Updated from 2:57 p.m. EDT

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

posted earnings of 30 cents a share, topping the 20-analyst 26 cent estimate and the year-ago 16 cent result.

Sun Microsystems closed down $1.19, or 1.1%, to $110.19.

Analysts circled

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

today, eyeing Big Blue's meaty carcass after the company announced disappointing third-quarter earnings last night.

Bear Stearns

kept its buy rating on IBM, but slashed its 2000 and 2001 estimates on the company. Revenue for 2000 is now expected to come in at $87.8 billion from the previous call of $90.3 billion. Revenue estimates for 2001 were trimmed to $95.2 billion from $98.8 billion. The firm maintained its fiscal earnings per share outlook on IBM, keeping 2000's $4.45 a share earnings estimate and 2001's $5 call.

Merrill Lynch

lowered its 2000 and 2001 earnings per share estimates, dropping 2000 to $4.43 from $4.48 and 2001 to $4.93 from $4.99.

Prudential Securities

cut its rating on the company to hold from accumulate.

IBM closed down $17.56, or 15.5%, to $95.44.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

After Tuesday's Close

Hertz

(HRZ)

said it retained a special counsel to review

Ford's

(F) - Get Report

$30 a share offer for its stock that Ford doesn't already own. The car-rental stock closed up 6 cents, or 0.2%, to $32.63, and Ford closed up 63 cents, or 2.6%, to $25.06.

Nortel

(NT)

struck a four-year, $1 billion optical equipment and services deal for

Aerie Networks'

U.S. broadband network. Nortel ended the day down $4.19, or 6.5%, to $59.81.

Sonicwall

(SNWL)

agreed to buy privately held

Phobos

for about 12.2 million shares and options and $50 million in cash. Phobos makes Internet security infrastructure. Sonicwall closed down $5.13, or 29.9%, to $12.

Back to top

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Alleghany

(Y) - Get Report

said it will book an after-tax gain of $65 a share from the sale of

Alleghany Asset Management

to

ABN Amro Holdings

. Alleghany agreed to sell the unit for $825 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2001. Alleghany closed up $10.38, or 5.4%, to $200.56.

Black & Decker

(BDK)

reported third-quarter earnings of $1.03 a share, beating by 2 cents the 10-analyst estimate and also year-ago earnings of 87 cents a share. The company also said that it expects its EPS to increase by 15% in 2001. Black & Decker tooled up to close higher by $2.19, or 7.7%, to $30.63.

Chase Manhattan

(CMB)

set its eyes on

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

a few weeks back and decided to make

a love connection. After a poor earnings release from Chase, J.P. Morgan looked even better.

Chase Manhattan announced third-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, significantly less than last year's 92 cents a share, and well off the

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of 93 cents. In fact, that's 35% less than last year. The company cited lower income in

Chase Capital Partners

as a major reason for the slump.

But J.P. Morgan looked far better, and even made a merger announcement in the press release about its third-quarter earnings. (The joint company, if approved by the government and shareholders, will be called J.P. Morgan Chase.) The blue-chip financial announced third-quarter results of $2.77 a share, better than the $2.63 analyst estimates and 25% better than last year's $2.22 a share.

Markets don't care, though, and have taken Chase's miss as a warning, a harbinger of dark days ahead. J.P. Morgan closed down $3.38, or 2.5%, to $134.25, in sympathy with Chase, which ended the day down $1.06, or 2.8%, to $36.88.

CheckPoint Software Technologies

(CHKP) - Get Report

beat the estimates, reporting third-quarter earnings that more than doubled last year's quarter. The Israeli network security outfit announced third-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, better than the 27 cent First Call/Thomson Financial call and last year's 15 cents a share. The stock closed up $17.94, or 12.2%, to $164.88.

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

is the very picture of diminished expectations. The company announced third-quarter earnings of $1.40 a share, beating the already-reduced First Call/Thomson Financial estimate of $1.37 a share. Kodak missed last year's quarter, however, finishing a nickel short of its $1.45 per share earnings.

A

few weeks ago, Kodak warned about the third quarter, telling the Street it would come in 20 cents to 25 cents below previous estimates. The company cited the weak euro and increased material costs as big reasons for the miss. Analysts then snipped their estimates from $1.60 a share to $1.37, the measure by which Kodak was judged today.

After the warning, Kodak got demolished, falling $14.50. Since then, Kodak has crumbled, hitting 52-week lows. Tuesday, the blue-chipper closed at $36.44, nearly half its 52-week high. Today, the company's stock ended the day up $1.81, or 4.97%, to $38.25.

