Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

ABC, a

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

division, and

Time Warner

(TWX)

have agreed to a new seven-year broadcasting deal. Disney lifted 1/2 to 39 13/16.

Online medical supply firm

Neoforma.com

(NEOF)

,

Eclipsys

(ECLP)

and its affiliate HEALTHvision have terminated plans for a $689 million merger by mutual consent. Instead, the companies have agreed to a relationship that will include a co-marketing and distribution arrangement between Neoforma.com and HEALTHvision.

Eclipsys said it expects to fall short of earnings estimates this year and next, breaking even this year and earning 40 cents to 50 cents a share in 2001. Analysts had expected the company to earn 86 cents this year and $1.06 a share in 2001. Eclipsys said its estimates reflect the collapse of the Neoforma deal, since the company will lose some cross-selling opportunities. Neoforma.com slipped 1 7/16, or 13.1%, to 9 1/2, while Eclipsys declined 3/4, or 9.9%, to 6 13/16.

The

European Commission

cleared plans for

Ford's

(F) - Get Report

Volvo

(VOLVY)

unit to take a controlling stake in

Autonova

, a Swedish car assembler, by buying

TWR's

26% share in the company. Volvo and TWR, a British car manufacturer, jointly owned Autonova. Ford shed 1 1/4 to 50 11/16, while Volvo rose 9/16 to 23 3/8.

France Telecom

(FTE)

has stepped up talks to acquire

Orange

from

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

for $36.37 billion in cash and stock,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. France Telecom gained 6 3/4, or 5.8%, to 123 1/4, while Vodafone moved up 1 5/8 to 41 1/2.

Gateway

(GTW)

and

iXL Enterprises

(IIXL)

said they would jointly market personal computers, Internet access, financing, training and other PC-related products to corporate employees for homes and offices. Gateway said it will take a $150 million equity stake in iXL's Consumer Financial Network, which provides employee benefit and human resource services. Gateway added 15/16 to 47 7/8, while iXL Enterprises boosted 3/4, or 5.4%, to 14 11/16.

Brazilian regional telephone operator

Tele Norte Leste

(TNE)

said the controlling company holders will explore partnerships and have hired

Lazard Freres

to assist them. The company said options include selling a minority stake. Tele Norte Leste fell 1/32 to 18 7/16.

Telewest Communications PLC

(TWSTY)

signed a one-year contract with

The Money Channel

, whereby The Money Channel's 24-hour financial television programming will be broadcast in digital format over Telewest's cable network. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Telewest Communications jumped 6 1/4, or 18%, to 40 3/4.

Watson Pharmaceuticals

(WPI)

said it will acquire

Schein Pharmaceuticals

(SHP)

in a $19.50-a-share cash tender offer followed by a second-step stock swap. Watson Pharmaceuticals slumped 7 3/16, or 14.7%, to 41 9/16.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Blyth Industries

(BTH)

, which makes candles and home fragrance products, reported first-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, beating the five-analyst estimate by a penny and up from the year-ago earnings of 38 cents a share. Blyth Industries rose 1/2 to 28 3/16.

Krispy Kreme

(KREM)

reported first-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate of 23 cents and up from the year-ago earnings of 20 cents. Krispy Kreme boosted 3 7/26, or 7.3%, to 50 1/4.

Patterson Dental

(PDCO) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst estimate of 51cents and up from the year-ago earnings of 42 cents a share. Patterson Dental stayed flat at 49 1/2.

PetsMart

(PETM)

reported first-quarter earnings of 3 cents a share, in line with the six-analyst estimate and same as the year-ago earnings. The figure excludes a nonoperating loss from its equity investment in PETsMART.com. Including a charge associated with the equity loss in PETsMART.com, consolidated net income was 1 cent a share, compared with 3 cents a share for the same period last year. PetsMart lifted 1/4, or 9.5%, to 2 7/8.

Tommy Hilfiger

(TOM)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the 18-analyst estimate of 35 cents but down from the year-ago earnings of 48 cents a share. The company said the results reflect special one-time charges related to its previously announced closure of two flagship stores and divisional consolidations. Including the one-time charges, the company reported a loss of 2 cents a share. Tommy Hilfiger increased 5/8, or 9%, to 7 9/16.

