3Com (COMS) said its board authorized the company to repurchase up to $1 billion worth of company stock via agreements with broker dealers or the broader market. Shares of 3Com boosted 4 15/16, or 11.3%, to 48 5/8.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, a penny better than the 18-analyst estimate of 29 cents and the year-ago operating income of 25 cents. Wal-Mart said total same-store sales for the quarter rose 9.1%. Same-store sales increased 9.6% at Wal-Mart stores and 7% at Sam's Clubs. First-quarter operating profit at Wal-Mart stores, including supercenters, rose 20.2% from the year-ago period. Wal-Mart lifted 5/8 to 53.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

British investment company

Amvescap

(AVZ)

said, as expected, it had agreed to a cash and paper deal to buy

Trimark Financial

in a deal valued at $1.8 billion. Amvescap slipped 1 13/16 to 66 3/16.

BellSouth

(BLS)

and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

unit GE American Communications are expected to announce today they will offer a satellite television service to provide customers with a variety of communications services, according to published reports. The service is expected to take in $3 billion in annual revenue. BellSouth fell 1 1/8 to 45 3/8, while General Electric shed 1/4 to 52 3/16.

Blockbuster

(BBI) - Get Report

signed a deal to jointly offer pay-per-view movies via

DirecTV

. The deal calls for cross marketing of each other's products as well as working together to increase the pay-per-view movie selection. Additionally, Blockbuster, which is a unit of

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

, will sell DirecTV systems at its 5000 stores around the country. Blockbuster said the deal will increase cash earnings by 5% to 15% annually. Blockbuster gained 7/16 to 10 5/8.

Deloitte Consulting

, Britain's

WPP

(WPPGY)

and marketing software developer

BroadVision

(BVSN) - Get Report

said they set up a joint venture to help companies build their e-business capabilities. The venture, called Roundarch, has 150 employees in offices throughout the country. WPP shed 3 3/4, or 5.6%, to 63 1/8.

In an attempt to quell rumors about a bid from cable television company

Comcast

(CMCSK)

,

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

said Comcast had not made a bid. Comcast shed 1 1/8 to 32 15/16.

Dutch

KPN

(KPN)

and

NTT DoCoMo

, a unit of

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone

(NTT)

reached an agreement under which the Japanese company would take a 15% stake in KPN's mobile unit for about $4.49 billion. KPN said it is still looking for other partners for its Internet and data segments and said it hopes the IPO of its mobile unit will shortly follow approval of the DoCoMo deal. KPN dropped 9 9/16, or 8.8%, to 99 5/8, while Nippon Telegraph & Telephone slid 1 to 65.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

said the

U.S. Air Force

ordered nine F-16 fighters in a contract valued at $117 million. Lockheed Martin stayed flat at 26 1/16.

Nortel Networks

(NT)

said it struck a multi-million dollar sale to

Qwest

(Q)

for long-haul optical equipment from Nortel's recently purchased

Qtera

. Nortel Networks staggered 2 5/16 to 53 1/8, while Qwest added 3/16 to 43 7/8.

Red Hat

(RHAT)

announced that it is creating a division to make investments in and form strategic partnerships with startup technology companies. Red Hat moved down 2 9/16, or 10.4%, to 21 9/16.

Teligent

(TGNT)

announced a network services agreement with

Level 3 Communications

(LVLT)

. According to Teligent's press release, the broadband communications company will use Level 3's U.S. fiber infrastructure to develop regional network rings that will connect Teligent's broadband communications networks. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Teligent slumped 3 3/16, or 9.5%, to 30 1/4, while Level 3 rose 3/8 to 84 7/8.

Britain's

United News & Media

(UNEWY)

said it sold its U.S. consumer magazines business, UAP, to

Trader Publishing

for $520 million in cash as part of its efforts to focus its portfolio. United News & Media remained unchanged at 25 1/4.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Ace Limited

(ACL)

reported first-quarter earnings of 58 cents, beating the 13-analyst estimate by a penny and up from the year-ago 57 cents. Ace Limited increased 1 5/8, or 6.7%, to 26 1/16.

American Tower

(AMT) - Get Report

reported a first-quarter loss of 24 cents, beating the seven-analyst estimate by a penny, but higher than the year-ago loss of 7 cents. American Tower traded down 1 3/4 to 43 3/4.

CVS

(CVS) - Get Report

said it warned investors that it expects to post second-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, slightly below the 11-analyst estimate of 47 cents a share, but said it would report fiscal 2000 earnings in line with the 12-analyst estimate of $1.79. Earlier today, the company said April same-store sales rose 11.9%, while April pharmacy same-store sales rose 18.2%. CVS was off 5/8 to 44 1/8.

