Updated from 2:16 p.m. EDT

Telecommunications giant

Motorola

(MOT)

affirmed that it has not changed its third-quarter earnings outlook and declined to comment on speculation that it would come in below expectations. In July, Motorola said it expected third-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share and revenue of $10 billion.

TheStreet.com

discussed the

Motorola rumors in a separate article. Motorola closed down today $1.56, or 5.2%, to $28.50.

priceline.com

(PCLN)

warned this morning that it will miss analysts' estimates for its third quarter, citing a revenue shortfall from airline ticket sales.

The company said it is expecting revenues of $340 million to $345 million, but analysts had forecast $360 million to $380 million. The company's year-ago loss was 8 cents.

priceline.com said there was a decline in the percentage of offers accepted for tickets in its "name your own price" system. The company had expected September to be the strongest sales month in the quarter, but now says September airline ticket sales are coming in weaker than July and August's.

Also, priceline said third-quarter revenue was hurt by a second $20 fuel surcharge imposed in early September by the airlines due to higher fuel prices, higher cancellations and discounted ticket offerings directly from the airlines. But the company said it expects third-quarter revenue from nonairline activities to be about 20% higher than the second quarter's. Operating margins were also higher than in the second quarter.

priceline plans to report third-quarter results Nov. 2.

This morning,

Merrill Lynch

cut the stock to a near-term neutral from accumulate, while

Wasserstein Perella

and

Jeffries

both downgraded it to hold from a buy.

The stock closed down $7.89, or 42.3%, to $10.75.

Networking systems provider

3Com

(COMS)

posted a first-quarter loss from continuing operations of 18 cents a share, narrower than the 11-analyst

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate of a 33 cent loss. 3Com had projected a pro-forma net loss of 19 cents to 25 cents a share.

Newly public electronics designer

Manufacturers' Services

(MSV)

said it has signed a two-year outsourcing agreement with 3Com worth $1.2 billion. That's the good news.

The bad news: Manufacturers' announced that it would fall short of analysts' profit targets, due to currency troubles, higher interest expense and a shortage of materials. According to the company, earnings will be reduced by 10 cents to 15 cents a share. The current three-analyst estimate calls for MSL to come in at 25 cents.

Lehman Brothers

cut 3Com's fiscal 2001 loss estimate to 25 cents a share from 69 cents. And

Goldman Sachs

cut its 2001 loss estimate to 3 cents a share from 57 cents a share.

3Com closed up today, however, higher by $3.06, or 21.97%, to $17. But Manufacturers' Services ended the day down $19.25, or 62.2%, to $11.69.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Boeing

(e) - Get Report

received the go-ahead from regulators in the U.S. and Europe for its $3.75 billion acquisition of the satellite and components businesses of

Hughes Electronics

(GMH)

.

The approval follows a 4-month investigation by the European Commission, which feared the deal could give Hughes, a subsidiary of

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

, sensitive information about competitors' products. Hughes has a market share of about 35% to 40% in the commercial GEO satellite market.

The FTC prohibits Boeing from looking at private information that its satellite division obtains from competitors that launch its satellites.

Boeing ended the day down $1.50, or 2.3%, to $64.56; Hughes closed down 62 cents, or 1.7%, to $36; GM was flat at $66.31.

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

and

Lexicon Genetics

(LEXG)

agreed to cooperate in genomics research, signing a data-access and license agreement.

According to the agreement, Lexicon could receive between $15 million and $25 million in access and delivery fees, in addition to royalties. Bristol-Myers will have access to Lexicon's LexVision database.

Bristol-Myers meets with analysts tomorrow -- for the first time in several years -- to outline its growth strategies. The company's stock recently suffered some setbacks: The company lost the exclusivity on its cancer drug Taxol last month and withdrew its application for the hypertension drug Vanlev earlier this year.

Bristol-Myers ended the day down 69 cents, or 1.2%, to $56.50, while Lexicon closed up $2.63, or 8.8%, to $32.63.

Fiber-optics giant

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

said it's agreed to buy 90% of Italian cable company

Pirelli's

optical component and devices business.

According to the deal, Corning will make an initial payment of about $3.4 billion, and may make a further payment of $180 million if the company meets certain business milestones. (

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom covered

Corning's announcement in a separate story.) Corning ended the day down $18, or 5.5%, to $307.

