Qwest Communications'

(Q)

CEO is planning to meet next week with

U S West's

(USW)

chairman to discuss their merger in light of the fact that the deal is threatened by a possible bid from

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

,

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

(DPH)

said it expects to grow its nonautomotive business by nearly 70% to more than $700 million over the next three to five years.

Healtheon/WebMD

(HLTH)

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.

Tandy's

(TAN) - Get Report

RadioShack

said February same-store sales were up 14%.

Offerings and stock actions

Medarex

(MEDX)

, 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.

Analyst actions

Merrill Lynch

upgraded

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

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

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

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

Digex

(DIGX)

,

Earthlink

(ELNK)

and

Verio

(VRIO)

with buy ratings and

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

with a strong buy.

Exodus also announced a 2-for-1 stock split this morning.

Merrill raised its intermediate-term rating on

Ensco International

(ESV)

to buy from accumulate and maintained its long-term buy rating on the stock.

Warburg Dillon Read

raised its rating on

Intuit

(INTU) - Get Report

to strong buy from buy.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated coverage of management consulting firm

eLoyalty

(ELOY)

with a buy rating and a 50 price target.

TST Recommends

Warburg also initiated coverage of forestry and wood company

Louisiana-Pacific

(LPX) - Get Report

as a hold.

ABN Amro

analyst Daniel Ford upgraded

NiSource

(NI) - Get Report

, an energy/utility-based holding company, to buy from hold and set a 12-month price target of 19 on the shares.

CSFB upped

Teradyne's

(TER) - Get Report

price target to 120 from 95.

CSFB raised

Texas Instruments'

(TXN) - Get Report

price target to 200.

Miscellany

Borders Group

(BGP)

said it hired an advisor to help it explore strategic options, including recapitalization, a buyout or a business combination.

Dominion

(D) - Get Report

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."

Global Crossing

(GBLX)

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.

The

National Association of Securities Dealers

and the

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

Reuters

(RTRSY)

unit

Instinet

and

Datek Online Holdings

recently held serious merger discussions that have since been dropped. Together, New York-based Instinet and Datek's 85%-owned

Island ECN

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

Business Week

, penned as usual by Gene Marcial, reported that Stuart Rudick of

Rudick Asset Management

in Mill Valley, Calif., thinks that

DualStar Technologies

(DSTR)

may acquire a large stake in DualStar.

Elsewhere in the column, oil refiner and specialty chemical producer

Ashland

(ASH) - Get Report

garners positive mention. Richard Cohen, an analyst at

Starr Securities

, 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

S1

(SONE)

.

For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call , now published separately.