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Updated from 1:11 p.m. EDT



is in talks to be acquired by Swedish appliance maker



for about $4 billion,

The New York Times

reported, citing executives close to the company. The report said a deal is not imminent, though a combination of the two would create the world's largest maker of ovens, dishwashers and washing machines.

Bausch & Lomb


revised its earnings estimates drastically downward for the remainder of 2000 and for all of 2001. The company said it now expects earnings between 70 and 72 cents a share for the third quarter, which includes the effect of its recent acquisition of

Groupe Chauvin

. The 15-analyst estimate was 93 cents a share for the quarter. Bausch & Lomb blamed the reduction in earnings on slower growth in vision care, accelerated price pressure on generic pharmaceutical products, product supply constraints and the weakening of the euro.

The company said fourth-quarter earnings likely will be 83 to 85 cents a share, including the acquisition, well below the 16-analyst estimate of $1.06 a share. For 2000, the company expects earnings of $2.69 to $2.72 a share, excluding certain items. The 16-analyst estimate for the year was $3.15.

B&L also eliminated the positions of president and chief operating officer and announced that Carl Sassano, who holds those titles, will leave the company.

Goldman Sachs

cut the company to market performer and removed it from the firm's "U.S. Recommended for Purchase List" and

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

cut the company to market perform from buy.

BE Aerospace


said it filed for an IPO of its

Advanced Thermal Technologies

division, which makes interior products for aircraft manufacturers. The company said the offering will likely consist of 4 million shares of Advanced Thermal stock in an estimated range of $9 to $11 a share.

Credit Suisse First Boston

upgraded the stock to buy from hold.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Canadian specialty retailer


will sell three of its units -- Thriftys, Braemer and National Logistics -- to

American Eagle Outfitters


in a cash deal worth $74 million. The acquisition will allow American Eagle to enter the Canadian market and will bail out Dylex, which has been on and off the auction block since December.



, an advertising and communications company, took minority stakes in five health care-related Internet companies,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. The move will help its pharmaceutical clients better target doctors and consumers on the Web. The five companies are









After Wednesday's Close

Deutsche Telekom


is set to announce the sale of majority stakes in two of its regional German cable networks, according to a report in the online edition of the

Financial Times

. The paper said Deutsche has a deal to sell a 55% stake in a network in the Rhineland Palatinate to

United Pan Europe Communications


. The second deal, which involves the sale of a 75% stake in the company's Bavarian operations, would be with


, a German bank-led venture.

Casino operators

Park Place Entertainment



Black Hawk Gaming & Development


made offers to acquire the bankrupt

Claridge Hotel

in Atlantic City, N.J. The moves could thwart a plan by financier Carl Icahn to take control of the company.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Contact lens and medical products



confirmed that third-quarter earnings will be "at least in line with" analysts' consensus estimate of 55 cents per share and revenues to increase 17%.



posted second-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst estimate but below the year-ago 34-cent result.

Krispy Kreme


reported second-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, well above the four-analyst estimate of 18 cents and the year-ago 10 cents. The doughnut maker raised its current EPS expectations for the year to $1, better than the current estimate of 85 cents.



posted second-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 2 cents. The figure excluded its equity loss in The company also recorded an extraordinary after-tax gain of 1 cent a share from the early retirement of debt.

Stewart & Stevenson


reported second-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, in line with the lone-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 11 cents.

Home builder

Toll Brothers


posted third-quarter earnings of $1, well above the nine-analyst estimate of 84 cents and the year-ago 80 cents.



posted third-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, 2 cents a ahead of the nine-analyst estimate and above the year-ago 35 cents.

After Wednesday's Close



, which builds e-business systems for corporate clients, said it sees lower-than-expected third- and fourth-quarter revenue, citing a customer's failure to pay its bills. The company said it sees a third-quarter hit of $5 million, or 12 cents a share, after taxes.

J.D. Edwards


listed third-quarter earnings of two cents a share, beating the two-analyst 1-cent estimate but falling behind the year-ago seven-cent result.

Michaels Stores


posted second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, topping the 11-analyst estimate of 13-cent earnings and the year-ago three-cent profit.

NCI Building Systems


posted third-quarter earnings of 82 cents a share, in line with three-analyst estimate and above the year-ago 71 cents.

Riggs National


said it will take up to $11 million of loan loss provisions in the third quarter.

