Updated from 3:14 p.m. EDT

The most recent addition to the

S&P 500,

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

, posted fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents, beating the 28-analyst estimate by 2 cents and up from year-ago earnings of 6 cents. The company said it expects fiscal 2001 revenue growth of 90%, which factors in the recently absorbed

E-Tek Dynamics

and is based on fiscal 2000 combined revenue of $1.7 billion.

In a conference call, the company announced it will spend $700 million on capital projects in 2001 as part of its effort to increase unit production by 400% in the next 18 months. JDS Uniphase recently announced a bid for fellow fiber-optics component maker

SDL

(SDLI)

, valued at $41 billion at the time.

JDS Uniphase also received a fresh round of ratings noise after it posted fourth-quarter results that beat estimates.

Merrill Lynch

raised estimates for 2001 EPS to 69 cents from 61 cents and 2001 EPS view to 90 cents.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

lifted its 2001 EPS view to 68 cents from 61 cents and its 2002 EPS view to $1.01.

Credit Suisse First Boston

reiterated JDS as a buy.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

covered the company's earnings in a

story Wednesday evening.

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

reported a second-quarter loss of 33 cents, beating the 29-analyst estimate of a 35-cent loss, but higher than the year-ago loss of 26 cents, a 32% increase in losses.

Answering critics who say the e-commerce giant will run out of money before the year's end, Amazon.com

CFO Warren Jensen

said the company had $908 million on hand at the end of the quarter and should have more than $1 billion by Dec. 31. Today,

SG Cowen

downgraded Amazon to buy from strong buy.

PaineWebber

cut its 2001 EPS view to a loss of 66 cents from a loss of 42 cents.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

begged to differ, saying it maintained the giant online retailer as a top pick.

Robertson Stephens

cut Amazon to long-term attractive from buy, while

Prudential Securities

cut its rating to hold from strong buy and lowered its price target to 40 from 80.

Tuesday, Amazon announced that its president and COO,

Joseph Galli

, had resigned to become chief executive and president of

VerticalNet

(VERT)

, which also reported second-quarter results Wednesday. VerticalNet recorded a loss of 23 cents a share, besting the 24-analyst estimate of a 30-cent loss. The company reported a loss of 10 cents a year ago.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

covered the company's earnings in a

story Wednesday evening.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Multibank holding company

BB&T

(BBT) - Get Report

will buy

FCNB

(FCNB)

in a stock swap worth $226.5 million. The exchange ratio for the deal is fixed at 0.725 BB&T share for each FCNB share. The transaction, expected to close in the first quarter of 2001, will be accounted for using the pooling-of-interests method.

Hong Kong-based Internet firm

Chinadotcom

(CHINA)

is putting $10 million into a new Chinese joint venture and aims to expand the outlay to $100 million by the end of next year, CEO Peter Yip said.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

said it plans to make its 15th acquisition this year by buying

NuSpeed Internet Systems

, through a stock swap worth $450 billion.

In a press release, Cisco said it will take a charge of 3 cents a share for research and development expenses related to the transaction. The acquisition will allow Cisco to offer customers the ability to converge data and storage networks into one system.

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

said it had ended preliminary discussions with

Nortel

(NT)

exploring the potential combination of Nortel's optical-components business with Corning. Roger Ackerman, Corning chairman and chief executive, said his company will continue to have a close working relationship with Nortel.

ABN Amro

raised Nortel Networks to top pick from buy.

Separately, Nortel announced it won a two-year $200 million contract from

Fibernet

(FTGX)

MP3.com

(MPPP)

announced an agreement with British record company

EMI Group

that lets MP3 use EMI's songs in its My.MP3 Web database, according to a

Reuters

report. A U.S. District Court ruled in April that MP3.com's database violated copyright law, forcing the company to seek settlements with record labels or face court penalties.

Security software firm

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

said it will acquire

AXENT Technologies

(AXNT)

in a stock swap valued $975 million. Under terms of the deal, which is billed as a way to create a new leader in Internet security for enterprise customers, AXENT shareholders will receive 0.5 of a Symantec share for each AXENT share held.