Georgia-Pacific

(GP)

, the paper products giant, announced third-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, hanging in line with what the folks at First Call/Thomson Financial expected. Meeting expectations isn't bad, but the company fell way short of last year's quarter, which had per-share earnings of $1.31. Georgia-Pacific closed up $1.38, or 6.5%, to $22.63.

Good

Knight-Trimark

(NITE)

, well it's time to go. The banking middleman announced tired third-quarter financial data, with earnings of 16 cents a share, which did beat the lower First Call/Thomson Financial call by a penny.

But that's nothing. The real story is that this year's quarter comes in a full 6 cents less than last year's 22 cents a share, a 27% drop in profitability. Knight-Trimark closed down 69 cents, or 2.6%, to $25.31.

Northrop Grumman Corporation

(NOC) - Get Report

announced better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

The Los Angeles-based company reported third-quarter 2000 earnings of $150 million, or $2.11 a share, up 29% from the $116 million, $1.66 a share reported for the same period a year ago. Eleven analysts expected the company to earn $2.01 for the quarter, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

But sales for the quarter slipped to $1.7 billion from $1.8 billion a year ago. Northrop ended the day down $4, or 4.6%, to $83.

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get Report

beat analysts' expectations for the third quarter.

The company, a component of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, reported earnings for the latest third-quarter of $496 million, or 98 cents a share, about 14% higher than the third-quarter 1999 figures of $436 million, or 83 cents a share. Seventeen analysts had forecast 96 cents a share for the company's latest quarter.

Revenue rose 6% to $6.5 billion from $6.13 billion a year ago. United Technologies closed down $1.31, or 1.9%, to $68.38.

Whirlpool

(WHR) - Get Report

beat analysts' revised earnings expectations for the third quarter.

The world's largest home-appliance maker reported third-quarter 2000 earnings of $67 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with $107 million, or $1.40 a share, for the same period a year ago. The company beat the eight-analyst First Call/Thomson Financial revised consensus estimate of 96 cents a share for the quarter.

Whirlpool had warned investors it would not meet earlier estimates due to the loss of Circuit City as a retail outlet, U.S. pricing pressures and a weakening euro.

The company also delivered confident fourth-quarter remarks, saying it expects to earn between $1.45 and $1.55 a share. Seven analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $1.42 a share. Whirlpool closed up $3.75, or 10.8%, to $38.56.

After Tuesday's Close

Cemex

(CX) - Get Report

said third-quarter earnings per American depositary share were 94 cents a share, in line with the seven-analyst estimate but down from year-ago earnings of $1. Cemex closed down 19 cents, or 0.9%, to $19.81.

Covad

(COVD)

posted a third-quarter loss of $1.22 a share, wider than the 16-analyst estimate of a loss of $1.19 a share. The year-ago loss was 47 cents. This year's third-quarter loss includes a depreciation and amortization expense of $53.6 million and amortization of deferred compensation expense of $697,000. The year-ago loss includes a depreciation and amortization expense of $10.6 million and amortization of deferred compensation expense of $1 million. Covad closed down $5.03, or 58.6%, to $3.56.

Handspring

(HAND)

reported a loss of 8 cents a share for its first quarter, topping the five-analyst estimate of a negative 12 cent result. Handspring closed up $13.69, or 17.6%, to $91.56.

i2 Technologies

(ITWO)

posted third-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, beating the 34-analyst estimate of 10 cents and up from year-ago earnings of 6 cents a share. The stock closed down $1.06, or 0.6%, to $179.

Hercules

(HPC)

said that its third-quarter earnings would come in at 13 cents a share vs. the eight-analyst estimate of 21 cents a share. It also said CEO and Chairman Vincent Corbo has resigned. Thomas Gossage, who retired from the company in 1996, has resumed his former positions as CEO/chairman while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Hercules closed strong, though, up $1.19, or 8.2%, to $15.63.

PeopleSoft

(PSFT)

posted third-quarter earnings of 8 cents a share, beating by a penny the 14-analyst estimate. It reported nil for the third quarter a year ago. Also, the company said it would buy back up to $100 million of its stock. The stock closed up $8.44, or 25.8%, to $41.19.

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

reported third-quarter income of 4 cents a share, in line with the 27-analyst survey and up from the year-ago 3-cent result.

Back to top

Analyst actions

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was raised to outperform from hold at

ABN Amro

, giving some good news to a company whose stock has been crushed lately.

But not everyone is convinced. The folks at

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded Intel to buy from strong buy.

Merrill Lynch

upped its fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate to 43 cents a share, up a penny from its previous estimate, but said that it's concerned about 2001. With that in mind, it cut Intel to long-term accumulate from long-term buy.

