Updated from 7:34 p.m. ET Wednesday

Another merger in the energy sector topped the headlines this morning.

Pride International


agreed to merge with

Marine Drilling


in a stock deal valued at nearly $2 billion, creating the third-largest offshore drilling contractor in the industry.

The merger, which was approved by both companies' boards, will give stockholders of each company one share in a newly formed corporation. Shareholders of Pride International stockholders will own about 56% of the common equity of the combined company, and Marine Drilling stockholders will own about 44%.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Tyco International


, the acquisitive conglomerate that controls more than 200 business and operates in five separate industries, said this morning it may buy an 11% stake in

Flag Telecom Holdings


, an owner of under-sea telecom cable.

On May 18, Tyco received an early termination of the antitrust waiting period for the potential acquisition of 15 million Flag Telecom shares. The stock represents about 11% of Flag Telecom's common shares outstanding.

After Wednesday's Close

Merger partners


(WB) - Get Report


First Union




(STI) - Get Report

for tampering with their April 15 merger. The two companies claim that SunTrust used "misleading and deceptive statements" and unlawfully used confidential information in its hostile takeover bid for Wachovia. The move came after SunTrust filed suit against Wachovia.

First Union is seeking a trial by jury and have submitted a request for injunctive relief.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

A host of retailers posted earnings this morning.

American Eagle


reported first-quarter earnings of $15.5 million, or 21 cents a share, up from $12.6 million, or 17 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales increased 8.2% from the same period last year. Analysts on average expected earnings of 20 cents a share, according to

Thomson Financial/First Call


Claire's Stores


, an accessories retailer, said first-quarter earnings rose to $7.7 million, or 16 cents a share, from $4 million, or 8 cents a share, last year, matching analysts' expectations. However, the company slashed its earnings outlook for the rest of the year, citing tough times for its Afterthoughts division.

Specialty retailer

Cost Plus


posted first-quarter earnings of $1.2 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with $1.1 million, or 5 cents a share, in the year-ago period, beating the consensus estimate by a penny.

The company also said it would earn 7 cents a share in the next quarter, a penny ahead of what analysts were calling for.

Apparel maker and designer

Tommy Hilifiger


reported flat fourth-quarter earnings, in line with analysts' estimates, and forecast higher profits but flat revenue for the current year.

After Wednesday's Close


(DD) - Get Report

issued a statement Wednesday that indicated the company is seeing continued weakness in its key markets. "The U.S. manufacturing sector has been in recession since late last year, and we have been very clear that we entered the second quarter of 2001 expecting an environment at least as challenging as in the first quarter," the company said. DuPont cited softening demand in Europe, a slowdown in auto manufacturing and weak demand for carpet and paint.

Software firm

J.D. Edwards


posted second-quarter earnings of 3 cents a share Wednesday, beating analysts' expectations. However, the company said quarterly revenue fell 6% to $216.7 million.

Photography giant

Eastman Kodak


reiterated its second-quarter profit estimates of $1 to $1.30 a share. Robert Brust, the company's chief financial officer, plans to tell analysts today that the business outlook for the quarter remains the same. Analysts polled by research firm

Thomson Financial/First Call

are expecting the company to post earnings of $1.12 a share. The company next reports earnings on July 23.



announced Wednesday that it expects third-quarter earnings to fall well below analysts' expectations, citing the continued slowdown in the wireless communications sector. The Apopka, Fla., company forecast quarterly revenue of $17 million to $19 million and earnings of 6 cents to 8 cents a share. On average Wall Street analysts expect the company to post earnings of 18 cents a share.

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Biotech firm



said it named Arthur Higgins, the former head of

Abbott Laboratories'

(ABT) - Get Report

drug division, as its president and chief executive.

The company also said it plans to name Higgins chairman in December. Higgins replaces Peter Tombros, who has served as CEO of Enzon since 1994.


tracks tech stocks that are moving throughout the trading day at

Tech Movers.

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