Vishay Intertechnology

(VSH) - Get Report

said it can beat the six-analyst estimate of $4.57 for 2000. The company also said it was not aware of any developments that might be responsible for the recent decline in its share price. Vishay dropped 2 13/16 to 69 3/16.

Westvaco

(W) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, beating the eight-analyst estimate of 55 cents a share and up from the year-ago earnings of 27 cents a share. The company attributed the rise to improvement in all of its business lines. Also, the sharp increase stemmed from lower costs in its fine paper business, strengthening market demand and higher market share as the result of new coated paper product introductions. Westvaco fell 15/16 to 29 13/16.

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Analyst actions

Merrill Lynch banking analyst Judah Kraushaar said that

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

may be uncomfortable with the second-quarter nine-analyst estimate of $1.47 a share. Kraushaar said he sees the company posting between a $1.30 to $1.35 a share profit, citing the investment bank's revenue streams weakening each month in the quarter. The analyst added that securities market activity has been slowing, thus possibly making the consensus estimate too high. Goldman Sachs stumbled 7, or 8.7%, to 73.

ING Barings

reiterated its strong buy on

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and a price target of 135. Microsoft fell 4 1/16, or 6.2%, to 61 1/2.

Upgrades

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

: UP to buy from hold at ING Barings, price target: 70. Bank of America declined 5/8 to 55 5/16.

Mastec

(MTZ) - Get Report

: UP to strong buy from buy at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

, price target: 80. Mastec popped 2 1/16 to 66 3/8.

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

: UP to strong buy from buy at

Thomas Weisel

, price target: 89. Tiffany skidded 1 7/8 to 56 15/16.

Downgrades

ATI Technologies

(ATI) - Get Report

: DOWN to intermediate term neutral from accumulate at Merrill Lynch. ATI Technologies lost 7/8 to 23 3/4.

United Airlines parent

UAL

(UAL) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings. UAL slid 3/8 to 52 1/2.

Initiations

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

resumed coverage of

Alcatel

(ALA)

with a strong buy rating. Alcatel hopped 2 to 46 3/8.

Aurora Biosciences

(ABSC)

: NEW buy at

UBS Warburg

, price target: 70. Aurora Biosciences shed 1 3/16 to 33 5/8.

Ariba

(ARBA)

: NEW buy at

ABN Amro

. Ariba slipped 3 3/16, or 5.9%, to 50.

Commerce One

(CMRC)

: NEW buy at ABN Amro. Commerce One fell 3, or 7.5%, to 36 15/16.

Digex

(DIGX)

: NEW buy at Alex. Brown. Digex stumbled 3 5/8, or 8.8%, to 37 1/4.

LookSmart

(LOOK)

: NEW accumulate/buy at

Merrill Lynch

. LookSmart jumped 1 1/8, or 8.7%, to 14.

Salon.com

(SALN)

: 2001 revenue estimates DOWN to $14.3 million from $20.5 million and 2001 EPS lowered at

W.R. Hambrecht

. Salon.com added 1/16 to 2 9/16.

Group Moves

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

downgraded its rating of the airline group to market perform from outperform today:

DLJ downgraded

Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report

to market perform from buy and advised clients to avoid Delta,

AMR

(AMR)

, and

UAL

(UAL) - Get Report

, United Airlines' parent company which just announced plans to acquire

US Airways

(U) - Get Report

"until the dust settles."

AMR was also DOWNGRADED to neutral from outperform by

Salomon Smith Barney

.

AMR shed 2 15/16, or 9.7%, to 27 1/8 and Delta Air Lines lost 1 1/16 to 50 7/16, while US Airways fell 4, or 8.1%, to 45.

Alex. Brown initiated coverage of four fiber-optic communications companies:

  • JDS Uniphase/SDL/E-Tek Dynamics/Ciena (JDSU) at strong buy. JDS Uniphase slid 4 1/2, or 5.3%, to 79.
  • Ciena (CIEN) - Get Report at buy. Ciena hopped 6 13/16, or 6.9%, to 104 1/2.
  • E-Tek Dynamics (ETEK) at buy. E-Tek Dynamics skidded 8 to 168 1/16.
  • SDL (SDLI) at strong buy. SDL slipped 7 5/16 to 168.

