board has informally agreed to a new share-exchange ratio with



that values the company at $4.17 billion, or $4.91 a share, according to published reports. Doubts about whether the companies can complete the deal have built as more details about Enron's financial health have emerged, raising almost as many questions as answers.

Earnings Reports & Warnings


(AKAM) - Get Report

reaffirmed its fourth-quarter guidance. The company is expecting a loss of 38 cents to 40 cents a share and revenue of $34 million to $36 million. Analysts are looking for a loss of 39 cents, according to First Call.

Fairchild Semiconductor


reaffirmed its fourth-quarter revenue guidance and said it remains optimistic for 2002. "While we still are guiding fourth quarter overall revenues to be flat to down five percent sequentially from the third quarter, we are encouraged by the strength in our trade sales, which should see a slight increase this quarter," the company said in a press release. In the third quarter, Fairchild posted revenue of $325.4 million.

Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures

Bank of Montreal

(BMO) - Get Report

agreed to acquire CSFBdirect, an online brokerage, from Credit Suisse First Boston for $520 million. Bank of Montreal expects to close the deal in February. Credit Suisse First Boston is part of

Credit Suisse Group




Countrywide Credit

(CCR) - Get Report

filed a registration statement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to periodically sell up to $7 billion of various securities.

Triton PCS

(TPC) - Get Report

institutional shareholders plan to offer 6 million common shares using a shelf registration the company previously filed. The company won't receive any proceeds from the offering.

Miscellaneous News

Baxter International

(BAX) - Get Report

reached settlements with the families of 10 patients in Spain who died following hemodialysis treatment. Terms of the settlements weren't disclosed. The announcement comes after the company identified a probable link between its Althane dialyzers and some patient deaths.



board authorized a $2 billion increase in the company's stock repurchase program covering the next three years, bringing the size of the program to $3 billion. The company's board also approved the spinoff of



, Pharmacia's agricultural unit. Pharmacia plans to distribute its Monsanto stock to Pharmacia shareholders during the second half of 2002.

Providian Financial


will try to sell its credit card businesses in Argentina and the U.K., which together account for $188 million in deposits and $585 million in receivables. Providian is continuing to review its strategic options and may announce additional steps in the future, possibly including further asset sales and other strategic and capital enhancements.

CADx Medical Systems, a unit of

Shire Pharmaceuticals


, received an approvable letter from the Food and Drug Administration for Second Look, a computer-aided detection system for mammography.