CEO is planning to meet next week with
U S West's
chairman to discuss their merger in light of the fact that the deal is threatened by a possible bid from
The Wall Street Journal
reported. The newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation, that Deutsche Telekom's CEO is encouraging both Qwest and U S West to iron out their differences over a potential get-together of one or both companies with Deutsche Telekom.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
Delphi Automotive Systems
said it expects to grow its nonautomotive business by nearly 70% to more than $700 million over the next three to five years.
reported a fourth-quarter loss of 42 cents a share, narrower than the 11-analyst expected loss of 55 cents, and wider than the year-ago loss of 25 cents.
said February same-store sales were up 14%.
Offerings and stock actions
, a biopharmaceutical company, said it will sell a little more than 2 million shares of stock in a follow-on public offering at $172 a share.
to long-term buy from accumulate and set a 12-month to 18-month price target on the stock of 110.
Merrill raised its near-term rating on
to accumulate from neutral and reiterated its long-term buy rating on the stock.
Credit Suisse First Boston
analyst Tim Newington launched coverage of Internet service providers
with buy ratings and
with a strong buy.
Exodus also announced a 2-for-1 stock split this morning.
Merrill raised its intermediate-term rating on
to buy from accumulate and maintained its long-term buy rating on the stock.
Warburg Dillon Read
raised its rating on
to strong buy from buy.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
initiated coverage of management consulting firm
with a buy rating and a 50 price target.
Warburg also initiated coverage of forestry and wood company
as a hold.
analyst Daniel Ford upgraded
, an energy/utility-based holding company, to buy from hold and set a 12-month price target of 19 on the shares.
price target to 120 from 95.
price target to 200.
said it hired an advisor to help it explore strategic options, including recapitalization, a buyout or a business combination.
announced a new corporate structure, integrating
Consolidated Natural Gas
. Dominion and Consolidated completed their merger on Jan. 28. The new company has adopted the name Dominion. Dominion said its streamlining effort "will result in reductions in the company's 17,000-member workforce." Dominion said it "will utilize attrition, voluntary early retirement, and voluntary and involuntary severance programs to accomplish the reductions."
said it has tapped the head of its Internet business, Leo Hindrey, to replace Bob Annunziata as its CEO. Annunziata will sit on the company's board.
Global Crossing also confirmed its plans to create a tracking stock for its GlobalCenter Web-hosting business, with an IPO set for this summer. Global Crossing CFO Dan Cohrs told Reuters last month that the offering would include less than 20% of GlobalCenter.
National Association of Securities Dealers
New York Stock Exchange
discussed merging as a way to remain leaders in the fast-evolving equity markets, the
Wall Street Journal
reported, citing people with knowledge of the talks.
In addition, the Journal's Heard on the Street column says
Datek Online Holdings
recently held serious merger discussions that have since been dropped. Together, New York-based Instinet and Datek's 85%-owned
account for 2/3 of the volume of stocks traded on e-communications networks, according to the story. The main reason talks failed to progress further was antitrust concerns, the story said, citing people with knowledge of the negotiations.
The Inside Wall Street column in
, penned as usual by Gene Marcial, reported that Stuart Rudick of
Rudick Asset Management
in Mill Valley, Calif., thinks that
may acquire a large stake in DualStar.
Elsewhere in the column, oil refiner and specialty chemical producer
garners positive mention. Richard Cohen, an analyst at
, is quoted in the column as saying Ashland's a "bargain." Cohen figures Ashland is worth 45 a share, according to the column.
Also, the column includes a positive story on
For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call , now published separately.