ING Barings commented on e-brokerage firms:

  • E*Trade (EGRP) : DOWN to hold from buy. E*Trade climbed 1 3/16, or 8.5%, to 15 1/8.
  • Charles Schwab (SCH) : second-quarter EPS view DOWN to 22 cents from 25 cents and full-year 2000 EPS estimate to 98 cents from $1.11. Schwab declined 1/2 to 38.
  • Knight/Trimark (NITE) : price target DOWN to 47 from 65. Knight/Trimark skidded 9/16 to 27 1/16.

Merrill Lynch raised its earnings per share estimates and price targets for U.S. brewers Anheuser-Busch and Coors:

  • Anheuser-Busch (BUD) - Get Report: second quarter earnings per share UP to $1.03 from $1.01 vs. $0.90 a year ago. Anheuser-Busch lost 1/16 to 79 3/4.
  • Coors (RKY) : second-quarter earnings per share UP from $1.37 to $1.40 vs. $1.24 a year ago. Coors stumbled 2 1/8 to 59 15/16.

Merrill Lynch analyst Todd Nelson initiated coverage of the genomics and life science tools and technologies sector:

  • Invitrogen (IVGN) : at intermediate- and long-term buy, price target: 63. Invitrogen jumped 3 13/16, or 9.4%, to 44 5/16.
  • Techne (TECH) - Get Report: at intermediate-term accumulate and long-term buy, price target: 87.5. Techne climbed 2 5/16 to 71.
  • Celera Genomics (CRA) : at intermediate- and long-term accumulate. Celera Genomics skidded 3 5/16, or 6%, to 51 3/8.
  • GeneLogic (GLGC) : at intermediate-term neutral and long-term accumulate. GeneLogic lost 15/16 to 18 5/8.
  • PE Biosystems (PEB) - Get Report: at intermediate- and long-term buy, price target: 70. PE Biosystems added 2 15/16, or 5.9%, to 52 1/4.
  • CuraGen (CRGN) : at intermediate-term accumulate and long-term buy. CuraGen slid 2 1/4, or 7.7%, to 26 3/4.
  • Incyte Genomics (INCY) - Get Report at intermediate-term accumulate and long-term buy, price target: 75. Incyte Genomics declined 1 7/8 to 47 1/8.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lowered its ratings on four banks, while raising its ratings for three others:

  • Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report: DOWN to neutral from outperform. Wells Fargo slid 9/16 to 43 15/16.
  • Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report: DOWN to neutral from outperform. Bank of America fell 5/8 to 55 5/16.
  • Firstar (FSR) : DOWN to neutral from strong buy. Firstar end off 1/2 to 25 5/16.
  • Citigroup (C) - Get Report: DOWN to outperform from neutral. Citigroup stumbled 2 13/16 to 58 9/16.
  • Comerica (CMA) - Get Report: UP to strong buy from neutral. Comerica slid 7/16 to 48 7/16.
  • FleetBoston (FBF) : UP to strong buy from neutral. FleetBoston shed 13/16 to 36 15/16.

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

: UP to outperform from neutral. Wachovia slid 15/16 to 67 3/4.

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Offerings and stock actions

Discount retailer

Dollar Tree

(DLTR) - Get Report

tacked on 7/8 to 56 11/16 after it announced it had set a 3-for-2 stock split today.

Internet professional services firm

Marchfirst

(MRCH)

edged up 13/16, or 5.1%, to 16 9/16 after it said it will repurchase up to 7.5 million shares.

More.com

, an online drug store, withdrew its plans for an IPO. The online drugstore did not include in its

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing a reason for the cancellation.

Merrill Lynch

was serving as the deal's lead underwriter.

Sonus Networks

(SONS)

soared 27 1/2, or 119.5%, to 50 1/2 after it was priced at $23 a share, above the estimated $19 to $21 range. Lead underwriter

Goldman Sachs

priced 5 million shares of the company, which sells hardware and software for voice and data traffic networks.

Stanford Microdevices

(SMDI)

was rising 3 3/8, or 28.1%, to 15 3/8 after its debut at $12 a share.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced 4 million shares within the estimated $12-$14 range. The company supplies radio frequency components for communications equipment.

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

gained 9/16 to 55 5/8 after it announced a program to repurchase up to $1 billion of its own stock.

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Miscellany

Application software developer

Aremissoft

(AREM)

fell 3, or 12.9%, to 20 3/16 after it said it named Roys Poyiadjis as CEO.

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As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.