Mergers & Acquisitions:

Cable television company

Comcast

(CMCSK)

made an unsolicited $44.5 billion stock offer to acquire

AT&T's

(T) - Get Report

broadband business. The bid comes after months of failed negotiations between the two firms and ahead of today's planned spin-off of

AT&T Wireless

(AWE)

.

Comcast said it would offer 1.0525 billion shares of stock totaling $44.5 billion based on Friday's closing price and would shoulder $13.5 billion in debt for AT&T's core broadband business. In response to the offer, AT&T said it has no current plans to sell its broadband unit.

TheStreet.com

wrote a

separate story on the Comcast story. And for a closer look at the AT&T Wireless spinoff, read Tish Williams' piece,

AT&T Ready to Set Wireless Free to Roam.

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Earnings Reports & Warnings:

  • Avocent (AVCT) said it will take a second-quarter charge of between $9 million to $10 million due to excess and obsolete inventories. Avocent expects to report earnings per share of 16 cents to 18 cents, before the charge and merger-related expenses. Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to post earnings of 24 cents a share.
  • ChemFirst (CEM) - Get Report said it expects second-quarter EPS between 12 cents and 15 cents a share, well below the Street's forecast of 32 cents a share. The company attributed the shortfall to the sale of its "custom and fine chemicals business."
  • Conexant (CNXT) - Get Report warned that its third-quarter EPS and revenues would be lower than expected and it will trim its workforce by 450 employees. The company said it would take a one-time charge of roughly $475 million to write down assets. The company expects a loss of 45 cents a share, excluding the charge. Analysts, on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 43 cents a share.
  • D.R. Horton (DHI) - Get Report said third-quarter net sales increased 21% to $1.2 billion. The company said it sold 6,014 homes in the third quarter, compared to 5,095 homes in the year-ago quarter.
  • Vitria (VITR) said it expects a second-quarter loss of 11 cents to 12 cents a share on revenues of $34 million to $35 million. Analysts were expecting the company to lose 9 cents a share on revenues of $39 million.

Today's Earnings:

  • Biomet (BMET) reported fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, in line with analysts' estimates. The company said sales for the quarter rose 15% to $288 million from $250.2 million in the year-ago quarter. The company also announced a 3-for-2 stock split.
  • Genome Therapeutics (GENE) - Get Report reported a third-quarter loss of 11 cents a share, beating analysts' estimates of 13 cents a share. Revenues came in at $6.41 million, as compared to $6.48 million in the year-ago quarter. The company said it expects full-year revenues to come in between $32 million and $36 million. In its fourth quarter the company will recognize $5 million in milestone payments due to breakthrough in its alliance with Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a subsidiary of American Home Products (AHP)
  • Safeway (SWY) reported second-quarter earnings, excluding a one-time charge, that were in line with analysts' expectations at 63 cents a share. Including the charge, which is related to the impairment of GroceryWorks.com, earnings-per-share were 59 cents. Sales for the quarter rose to $7.99 billion from $7.42 billion a year ago.

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Miscellaneous News:

  • Lucent (LU) said it has inked a one-year $90 million deal to provide optical networking systems and services to TyCom (TCM) . Under the terms of the deal the equipment will be installed on TyCom's routes in the United States, Japan and southern Europe, stretching over 6,000 kilometers.
  • Webvan (WBVN) announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shutting down its online grocer operations. As a result of today's announcement, 2,000 employees have been terminated. The company said it has no plans to resume operations and will wind down operations and sell its assets in an orderly fashion. WebVan fully expects the stock to be delisted from the Nasdaq Composite Index.

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On the Analyst Front:

  • priceline.com (PCLN) was reportedly upgraded to near-term accumulate from neutral by Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget. Blodget wrote that he is optimistic about the company's ability to turn around; he expects a strong earnings report on July 31.
  • Sun Microsystems (SUNW) - Get Report and EMC (EMC) were upgraded to buy from attractive by Bear Stearns.

On the Economic Lookout:

There are no major economic releases scheduled for today.

Sources & Definitions:

All analyst EPS estimates are from Thomson Financial/First Call, unless otherwise noted. All economic forecasts are from

Reuters

, unless otherwise noted. All times are Eastern, always. After-hours quotes courtesy of Instinet, unless otherwise noted.

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