GenTek

(GK)

reported first-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, beating the lone analyst estimate of 38 cents and up from year-ago earnings of 38 cents. GenTek lagged 3/16 to 14 1/2.

Global Telesystems

(GTS) - Get Report

reported a first-quarter loss of 82 cents a share, beating the three-analyst estimate of a 93-cent loss, but higher than the year-ago 61-cent loss. The figure was for recurring net loss per share. Global Telesystems lost 1 3/4, or 11.7%, to 13 3/16.

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst estimate of 46 cents. The company went public April 5. The earnings per share MetLife reported are pro forma for the IPO. MetLife dropped 7/8 to 17 1/8.

OfficeMax

(OMX)

reported a first-quarter loss of 2 cents, in line with the 10-analyst estimate, but down from year-ago earnings of 19 cents. OfficeMax stayed flat at 5 5/16.

Pioneer-Standard Electronics

(PIOS)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, in line with the 4-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 31 cents. Pioneer-Standard Electronics fell 5/8 to 14.

PSINet

(PSIX)

reported a first-quarter loss of $1.06 a share, beating the 14-analyst estimate of a $1.28 loss, but up from the year-ago loss of 56 cents. The figure excludes a restructuring charge and costs related to consolidating retail consumer operations. PSINet advanced 2 5/8, or 10.8%, to 26 15/16.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

(RBA) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 21 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 13 cents and up from the year-ago 10 cents. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers climbed 1 9/16, or 6.7%, to 24 15/16.

Simon Property Group

(SPG) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 71 cents, in line with the 13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 67 cents. The figure was for a paired share, representing the combined condensed financial statements of Simon Property Group and its paired share affiliate,

SPG Realty Consultants

. Simon Property Group lost 1/16 to 26 1/8.

VoiceStream Wireless

(VSTR)

reported after yesterday's close a first-quarter loss of $1.68 a share, wider than the nine-analyst expected loss of $1.14 and the year-ago loss of 81 cents. In postmarket activity, the shares plunged to 96 1/4 from Monday's closing price of 105 1/4. VoiceStream Wireless boosted 4 15/16 to 110 3/8.

Unisys

(UIS) - Get Report

slid 5/8 to 23 5/8 after chairman and CEO Larry Weinbach disappointed analysts by stating, for a second time, that the computer services company's revenue growth would not return to double digits until the second half of fiscal 2000. According to

Reuters

, Wall Street analysts who attended the meeting said they were hoping to hear of a quicker recovery, but received the same guidance that was given during Unisys' first-quarter earnings report.

Offerings and stock actions

Alpharma

(ALO) - Get Report

shares lost 3 13/16, or 9.1%, to 38 1/16 after the company announced it had entered into an agreement to sell about 5 million shares of its Class-A common stock to

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

. Alpharma expects to receive about $186 million net of fees and expenses.

Auto-components maker

Autoliv

(ALV) - Get Report

soared 1 13/16, or 6.9%, to 28 1/4, after it said its board approved a stock repurchase program, allowing it to buy back up to 10 million of its outstanding shares.

Analyst actions

Goldman Sachs

upgraded the beverage sector and put

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

on its recommended for purchase list from market perform. Coca-Cola shares swung up 2 3/16 to 50 11/16.

Upgrades

CarrAmerica

(CRE)

shares grew 3/16 to 25: UP to outperform from neutral at

Lehman Brothers

, price target: 28 from 22.

Computer Sciences

(CSC)

jumped 2 1/16 to 82 9/16: UP to buy from attractive at

PaineWebber

.

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

slipped 15/16 to 38: UP to buy from hold at

ABN Amro

, price target: 54.

Danaher

(DHR) - Get Report

was off 3/4 to 56 3/16: UP to buy from market performer at

J.P. Morgan

, price target up to 72 from 55.

Netopia

(NTPA)

stumbled 3 1/4, or 9%, to 32 3/4: NEW strong buy at

Prudential

. Fiscal 2000 and 2001 EPS estimates: 33 cents and 72 cents. Price target: 55.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

rose 2 to 105: Fiscal third- and fourth-quarter earnings estimates UP to 27 cents and 31 cents from 26 cents and 30 cents, respectively, at

Salomon Smith Barney

. Fiscal 2000 estimate upped to $1.10 from $1.05.

Ultramar

(UDS)

hopped up 3/16 to 25 15/16: UP to attractive from neutral at PaineWebber, price target: 31.

Downgrades

Finova Group

(FNV) - Get Report

shares tanked today, falling 3 1/2, or 27.7%, to 9 1/8: DOWN to neutral from outperform at Salomon Smith Barney.

