powered its top-line growth in the quarter.
, which is being acquired by
posted first-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, better than the eight-analyst estimate of 2 cents.
Offerings and stock actions
Credit Suisse First Boston
priced 4 million shares of
at $8 each. The company provides software and professional services to financial Web sites and online financial providers.
priced a follow-on public offering for the sale of 1 million shares, at $28.50 a share.
: coverage RESUMED with a strong buy and 12-month price target of 63 at
Warburg Dillon Read
University of Rochester
said it was awarded a patent for the use of the entire class of drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors, which are heralded for their effectiveness in killing pain, but without side effects such as stomach pain, bleeding or ulcers. The class of drugs includes the blockbuster arthritis drug Celebrex, which has become a bestseller. The university said that shortly after the patent was awarded, university attorneys filed a patent infringement suit in federal court against
, the pharmaceutical companies that jointly market Celebrex. Searle is the drug division of
. Monsanto is now a part of
The university said that the patent awarded Tuesday entitles it to royalties on the sale of all Cox-2 inhibitors. According to the university, doctors prescribed Celebrex to 6.4 million patients in 1999, pushing its first-year sales to $1.5 billion.
The Heard on the Street column in the
said analysts are seeking new ways to justify rising share prices of some technology giants. The story looks at
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
analyst George Kelly, who has covered
since the company went public in 1990. Kelly has kept a close eye on the company, often raising his target price along with the stock's ascent, the story said, adding that analysts now say investors are calling the shots on share prices, even when it comes to big stocks with predictable earnings growth.
For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call, published separately.