After Wednesday's Close

InfoSpace

(INSP) - Get Report

, which provides infrastructure and services to businesses, agreed to buy

Go2Net

(GNET)

in a transaction valued at about $4.02 billion.

Under terms of the deal, InfoSpace will issue 1.82 of its own shares for each share of Go2Net, which values Go2Net shares at $86.91, a 43% premium to its closing price of 60 9/16 on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

today. The deal will give InfoSpace a combined base of nearly two million merchants.

Separately, InfoSpace posted a second-quarter loss of 1 cent, narrower than the 13-analyst expected loss of 6 cents but down from the year-ago earnings of 2 cents.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

CSX

(CSX) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, beating the nine-analyst estimate by a penny. The company's year-ago earnings were 53 cents a share, but that figure includes revenue and earnings from Sea-Land's international container-shipping business, which was sold to

Maersk Line

in December 1999. Results also include a gain of 8 cents a share on the June 1999 sale of CSX 's Grand Teton Lodge.

Franklin Resources'

(BEN) - Get Report

posted third-quarter earnings of 58 cents, beating the 11-analyst estimate by a penny and up from year-ago earnings of 49 cents a share. Last night, the company's Templeton Management subsidiary said it would offer to pay about $95 million for all outstanding shares of Canadian mutual-fund company

Bissett & Associates Investment Management

.

National Fuel Gas

(NFG) - Get Report

reported third-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share, missing the seven-analyst estimate of 41 cents, but up from year-ago earnings of 30 cents a share. The company said it took an $8.3 million after-tax charge to earnings for the quarter as a result of a rise in natural gas prices.

Reliant Energy

(REI) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 76 cents a share, well above the 14-analyst estimate of 58 cents and the year-ago 43 cents. The electric utility and energy services company said it plans to separate its operations into two publicly traded companies, dividing its regulated and unregulated businesses. The move is an attempt to satisfy Texas electric restructuring law, which calls for the state electric market to open to full competition Jan. 1, 2002.

Martha Stewart Living

(MSO)

posted second-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 7 cents and the year-ago pro forma 8 cents. The company said it expects to beat the 2000 EPS view of 24 cents.

Finnish telecom equipment maker

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

reported April-June pretax profit rising 62% on a year-over-year basis to $1.34 billion, at the top end of a

Reuters

poll. The company said, however, that it expected third-quarter EPS to be lower than the second quarter but at least equal to the level achieved in the third-quarter of 1999, due to the timing of new product introductions.

Nokia's CEO said he was confident and that the overall prospects of the company are unchanged, but that didn't prevent

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

from cutting Nokia to outperform from strong buy and reducing its target to 65 euros from 75.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

cut Nokia to buy from top pick.

Banc of America

cut Nokia to buy from strong buy.

Primedia

(PRM)

posted a second-quarter loss of 13 cents a share, which included a gain of $17.5 million. The three-analyst estimate was for a loss of 19 cents, while the year-ago loss was 12 cents.

Williams Communications

(WCG) - Get Report

posted a second-quarter loss of 1 cent a share, which includes a gain of 29 cents a share. The five-analyst consensus was for a loss of 46 cents a share, while the year-ago loss was 31 cents a share.

WorldCom

(WCOM)

reported second-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, in line with the 18-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 44 cents. The company said it expects 2000 communications services revenue growth to be at the low end of its previous growth forecast of 13.5% to 15.5%.

After Wednesday's Close

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, which beat the 21-analyst estimate by a penny and was up from year-ago earnings of 25 cents a share. The company attributed the higher earnings to solid sales of its anemia drug Epogen.

Flextronics

(FLEX) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the 19-analyst estimate of 34 cents and the year-ago 19 cents. The Singapore-based company also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

, which yesterday lost its chairman and CEO, Dick Cheney, to presidential candidate Texas Gov.

George W. Bush

, who picked him to be his potential vice president. Halliburton reported second-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, which beat the 22-analyst estimate, but was down from year-ago earnings of 19 cents a share.

Today,

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

raised the stock to buy from market perform.

RARE Hospitality

(RARE) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 43 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 38 cents and up from year-ago earnings of 30 cents. Also, the company's board approved of a 3-for-2 stock split.