LVMH Moet Hennessy

(LVMHY)

, the huge luxury goods group, succeeded in its efforts to annul the agreement between

Gucci

(GUC)

and

Pinault Printemps Redoute

after the Dutch Supreme Court ruled in favor of its appeal.

In July 1999, LVMH appealed to the court to overturn the May 27, 1999, Enterprise Chamber's decision supporting the PPR capital increase and agreement with Gucci. The agreement allowed PPR to acquire 42% of Gucci's shares -- which included those of LVMH -- at $100 a share. LVMH's appeal sought to protect its minority-shareholding interests.

LVMH closed up 25 cents, or 1.7%, to $15; Gucci ended the day up $1.38, or 1.4%, to $101.63.

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

announced that it will become the chief shareholder in

Gemstar-TV Guide International

, according to a deal with

Liberty Media Group

(LMG.A)

. NWS closed up $2.56, or 4.8%, to $56.38; Liberty Media ended up 50 cents, or 2.7%, to $18.88..

Nordstrom

(JWN) - Get Report

will acquire French designer and retailer

Facconable

in a stock-and-cash deal worth $170 million. The company expects the deal to dilute EPS through 2002.

The retail heavyweight said its EPS would be cut by 1 to 3 cents in fiscal 2000, 7 to 9 cents in fiscal 2001 and 2 to 4 cents in fiscal 2002 because of the 5 million shares it will issue in the deal, due to take place in late October. A 23-analyst estimate put the company's EPS for 2000 at $1.42 and for 2001 at $1.68. Nordstrom ended the day lower by 13 cents, or 0.8%, to $14.88.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

and

Agilent

(A) - Get Report

signed a multimillion-dollar licensing agreement that will allow Agilent to use some Qualcomm patents and software.

The deal will help Agilent, a spinoff of computer-maker

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

from earlier this year, further expand its test equipment products into the wireless telecommunications industry. Qualcomm closed down 50 cents, or 0.7%, to $72.88; Agilent was up 81 cents, or 1.8%, to $46; H-P was up $4.69, or 4.8%, to $102.81.

After Tuesday's Close

Abgenix

(ABGX)

reported an agreement to acquire

ImmGenics

in an all-stock transaction worth about $77 million. Abgenix ended the trading day down by 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $79.63.

NextVenue

, a provider of streaming audio and video services, said it will withdraw its $60 million planned IPO, because it will be acquired by streaming media network company

iBeam Broadcasting

(IBEM)

for $375 million in stock. IBeam closed down 47 cents, or 6.2%, to $7.16.

Back to top

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

expects to report about 4% growth in worldwide operations for its third quarter, citing the benefits of local marketing and stabilizing economic conditions in its international markets.

While it expects more fizz to its overall business, the company said that unit-case volume growth in its North American market remains flat in the third quarter. Coca-Cola plans to increase unit-case volumes by about 5% to 6% in 2000 and 6% to 7% next year. Coke closed up by 69 cents, or 1.3%, to $55.63.

Constellation Brands

(STZ) - Get Report

achieved a second-quarter EPS of $1.40 a share, compared to the $1.35 a share estimate produced by eight analysts from

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

The alcoholic beverage-maker earned $1.14 in last year's second quarter. Second-quarter net sales this year reached $637 million, an increase of 3% over net sales reported last year. Constellation ended the day up 56 cents, or 0.99%, to $57.38.

Hillenbrand Industries

(HB)

announced a third-quarter EPS of 54 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 48 cents a share.

The company also was optimistic about the remainder of fiscal 2000 and the first quarter of 2001, citing the anticipated benefits of cost-alignment activities, continued strength at Forethought and improved product mix at its Batesville Casket unit. Hillenbrand finished the fiscal day up $3.50, or 9.5%, to $40.38.

Shortly before 12 a.m. EDT,

Lernout & Hauspie

(LHSP)

, the Belgian maker of speech-recognition software, said third-quarter profits would likely miss Wall Street expectations. The company said it expects a net loss, before goodwill amortization and revenue, of between $165 million and $185 million.

Earlier in the month, L&H acknowledged that the

Securities and Exchange Commission

was investigating its accounting practices. The company agreed to cooperate with the SEC's probe and announced plans for a companywide audit. (

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

discussed

Lernout's woes in a separate story.) L&H closed down $4.25, or 30.4%, to $9.75.

Network Plus

(NPLS)

expects to meet or exceed analysts third-quarter forecasts for the company's operations. A

First Call/Thomson Financial

survey of three analysts produced a third-quarter estimate of 47 cents a share.