Globalstar Telecom

(GSTRF)

shares tumbled 1 9/32, or 12.5%, to 8 31/32: DOWN to hold from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

.

Golden West Financial

(GDW)

rose 3/16 to 36 1/4: DOWN to attractive from buy at PaineWebber.

Jacobs Engineering

(JEC) - Get Report

was off 2, or 5.9%, to 31 11/16: DOWN to outperform from buy at Salomon Smith Barney.

Shurgard Storage Centers

(SHU)

climbed 1 3/4, or 7.6%, to 24 3/4: DOWN to neutral from outperform at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

Electronics retailer

Tandy

(TAN) - Get Report

was dropped from PaineWebber's Highlighted Stocks list today. Tandy slid 4 1/16, or 8.1%, to 45 3/4.

Xicor

(XICO)

: DOWN to hold from buy at

CIBC

. Xicor fell 11 11/16, or 63.6%, to 6 11/16.

Initiations

American Superconductor

(AMSC) - Get Report

and

AstroPower

(APWR)

: NEW buys at

CIBC World Markets

. American Superconductor skidded 1 to 29 3/4.

Biosite Diagnostics

(BSTE)

: NEW buy at

SG Cowen

. Biosite Diagnostics popped 1 7/16, or 5.8%, to 26 1/8.

Cabot Microelectronics

(CCMP) - Get Report

: NEW addition to Goldman Sachs' U.S. recommended for purchase list. Cabot Microelectronics advanced 2, or 6.5%, to 32 3/4.

C-Cube

(CUBED)

: REINSTATED with a buy at

Credit Suisse First Boston

, price target: 30. C-Cube declined 1 3/16, or 6.3%, to 17 1/2.

DSL.net

(DSLN)

: NEW buy at CIBC, 12-month price target: 31. DSL.net edged up 1/4 to 12 1/4.

Exelixis

(EXEL) - Get Report

: NEW strong buy at SG Cowen, NEW market outperformer at Goldman Sachs. Exelixis added 1/16 to 26 9/16.

Marshall & Isley

(MI)

: NEW outperform at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Price target: 56. Marshall & Isley advanced gained 1 1/2 to 47 3/8.

J.P. Morgan began coverage of toy companies

Mattel

(MAT) - Get Report

and

Hasbro

(HAS) - Get Report

with market performer and long-term buy ratings, respectively. Mattel stumbled 1/4 to 11 5/8 and Hasbro climbed 5/16 to 16.

Pactiv

(PTV)

and

Sealed Air

(SEE) - Get Report

: NEW buy ratings at

Deutsche Banc Alex Brown

. Pactiv bounced 3/16 to 8 5/8 and Sealed Air lost 7/8 to 53 7/16.

Seagram

(VO) - Get Report

: NEW buy at SG Cowen. Seagram added 3/8 to 54 5/16.

Miscellany

Worldwide sales of semiconductors hit an all-time high of $14.96 billion in March, up from $11.18 billion in the year-ago period, a 33.8%, year-over-year increase, according to the

Semiconductor Industry Association

, a San Jose, Calif.-based trade association. Product sectors that played a major role in March sales, in addition to microprocessors and DRAMs used in PCs, include flash, digital signal processors, programmable logic an standard cell, according to SIA.

Global Internet Infrastructure company

LookSmart

(LOOK)

shed 2 5/16, or 10.6%, to 19 7/16 after it said today it plans to spin off its Redband and D-store units.

A federal judge ruled against Internet music service

Napster

in two key legal areas, setting the stage for a possible shutdown of the site, according to published reports. Napster, which allows users to share MP3 music files on their computers as well as download songs, has been sued by both the

Record Industry Association of America

, or RIAA, and heavy metal band

Metallica

, both of which accuse the service of pirating copyrighted versions of music. The

latest ruling suggests the recording industry is gaining ground in its fight against Napster.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that electronics giant

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

reorganized its top management in an effort to better adapt its businesses to the Internet. President Nobuyuki Idei will become chairman while keeping the title of CEO. Meanwhile COO Kunitake Ando will become president. Sony fell 5 15/16 to 213 3/8.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

slipped 5 1/2 to 141 5/16 after it said it would invest $450 million to double its semiconductor manufacturing capacity at its German operations in Freising by the middle of 2001.

The Heard on the Street column in the

Journal

looks at

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

CEO Louis Gerstner who is scheduled to deliver his annual speech to investors and analysts in New York today. But this year, Gerstner may face a tougher-than-usual crowd, according to the story, as the stock price has remained flat amid a Y2K business slowdown. Revenue dropped by 5% in the first quarter. The story also quotes some analysts and investors who grumble that a once-a-year appearance is not enough face time with boss of Big Blue. IBM declined 3/4 to 109.