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Updated from 11:00 a.m. EDT

Credit Suisse First Boston

has agreed to acquire

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

undefined

in a deal valued at $11.5 billion. According to the terms,

Credit Suisse Group

, the parent of CSFB, would pay France's

AXA

(AXA)

$90 a share for the investment bank. AXA would receive 30% in cash and 70% in Credit Suisse shares for its stake. AXA is the parent company of

AXA Financial

(AXF)

, which holds a 70% interest in DLJ. CS Group said the acquisition, which would put assets under management at $842 billion, would add to earnings after 2002, and that it sees annual savings between $750 million to $1 billion before taxes by 2002.

For more on the impact of the financial merger, check out an earlier

article from

TheStreet.com

.

Whirlpool

(WHR) - Get Free Report

warned investors that its third- and fourth-quarter earnings would miss analysts' forecasts by a large amount. The company blamed the shortfall on

Circuit City's

(CC) - Get Free Report

move to stop selling major appliances. Whirlpool sees third-quarter earnings coming in between 95 cents and $1.05 a share, well-below the eight-analyst estimate of $1.52, and a fourth-quarter profit between $1.45 a share and $1.55 a share, also missing the six-analyst estimate of $1.68.

The company also said earnings would be further dented by pricing pressures in North America and Europe, explaining that higher material costs and a strong dollar in Europe are expected to cut 20 cents to 25 cents off the second-half results. The announcement comes just days after the stock was downgraded to sell from hold at

Prudential Securities

.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

After the close Tuesday, the

Justice Department

announced that it has filed an agreement in federal court that gives

AMFM

(AFM)

permission to merge with

Clear Channel Communications

(CCU) - Get Free Report

. The $15.9 billion deal creates the No. 1 owner of radio stations in the United States.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Blyth

(BTH)

, a company that makes home fragrance products, posted second-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, in line with the four-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 34 cents a share. The company also announced its full-year projections of 7% to 8% sales growth and full-year EPS of $2.10 to $2.15, which would be lower than the four-analyst estimate of $2.20.

Donaldson

(DCI) - Get Free Report

, a filtration systems manufacturer, posted fourth-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 39-cent profit.

Fleetwood Enterprises

undefined

posted a first-quarter loss of 95 cents a share, greatly wider than the two-analyst estimate of a 9-cent loss and down from the year-ago 72-cent profit. The recreational-vehicle maker said it expects second-quarter earnings to miss the single-analyst estimate of a 17-cent profit due to weakness in the manufacturing housing market.

Zale

(ZLC)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, beating the 16-analyst estimate of 29 cents and up from the year-ago 23-cent profit. The retailer also announced the retirement of Chairman Robert Dinicola, who will be replaced by CEO Beryl Raff.

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Analyst actions

Goldman Sachs

reiterated

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Free Report

as a trading buy, calling its leverage and outlook positive.

Upgrades

Corning

(GLW) - Get Free Report

: price target UP to $400 from $375 at

Merrill Lynch

; fiscal 2001 EPS estimates UP to $4.05 a share from $4.10.

Gtech Holding

undefined

: UP to intermediate-term buy from accumulate at Merrill Lynch; price target of 23.

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Free Report

: UP to buy from a hold at

ING Barings

; price target of 200.

Manulife Financial

(MFC) - Get Free Report

: ADDED to U.S. recommended list at Goldman Sachs.

Downgrades

Beringer

undefined

: DOWN to neutral from buy at

Salmon Smith Barney

.

Borders

(BGP)

: DOWN to market performer from market outperformer at Goldman Sachs.

Transworld Entertainment

(TWMC) - Get Free Report

: DOWN to market performer from market outperformer at Goldman Sachs.

Williams

(WMB) - Get Free Report

: DOWN to accumulate from strong buy at

Prudential Securities

.

Initiations

Amphenol

(APH) - Get Free Report

: NEW buy at Salomon Smith Barney; price target of 92.

EXE Technologies

undefined

: NEW strong buy at

Banc of America

; NEW buy at Salomon Smith Barney; price target of 25.

Financial Federal

(FIF) - Get Free Report

: NEW outperform at Salomon Smith Barney; price target of 24.

Inktomi

(INKT)

: NEW buy at Lehman Brothers.

Lantronix

(LTRX) - Get Free Report

: NEW buy at Lehman Brothers.

Microtune

(TUNE)

: NEW market outperformer at Goldman Sachs.

NS Group

(NS) - Get Free Report

: NEW intermediate-accumulate, long-term buy rating at Merrill Lynch; price target of 25.

Group Moves

CIBC World Markets

rolled out coverage of gaming stocks:

  • UTStarcom (UTSI) - Get Free Report: buy.
  • MTR Gaming (MNTG) : buy.
  • Hollywood Casinoundefined: NEW strong buy.
  • Ameristar (ASCA) : NEW hold.

Credit Suisse First Boston downgraded several Web consulting firms:

  • Modem Mediaundefined: buy from strong buy.
  • Rare Medium (RRR) - Get Free Report: buy from strong buy.
  • Viantundefined: buy from strong buy.
  • Cambridge Technology Partnersundefined: hold from buy.
  • iGate Capital (IGTE) : hold from buy.

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Offerings and stock actions

Apollo Group

(APOL)

, which runs private colleges, said that its shareholders favored creating a tracking stock for its online business of the

University of Phoenix

.

Cooper

(COO) - Get Free Report

set a 1 million share buyback plan.

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Miscellany

AT&T

(T) - Get Free Report

will offer up to five months of free phone service to customers who register for phone service transmitted over cable lines, also known as cable telephony,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

CNN

announced that it was restructuring top management as

Time Warner

(TWX)

focuses on growing competition. Philip Kent will assume the new position of president and COO of the group. Additionally, the company announced in a memo that Richard Kaplan, president of the network's news operation, plans to resign to pursue other opportunities. Kaplan held the position for three years.

Ford

(F) - Get Free Report

said it was warned about faulty tires on its

Explorer

SUVs in Venezuela in 1998, more than a year before a recall was rolled out there,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the

Journal

, U.S. regulators do not mandate carmakers to report recalls in foreign countries, and the government isn't sure that it can enforce the disclosures.

Separately, the

Journal

reported that Bridgestone will increase its production of replacement tires at Japanese plants.

Deere

(DE) - Get Free Report

said that it has tapped CEO and President Robert Lane to also be its chairman.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Free Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

undefined

have entered a pact with

Intel

(INTC) - Get Free Report

to set up an independent lab for Linux developers, in which they will increase the computer system's ability to handle heavy business tasks. The companies will provide equipment and financial support for the lab over the next several years. According to

Giga Group

analyst Stacy Quandt, the move is an attempt to rival

Sun Microsystems'

(SUNW) - Get Free Report

Solaris operating system, which has the largest presence in data centers that hold Web-based business technology.

After Tuesday's Close

GTSI

(GTSI)

, which sells microcomputer and Unix workstation hardware, has been granted an $857.2 million U.S. defense contract for worldwide military government and communications work.

QRS

undefined

, a provider of business-to-business solutions to the retail industry, said it's searching for new independent accountants. On Aug. 21,

Deloitte & Touche

resigned as the company's independent accountants. The CEO of QRS told

TheStreet.com

Tuesday evening that the company and Deloitte parted ways because QRS wanted closer attention from its accountants as it pursued acquisitions. He stressed that there was no disagreement on accounting practices.

TheStreet.com

wrote about the accounting change in a separate

story.

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