Qwest Communications

(Q)

said last night that "a major telecommunications company" pulled out of talks to acquire it and

U S West

(USW)

, which are already planning to merge. The major telecom firm mentioned by Qwest has been identified in numerous published reports as

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

. Qwest placed some blame on U S West for the potential acquirer pulling out of the takeover talks.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

CoreComm Limited

(COMM) - Get Report

, a provider of integrated telephone, Internet and data services to business and residential customers in targeted markets in the U.S., is acquiring

ATX Telecommunications Services

, a privately held company, for $900 million.

Medarex

(MEDX)

set a pact with

Regeneron

(REGN) - Get Report

to create and market drugs based on antibodies.

Phillips Petroleum

(P)

is expected to talk to the

Federal Trade Commission

about acquiring some of Arco's crude oil assets in Alaska, according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Earnings estimates are from

First Call/Thomson Financial

)

CMGI

(CMGI)

said it expects the IPO for its

AltaVista

portal unit in early April due to

Securities and Exchange Commission

delays. CMGI also said its revenue will increase at a rate of 20% on a quarter-over-quarter basis through 2000.

Crown Central Petroleum

(CNP.A)

(CNP.B)

has received an acquisition offer of $9.20 a share from

Apex Oil

for all of Crown Central's Class A and Class B common stock. The proposal will expire at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17, Crown Central said.

Dial

(DL) - Get Report

said it expects to post fiscal 2000 earnings 10% to 12% below the year-ago report. Dial is also forecasting first- and second-quarter sales to decline 3% to 5% from 1999.

Littelfuse

(LFUS) - Get Report

said it expects to report first-quarter earnings 20% above the seven-analyst estimate of 35 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

Metropolitan Life

(MET) - Get Report

cut the number of shares in its IPO to 179 million from 255 million and reduced the estimated price range to $13 to $15 a share, from $14 to $19. The new terms were revealed in an amended filing with the SEC.

MetLife now will sell 73 million shares of common stock in a concurrent private placement to

Banco Santander Central Hispano

(STD)

and

Credit Suisse Group

at the IPO price. The company plans to net about $3.4 billion from the IPO and the private stock sales, based on a $14-per-share initial price. Originally, MetLife had intended to raise as much as $6.5 billion in its public offering.

Quest Software

(QSFT)

said it priced a 4.2 million share secondary offering at $140 a share. Quest also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Rambus'

(RMBS) - Get Report

board approved a 4-for-1 stock split.

Analyst actions

SG Cowen

started coverage of

Exodus

(EXDS)

with a buy rating.

Credit Suisse First Boston

rolled out coverage of

Lante

(LNTE)

with a buy rating and a price target of 90.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage of

Lightspan

(LSPN)

with a strong buy and set a price target of 28.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimates on

Royal Dutch

(RD)

to $3.00 a share from $2.95 and its fiscal 2001 estimates to $3.10 a share from $3.05.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Time Warner

(TWX)

and

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

with buy ratings.

Warburg Dillon Read rolled out coverage of

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

with a strong buy rating and a price target of 75.

Miscellany

CNET Networks

(CNET) - Get Report

said Vice Chairman Shelby Bonnie has been named CEO, while Halsey Minor, CNET's founder and current CEO will continue as chairman.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

introduced a dedicated video game console, code-named

X-Box

.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

this week penned as usual by Gene Marcial, shines a positive light on

American Home Products

(AHP)

. Robert Lyon, president and chief investment officer of

Institutional Capital

in Chicago, thinks

Novartis

, the Swiss drug giant, will try to acquire AHP before long, the column reported.

Also garnering positive mention is

Concord Camera

(LENS)

. The column, citing an unnamed investor close to the company's management, said that Concord, in conjunction with a big overseas cell-phone maker, has developed a phone capable of taking pictures that can be transmitted to the Net via cellular airwaves.

Meanwhile, Israel's

ForSoft

(FORS)

receives positive mention in the column.