Since hitting a 52-week high of $75.81 on Aug. 28, Intel has lost more than half its value and closed today in New York at $38.19, up by $2, or 5.5%. Fears of a slowdown in the semiconductor industry, concerns that Intel is hemorrhaging market share and a

nasty warning from Intel itself all combined to torpedo the stock's value.

Today was a mixed bag for the stock. ABN Amro said its confidence in Intel rose after hearing a conference call about the company's

third-quarter earnings, which came in at 41 cents a share, exceeding reduced estimates by 3 cents a share. But then again, Intel is down nearly 10.1% this month alone.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

, which was to release earnings after the bell, was downgraded to neutral at

Lehman Brothers

. The company didn't adjust its 2000 or 2001 earnings per share outlook -- not yet -- but did say that it will "most likely" need to be lowered. The stock closed down $3.31, or 8.2%, to $36.88.

Upgrades

Caliper Technologies

(CALP)

: UP to strong buy from buy at CSFB. Caliper closed up $7.69, or 16.99%, to $52.94.

Dover

(DOV) - Get Report

: UP to strong buy from buy at CSFB. Dover ended the day up $1.38, or 3.8%, to $37.38.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

: UP to near-term buy from near-term neutral at Merrill. Gap closed up $2.31, or 12.1%, to $21.50.

Downgrades

Amkor Technology

(AMKR) - Get Report

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB. Amkor closed down 25 cents, or 1.3%, to $19.25.

Ceridian

(CEN) - Get Report

: 2001 earnings estimate DOWN to 84 cents a share from $1.25 at

Goldman Sachs

. Ceridian closed down $2.38, or 9.7%, to $22.06.

Copper Mountain Communications

(CMTN)

: DOWN to neutral from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. DOWN to neutral from strong buy at

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

. Copper closed down $17.03, or 63.4%, to $9.84.

Electric Scientific Industries

(ESIO) - Get Report

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB. ESI ended the day down $2.13, or 6.9%, to $28.56.

RF Micro Devices

(RFMD)

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB. RF closed down $8.75, or 38%, to $14.25.

Group Moves

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

cut

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

to market perform from strong buy and Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

to market perform from buy. Bank of America closed down 56 cents, or 1.3%, to $42.19; Goldman was down $1.25, or 1.3%, to $98.

UBS Warburg

initiated coverage on a collection of retailers, all with a hold rating:

  • BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ) - Get Report.
  • Federated Department Stores (FDS) - Get Report. Federated closed up 1 cent, or 0.03%, to $36.91.
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get Report. The stock closed down 6 cents, or 0.6%, to $9.81.
  • May Department Stores (MAY) . May ended the day flat at $20.94.
  • Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report. The stock closed down 25 cents, or 1.7%, to $14.88.
  • Saks (SKS) . Saks closed down 13 cents, or 1.4%, to $8.94.
  • Sears (S) - Get Report. Sears closed up 22 cents, or 0.7%, to $33.20.

Back to top

Offerings and stock actions

Primis

stuck a big toe into the markets, prepared itself for a $67.5 million initial public offering and then backed away from the deal. The Georgia-based online information services provider won't be jumping into the deep end anytime soon, pulling the offering that lead underwriter

Bear Stearns

had priced between $11 and $13 a share. The company would have traded under the symbol "PRMZ."

After Tuesday's Close

AutoZone

(AZO) - Get Report

said its board approved an increase in its current share buyback of up to $100 million in company common stock, bringing the value of the total share buyback program to $1.35 billion. AutoZone closed up 50 cents, or 2.1%, to $24.38.

Monsanto

(MON)

raised $700 million in its IPO, less than the $735 million to $840 million it had expected. The St. Louis-based pharmaceutical company priced 35 million shares at $20 apiece; the expected range was $21 to $24 a share. Monsanto closed up $1.50, or 7.5%, to $21.50.

Back to top

Miscellany

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

said it will streamline by closing three mills that employ about 2,500 workers and cutting production of certain papers and pulps. The news comes on the heels of its better-than-expected earnings announcement. The company posted third-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, a penny better than the 10-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 46 cents a share. International Paper ended the day up $3.19, or 11.9%, to $30.

Time Warner

(TWX)

President Richard Parsons announced that the would-be deal between

Warner Music Group

and Britain's

EMI Group

is not scrapped yet, even though it was withdrawn earlier this month. The stock closed up $3.69, or 5.6%, to $69.25.

After Tuesday's Close

Guidant

(GDT)

received approval from the

Food and Drug Administration

to market Endotak Reliance, an implantable defibrillator lead. Guidant closed up $2.88, or 5.5%, to $54.81.

Back to top

By the Numbers

The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

Back to top