The company said, despite being affected by the

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

strike, that the total number of access lines will exceed expectations of 146,000. Shares of Network Plus were temporarily halted for about a half-hour this morning. Network Plus closed down 6 cents, or 0.95%, to $6.50; Verizon closed up 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $43.44.

PerkinElmer

(PKI) - Get Report

reiterated its expectations of earnings between $2.57 and $2.59 a share for this year and offered estimates of between $3 and $3.05 a share for 2001.

A

First Call/Thomson Financial

survey of five analysts produced an EPS estimate of $2.58 a share for fiscal 2000 and $2.98 a share for fiscal 2001.

The Boston-based company reported fiscal 1999 earnings of $1.36 a share, excluding items, on revenue of about $1.36 billion. It expects to reported third-quarter earnings Oct. 19. PerkinElmer ended the day up $3.06, or 3.1%, to $100.50.

Scientific-Atlanta

(SFA)

, a supplier of broadband-transmission networks, said it will have an after-tax gain of 28 cents a share from its sale of 1.826 million shares of

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

. SFA closed down $1.81, or 2.95%, to $59.69; Bookham was down $1.11, or 2.6%, to $41.89.

After Tuesday's Close

Medical device manufacturer

Becton Dickinson

(BDX) - Get Report

warned it is abandoning initiatives that boost sales to distributors, a move it said would take its fourth-quarter earnings below expectations.

Still, the company said it expects to earn 39 cents a share before numerous charges, gains and taxes. The current 14-analyst estimate calls for Becton Dickinson to come in at 46 cents a share. The company ended the day up $4, or 17.9%, to $26.38.

Broadband provider

Cypress Communications

(CYCO)

announced that revenues for the second half of 2000 would fall below analysts' estimates, citing construction and provisioning delays in its larger markets, including New York, Washington and San Francisco. Cypress closed down $1.20, or 23.1%, to $4.

Integrated Circuit Systems

(ICST)

, a maker of silicon timing devices, announced that it expects to meet or exceed Wall Street's first-quarter earnings estimates on strong demand in its key markets. The current two-analyst estimate calls for ICS to record a loss of 25 cents a share. The company finished the day up 86 cents, or 4.98%, to $18.11.

Real estate company

LNR Property

(LNR)

listed a third-quarter profit of 95 cents a share, beating the one-analyst 82 cent estimate and the year-ago 59 cent profit. LNR closed the day up 63 cents, or 2.9%, to $22.38.

New Horizons Worldwide

(NEWH)

, a provider of computer training, announced that it will post earnings of 24 cents to 26 cents a share. The current one-analyst estimate calls for New Horizons to earn 37 cents. New Horizons finished the day down $11.25, or 48.1%, to $12.13.

Semiconductor-component manufacturer

SpeedFam

(SFAM)

posted a first-quarter loss of 25 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst estimate and above the year-ago negative 37 cent result. SpeedFam ended the day flat at $12.50.

Back to top

Analyst actions

Lehman Brothers

said investor concerns on

VerticalNet

(VERT)

are overblown, and the firm reiterated its buy rating. VerticalNet closed up $2.38, or 7.9%, to $32.63.

Upgrades

Becton Dickinson

(BDX) - Get Report

: UP to buy from neutral at

Bear Stearns

. As noted above, the stock closed $4 up, or 17.9%, to $26.38.

FBL Financial

(FFG) - Get Report

: UP to outperform from neutral at

Salomon Smith Barney

. FBL ended the day down 19 cents, or 1.1%, to $16.25.

Hercules

(HPC)

: UP to buy from neutral at Salomon. Hercules ended the day strong, up $1.31, or 11.2%, to $13.

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

ADDED to

Merrill Lynch's

Focus 1 List. The company closed up $1.38 today, or 2.6% higher, to $54.75.

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

: UP to market perform from underperform at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

. Rite-Aid closed up 44 cents, or 14.3%, to $3.50.

Sanchez Computer Associates

(SCAI)

had its third-quarter estimate from

ABN Amro

adjusted to a loss of 7 cents a share from a loss of 11 cents and its fourth-quarter estimate adjusted to a 6 cent loss from an 18 cent loss. Sanchez ended the day up 50 cents, or 3.4%, to $15.38.

