Stocks to Watch: Phillips, Conoco to Merge; Lowe's Tops Estimates

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Phillips Petroleum

(P)

agreed to merge with

Conoco

(COC)

in an all-stock deal valued at more than $15 billion. Continuing the cumbersome trend of incorporating both identities, the new company will be called ConocoPhillips. Phillips shareholders will receive one share of the new company's common stock for each share of Phillips they own. Conoco shareholders will receive 0.4677 shares of the new company's stock for each of their shares. Archie W. Dunham, Conoco's chairman and chief executive, will serve as chairman of ConocoPhillips and will delay his scheduled retirement until 2004. James J. Mulva, Phillips' chairman and chief executive, will be president and CEO of the combined company.

Earnings Reports & Warnings

Lowe's

(LOW) - Get Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, a penny ahead of the consensus estimate. Sales increased 21.1% to $5.45 billion.

Offerings

Quest Diagnostics

(DGX) - Get Report

is offering $225 million of 20-year contingent convertible bonds. The company expects the transaction to be "mildly accretive" to its earnings in 2002.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures

Computer Sciences

(CSC)

received a five-year extension of its information technology outsourcing agreement with

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get Report

. The extension adds $1.1 billion to the contract, which now runs until December 2014, bringing the total value of the agreement to $3.7 billion over 15 years.

Global Crossing

(GX)

agreed to sell its IPC Trading System units to an investment group led by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for $360 million in cash. The company expects to close the deal by the end of the year.

Speculation is building that

Handspring

(HAND)

and

Palm

(PALM)

may enter merger talks, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. No talks have occurred, but the article said that rumors started building after Palm CEO Carl Yankowski resigned.

Miscellaneous News

E-Loan

(EELN)

renewed a $50 million line of credit with Warehouse Bank, a unit of GMAC Bank, through March 31, 2002.

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

reported that data on the investigational drug duloxetine showed the treatment's superiority over a placebo and paroxetine in reducing depression, including physical symptoms.

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

and

Pharmacia

(PHA)

received Food and Drug Administration approval for Bextra, an osteoarthritis drug.

After Friday's Close

Andrx

(ADRX)

said the Food and Drug Administration approved the company's application to market a generic form of Prilosec. The company is still involved with litigation with

AstraZeneca

(AZN) - Get Report

, which holds the patent rights to the ulcer treatment.