Sealed Air

(SEE) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, besting the 13-analyst estimate by a penny. The company's year-ago earnings were 40 cents a share, after preferred dividends of $17.9 million.

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Analyst actions

Upgrades

Burlington Northern

(BNI)

: UP to market outperform from market perform at

Goldman Sachs

.

Hershey

(HSY) - Get Report

: UP to market outperform from market perform at Goldman Sachs.

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

: UP to market outperform from market perform at Goldman Sachs.

PPL Corp.

(PPL) - Get Report

: UP to buy from neutral at

PaineWebber

; price target: 36.

Tommy Hilfiger

(TOM)

: UP to buy from hold at CSFB; price target: 18.

Verisign

(VRSN) - Get Report

: price target UP to 210 from 50 at

Merrill Lynch

.

UnumProvident

(UNM) - Get Report

: UP to top pick from buy at DLJ.

Downgrades

Applebee's

(APPB)

: DOWN to neutral from strong buy at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

Finova

(FNV) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from outperform at

ABN Amro

.

MarketWatch.com

(MKTW)

: price target DOWN to 50 from 85 at DLJ.

MicroStrategy

(MSTR) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from accumulate at

Prudential Securities

.

SkyWest

(SKYW) - Get Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its recommended for purchase list.

Initiation

NetEase.com

(NTES) - Get Report

: NEW near- and long-term buy at

Merrill Lynch

.

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Offerings and stock actions

Applied Molecular Evolution

(AMEV)

was jumping about 50% to 28 9/16 in late morning trading after the stock was priced at $19 a share. The company's technology is used to develop new drugs as well as improve existing drugs. The IPO is being handled by

CIBC World Markets

,

PaineWebber

and

SG Cowen

.

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

said its board approved a program to buy back up to $250 million of its shares.

Paradigm4

, a wireless data software firm, withdrew its $125 million IPO because terms in the marketplace weren't "sufficiently attractive" to go ahead with the offering. The company had applied for a Nasdaq listing under the symbol PFOR.

Power-One

(PWER)

, a maker of power conversion products, said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split.

Symmetricom

(SYMM)

set a 3-for-2 stock split.

After Wednesday's Close

Tyco's

(TYC)

Bermuda-based unit

TyCom

(TCM)

sold more than 61.1 million shares at $32 a share, above the estimated price range of $26 to $30 a share in its IPO. TyCom provides undersea fiber-optic network cable and services.

UnionBanCal

(UB)

raised its stock repurchase by another $100 million of its common stock. The company repurchased $100 million in common stock between December 1999 and July 2000.

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Miscellany

Bear Stearns'

(BSC)

business of processing stock trades will take a hit early next year as it stands to lose business from its biggest customer

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. Lehman, which funnels between 10% and 20% of all trades processed by Bear, plans to unveil its own processing system, according to the story.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

will announce today that it plans to improve the fuel economy of its fleet of sport-utility vehicles by 25% over five years, according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

The

Journal

said the move was described by environmentalists as the most significant environmental move by an automaker in years. Aside from improving technology, Ford's attempt to reach its goal by introducing new vehicles, including a version of its Escape compact SUV that will run on both a gasoline engine and an electric motor, the report said.

Allen Questrom, chairman and chief executive of

Barneys New York

, has been named chairman and CEO of Texas-based

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

, which operates

JCPenney Stores

, the

Eckerd Drug Store

chain and the JCPenney catalog and Internet retailing businesses. Questrom succeeds James Oesterreicher, effective Sept. 15.

PaineWebber

raised J.C. Penney to buy from attractive and lifted its target to 25 from 20. However, PaineWebber lowered its 2000 EPS view to $1.30 from $1.41.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

asked the Supreme Court to send its appeal of antitrust violations back to a federal appeals court. The 30-page appeal urged the court to avoid "the onerous task of sifting through a large and complex record and forgoing the many benefits of intermediate appellate review." Also, it said, "Indeed, the number of and nature of the errors below militate strongly in favor of review by the court of appeals."

The

Associated Press

said the company hopes to have its case heard in the federal appeals court because that court has reversed Jackson's decisions on Microsoft-related matters twice in the past.

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