Scholastic

(SCHL) - Get Report

: 12-month price target UP to $90 from $75 at

Credit Suisse First Boston

. The stock ended the day up $5.63, or 7.5%, to $80.63.

Sprint

(FON)

: UP to buy from hold at

CIBC World Markets

. Sprint rung up $1.50 today, 6% higher, to $26.50.

Tibco Software

(TIBX)

: 2000 EPS view UP to 20 cents from 12 cents at

Goldman Sachs

; and 2001 EPS view UP to 28 cents a share from 15 cents. Tibco closed up $4.25, or 5%, to $89.25.

Turnstone Systems

(TSTN)

: ADDED to Goldman's recommended for purchase list. Turnstone closed down $3.31, or 6.8%, to $45.63.

Downgrades

Eastman Kodak

(EK)

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB, and 2000 earnings estimates DOWN to $5.15 a share from $5.60 at Lehman. Kodak closed down $2.13, or 4.8%, to $42.38.

Micron Electronics

(MUEI)

: DOWN to market perform from buy at

Banc of America Securities

The stock closed up $2, or 4%, to $51.63..

Westpoint Stevens

(WXS)

: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB. The stock ended the day 6 cents lower, or 0.5%, to $12.

Initiations

National Service Industries

(NSI)

: NEW buy at Lehman; price target: $27. The stock ended the day up by 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $18.88.

Back to top

Offerings and stock actions

Xcel Energy

(XEL) - Get Report

declared its first common stock dividend at a quarterly rate of 37.5 cents a share, or $1.50 a share for a year.

There will be a prorated dividend for the 53 days from Xcel's formation Aug. 18 through Oct. 9. Payable on Oct. 20 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 9, the prorated dividend will be about 21.8 cents a share. Xcel closed up 52 cents, or 1.97%, to $26.89.

Liberty

(LC) - Get Report

, the broadcaster and insurer, will repurchase up to 3 million of its common stock, increasing its previous share repurchase program to about 20% of its stock. The company has 19.9 million shares outstanding. Liberty closed up 81 cents, or 2.4%, to $35.

Veritas

(VTS)

plans to offer 3 million shares next week that would raise about $86.3 million at current prices.

The offering is part of a $200 million shelf registration filed Oct. 8, 1999. The company expects the offering to close by mid-October and plans to use the proceeds for capital expenditures, investment in the company's multiclient data library, additional working capital and general corporate purposes. Veritas ended the day down 25 cents, or 0.9%, to $28.50.

After Tuesday's Close

Financial information processor

DST Systems

(DST)

set a 2-for-1 stock split. The stock ended the day up 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $115.69.

Back to top

Miscellany

Conoco

(COC)

said a notable oil discovery has been made in the Gulf of Mexico, with potential oil and gas yields estimated at over 200 million barrels of oil.

The company announced its joint participation in the sub-salt Princess discovery, which lies in about 3,600 feet of water, some 130 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Shell Oil

, the U.S. unit of

Royal Dutch Petroleum

(RD)

, holds a 45% interest in the operation, with Conoco and

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

each holding a 16% working interest. Conoco closed up $1.06, or 4.4%, to $25.50; Royal Dutch was up 69 cents, or 1.2%, to $60.69; and Exxon ended up $2.63, or 3%, to $89.25.

Corixa

(CRXA)

said it plans to seek FDA approval for its Melacine skin cancer vaccine in the second quarter of 2001. The biotechnology firm expects the full review of the license application to take about 12 months. The stock ended the day up $3.19, or 6.9%, to $49.44.

After Tuesday's Close

Health insurance giant

Aetna

(AET)

announced that it has settled its 3-year shareholder lawsuit for $82.5 million. As a result of the suit, Aetna expects to record a small charge against its third-quarter earnings. The stock closed up 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $56.

Internet consulting firm

Luminant Worldwide

(LUMT)

announced that it has shuffled its top management. The company, which last week said that it expects to book a third-quarter loss instead of a profit, named COO and President James Corey chief executive. He replaces Guillermo Marmol, who recently resigned to pursue other interests. Luminant ended the day down 6 cents, or 2%, to $3.06.

WD-40

(WDFC) - Get Report

, the lubricant and hardware-cleaning products manufacturer, named Daniel Derbes chairman of its board, effective as of yesterday.. Derbes replaces John Berry, who is retiring. The stock greased up 19 cents, or 0.9%, to $21.

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

Diane Hess,

Yi-Ping Ho and

Betsy Riley contributed to this column.