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Analyst actions


Parexel International


: 2000 EPS view UP to 59 cents a share from 58 cents and 2001 EPS view DOWN to 29 cents from 43 cents at

Goldman Sachs


SpectraSite Holdings


: price target UP to 29 from 21 at

UBS Warburg


VA Linux


: UP to strong buy at

W.R. Hambrecht

.; price target: 60; and 2001 revenue forecast UP to $323 million from $271 million at

Credit Suisse First Boston

, taking EPS view up to 44 cents from 26 cents.


Amerada Hess


: DOWN to neutral from buy at

Lehman Brothers


CNF Transportation


: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

; price target: 35.



: DOWN to add from buy at

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson


Martin Marietta Materials


: 2000 EPS estimates DOWN to $2.80 from $3.10 and 2001 EPS estimates DOWN to $3.25 from $3.40 at Goldman.

Next Level Communications


: DOWN to neutral from buy at Lehman Brothers.



: DOWN to accumulate from strong buy at

Prudential Securities




: DOWN to attractive from buy at

Bear Stearns

and DOWN to buy from strong buy at

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray



: coverage RESUMED at CSFB with a buy: price target: 110.

Visual Networks


: DOWN to neutral from outperform at Morgan Stanley.


Adelphia Business


: NEW buy at

Banc of America

; price target: 32/

Charter Communications


: NEW attractive at



Grant Prideco


: NE outperform at Morgan Stanley; price target: 35.

IMPCO Technologies


: NEW strong buy at

CIBC World Markets

; price target: 44.



: NEW buy at

Bear Stearns

. Price target: 20.

National Oilwell


: NEW outperform at Lehman; 12-month target price: 42.



: NEW addition to recommended for purchase list at Goldman.

SL Green Realty


: NEW market outperformer at Goldman.



: NEW buy at CIBC; price target: 50.

Group Moves

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter downgraded oil companies



: DOWN to outperform from strong buy; price target: 95 to 100.

Exxon Mobil


: DOWN to outperform from strong buy; price target: 90 to 95.



: DOWN to neutral from outperform.

Credit Suisse First Boston

upgraded two aerospace companies as part of an overall shift in its view of the aerospace sector from marketweight to overweight:

BE Aerospace


:UP to buy from hold; price target: 20.



: UP to strong buy from buy.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated coverage on two pharmaceutical stocks:

IMS Health


:NEW strong buy; price target: 24 to 25.

Dendrite International


:NEW buy; price target: 32.

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Offerings and stock actions



set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Reynolds & Reynolds


announced that the company's existing buyback plan will increase to 9.2 million shares from 4 million.

SBS Technologies


set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Verizon Wireless

, owned by

Verizon Communication



Vodafone Group


filed for a $5 billion IPO. The company said it has the largest customer base of any U.S. wireless provider, with 25.4 million subscribers as of June.

After Wednesday's Close

Prize Energy


said it filed a registration statement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

for the proposed sale of 3.8 million, or 29%, of its outstanding shares, on behalf of selling shareholders.

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was continuing upward and was lately 25% higher to 7 1/16, a 52-week high, on news that it won contracts as a qualified supplier from

Samsung Electronics







Hard Disk Drive Group and

Western Digital



Loudspeaker manufacturer

Boston Acoustics


has named Moses A. Gabbay president and chief operating officer and Bob Spaner as executive vice president.

General Motors


announced that its chief financial officer, J. Michael Losh, will retire Sept. 1. John Finnegan, head of

General Motors' Acceptance

will serve as acting CFO.



will start selling major home appliances in a venture with

General Electric


, including refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dryers.



is expected to name Arthur Collins Jr. chief executive, succeeding William George. Collins has been Medtronic's chief operating officer since 1994 and its president since 1996.

After Wednesday's Close

Standard & Poor's


Devon Energy


will replace grocery chain

Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea


in its closely watched

S&P 500 index, after the close of trading next Tuesday. Inclusion in the benchmark index often boosts a company's share price as portfolio and index fund managers add the stock to their holdings.

The change to the index is a result of Devon's recent acquisition of rival

Santa Fe


in a $2.4 billion deal in May. S&P said it will add Devon to its oil and gas industry group.

The chairman of the

National Transportation Safety Board

has blamed



and Federal Aviation Administration regulators for a design flaw that he believes triggered the TWA Flight 800 crash off New York's Long Island in 1996.

Utility giant

Con Edison


announced Kevin Burke as its president. He replaces Michael Evans.

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