Abbott Labs to Buy Alza in $7.3 Billion Stock Deal

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Abbott Laboratories

(ABT) - Get Report

agreed to acquire

Alza

(AZA)

in a stock swap valued at $7.3 billion. Under the terms of the deal, each Alza share will be exchanged for 1.2 Abbott shares. Abbott said it expects to record a one-time charge of $100 million in 1999 related to the deal and that it sees a dilution of 3 cents a share in 2000 earnings. Alza shares have gotten a boost recently on rumors of the combination.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Cabletron Systems

(CS) - Get Report

posted first-quarter earnings of 4 cents a share, topping the 20-analyst estimate by 3 cents and moving ahead of the year-ago break-even results. The company also announced a strategic alliance with

Compaq

(CPQ)

. Shares of Cabletron rose 3/16 to 14 7/8 in after-hours trading.

Ecko

(EKO)

said it expects to report a second-quarter loss of 15 cents to 17 cents a share due to order delays in its housewares unit, weak export sales and industry softness in the U.K. The company, which sees earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share for the full year, also said it hired

Lehman Brothers

to help investigate strategic alternatives. The two-analyst forecast called for a quarter loss of 12 cents vs. the year-ago profit of 2 cents, and full-year earnings of 49 cents vs. the year-ago profit of 37 cents.

LNR Property

(LNR)

said it sees second-quarter earnings of 83 cents to 88 cents a share, way above the four-analyst view of 58 cents or the year-ago 46 cents. The company said about 12 cents to 15 cents of the increase are earnings that were expected to occur in the third and fourth quarters.

Micron Electronics

(MUEI)

recorded third-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, a penny higher than the 15-analyst forecast for a repeat of the year-ago 6 cents.

Systemax

(SYX) - Get Report

said it sees second-quarter operating earnings of 18 cents to 20 cents a share, which would be behind the three-analyst call for 31 cents. In the year-ago period, the company earned 20 cents.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Privately held

Amsted Industries

extended until July 6 from midnight New York time tonight the expiration date of its $35-a-share offer to buy

Varlen

(VRLN)

. However, Varlen said the offer is inadequate.

Centocor

(CNTO)

and

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report

agreed to jointly form a database that will track patients with acute coronary syndromes.

Knoll

(KNL) - Get Report

agreed to be acquired by

Warburg Pincus Ventures

and members of Knoll Management for $28 a share in cash.

Telmex

(TMX)

said it signed an agreement with

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

to charge each other lower rates for handling cross-border calls. Telmex said the two carriers would lower settlement rates to 19 cents a minute July 1, six months ahead of schedule.

Offerings and stock actions

Cumulus Media

(CMLS) - Get Report

filed with regulators for a 8.2 million-share offering.

Old Kent Financial

(OK)

approved a 3 million-share buyback program.

Miscellany

Boeing's

(BA) - Get Report

North America unit and the

United Auto Workers

union reached a preliminary four-year agreement affecting more than 3,200 members at four plants in California and Oklahoma. The agreement includes wage and pension increases, health care, and health and safety improvements.

Ortel

(ORTL)

named Stephen Rizzone chairman, president and CEO.

VISX

(VISX)

said the

Federal Trade Commission

has appealed an administrative law judge's dismissal of a patent complaint the agency filed against the company.