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Updated from 3:36 p.m.


FPL Group

(FPL) - Get First Trust New Opportunities MLP & Energy Fund Report

said it agreed to a merger of equals with


(ETR) - Get Entergy Corporation Report

, creating the United States biggest electric company. According to the terms, the deal is valued at roughly $7 billion, based on the companies' closing prices on Friday. FPL closed out at 52 13/16, while Entergy finished at 30 5/16. The merger carries a total enterprise value of $27 billion, which includes $16.4 billion in equity market capitalization and $10.7 in debt and preferred stock.

The transaction calls for FPL shareholders to receive one share of a new holding company for each share of FPL they hold, while Entergy holders would get 0.585 of a share of the newly formed company for each of their Entergy shares.

For additional coverage of the

FPL/Entergy link up, check out

joint newsroom story.


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

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is expected to announce a joint venture with


(QCOM) - Get Qualcomm Inc Report

, bringing wireless technology into its vehicles. The joint venture, which is known as


, will put services such as mobile phone, Web access and entertainment into Ford autos.

According to

The Wall Street Journal

, Wingcast would be based in San Diego, the hub for Qualcomm's business, with Ford taking the largest shareholder stake in the project. The services could be launched in 1 million Ford 2002 models.

Former Microsoft exec

Harel Kodesh

is expected to be tapped as the venture's CEO.

For additional coverage of

Ford's deal with Qualcomm link up, check out

joint newsroom story.



has agreed to buy

Altima Communications

in a stock deal valued at $533 million. Broadcom, a telecom circuit maker, said it would issue 2.5 million shares for all outstanding shares of the privately held firm. The deal will have Broadcom taking on a one-time third-quarter charge.

Glaxo Wellcome's


proposed merger with

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. Report

received the thumbs up from shareholders.

North Fork Bank


has extended its tender offer for



until Sept. 29. The bid, which Dime has repeatedly rejected, had been scheduled to expire today.


, publisher of the

Financial Times

, has agreed to purchase

National Computer Systems


in a cash deal valued at $2.5 billion. According to the terms, Pearson would pay $73 a share for the education services company.

Redback Networks


said it entered a $636 million stock deal to acquire Canada-based

Abatis Systems

. The terms call for Redback to issue roughly 5.2 million shares for all shares and warrants of Abatis, a networking technology supplier. The deal, which is based on Redback's closing price on Friday of 121 1/2, will make Abatis a subsidiary of the computer-networking firm.

Time Warner


is expected to announce today that it has opened up its cable lines to

Juno Online Services

, to provide high-speed Web access over Time Warner's broadband network. Juno would be the first third-party ISP to get the OK to use Time Warner's cable lines. The deal comes only days after

Federal Communications Commission

Chairman William Kennard said broadband access was a big concern in the merger of Time Warner and

America Online



joint newsroom wrote about the agreement in a

story this morning.

Laser eye-surgery company



adopted a plan to ward off a potential bid from famed corporate raider

Carl Icahn


Icahn told the company July 20 that he intended to buy more than $15 million worth of Visx shares through his

Icahn Associates

The move by Icahn may put the company in play as a potential acquisition target by other bidders.

In turn, at a special meeting, Visx's board of directors adopted a shareholder rights plan -- often called a poison pill -- to make its stock less attractive to a potential acquirer. Such a plan can result in the issuance of new preferred shares or allow current shareholders, apart from the suitor, to buy common stock at a bargain price, raising the cost of a takeover for the acquirer.

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Briggs & Stratton

(BGG) - Get Briggs & Stratton Corporation Report

posted fourth-quarter $1.24 a share, topping the three-analyst estimate of 95 cents but down from the year-ago $1.51 profit. The company warned that its first-quarter 2001 earnings would be greatly below last year's 66-cent profit.

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Tyson Foods, Inc. Class A Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, in line with the 17-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 30 cents. Tyson warned that its fourth-quarter earnings could be half that of the third quarter, and that first-quarter 2001 earnings could be even worse than the fourth quarter.

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Bell Microproducts


set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Speech recognition software company



raised the price of its initial public offering of 4.75 million shares to $17-$19 a share from $13-$15. The company is expected to debut this week.

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Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette




from its focus list, replacing it with





Cooper Cameron


: UP to buy from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

; price target of 100.

Benchmark Electronics

(BHE) - Get Benchmark Electronics, Inc. Report

: UP to buy from market perform at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

BF Goodrich


: UP to strong buy from buy at

SG Cowen




: UP to buy from hold at

ING Barings




: UP to outperform from neutral at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


Lan Chile


: ADDED to Latin America recommended list from purchase list at

Goldman Sachs


Nationwide Financial


: UP to strong buy from buy at

UBS Warburg

; price target UP to 49 from 38.

Ocean Energy


: UP to strong buy from buy at

Banc of America


Veeco Instrument

(VECO) - Get Veeco Instruments Inc. Report

: UP to intermediate-term buy from accumulate; fiscal 2000 estimates UP to $1.40 from $1.35; fiscal 2001 EPS estimates UP to $2.85 from $2.65.


(WMB) - Get Williams Companies, Inc. Report

: fiscal 2000 EPS estimates UP to 90 cents from 60 cents at Goldman Sachs.




: DOWN to market outperformer at Goldman Sachs.

Jack In The Box


: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.


Adolph Coors


: NEW outperform; price target of 75 at Morgan Stanley.


(COHR) - Get Coherent, Inc. Report

: NEW buy at

UBS Warburg

; price target of 80.


(MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report

: NEW outperform at Salomon Smith Barney.

SBA Communications

(SBAC) - Get SBA Communications Corp. Class A Report

: NEW strong buy at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

; UP to hold from reduce at

UBS Warburg


UTI Energy

(UTI) - Get Universal Technical Institute, Inc. Report

: NEW buy at

Lehman Brothers


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Clothing retailer

Tommy Hilfiger


said its licensing subsidiary is suing

Goody's Family Clothing


for allegedly selling counterfeit Tommy Hilfiger clothing and putting fake Hilfiger logos on their own apparel.

Base-metal miner





$100 million offer for 4 million shares and refused to make any recommendations on the offer to shareholders.



shares plummeted after its narcolepsy drug proved ineffective in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. The drug-maker said it does not expect the news to impact analysts' earnings and revenue forecasts.

Financial services giant


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

stated that


head, Ed Horowitz, has resigned. The announcement comes on the heels of e-Citi losses and criticisms from Wall Street of Citigroup's Internet strategy.

Gaylord Entertainment


said Terry London resigned as president and CEO.

A federal appeals court granted a last-minute reprieve to online song-swapping service


, temporarily staying a district court judge's order that the Internet service shut down by midnight Friday,


reported. Last Wednesday, a San Francisco district court judge told Napster to

cease online trading of songs covered by copyrights.

covered the decision in a

story Friday evening.

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Altria Group Inc Report

will announce today that it is raising its U.S. cigarette prices by 6 cents a pack, according to wire service reports.

Other tobacco companies are expected to follow Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, in hiking the price of their products. Philip Morris makes the popular Marlboro, Benson & Hedges and Virginia Slims cigarette brands.

The tobacco industry is reeling from a series of lawsuits claiming compensation for smoking-related illnesses. In early July, a Florida jury awarded $145 billion in punitive damages to plaintiffs in a tobacco-related class action against the nation's major cigarette manufacturers.

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