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Biogen Set to Beat Street's Earnings Estimate; ECNs Will Form After-Hours Trading Network

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said it anticipates third-quarter earnings to be roughly 38 cents a share, slightly edging out the analysts' consensus estimate of 36 cents. The company attributes its solid earnings to the strong prescription growth for its multiple sclerosis drug



Eight electronic communications networks have banded together to form an extended-hours trading network,


reported. The business cable station said the network's ECN's will include

Archipelago ECN


Island ECN





. See

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coverage of the agreement for more information.

After-Hours Markets

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter'sundefinedDiscover Brokerage and Mellon Bank'sundefinedDreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Monday through Thursday.

updates the most active issues on both MarketXT and Island ECN in Got a Minute? and in the Evening Update.


also reports how MarketXT's three most active Nasdaq-listed issues finished the Island ECN session



Eric Gillin

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Burlington Coat Factory


reported a first-quarter loss of 14 cents a share, better than both the five-analyst estimate of a 20-cent loss and the year-ago 24-cent loss.

Helen of Troy


said, due to soft sales, it expects to report second-quarter earnings between 26 and 28 cents a share, missing analysts' consensus estimate of 30 cents and possibly the year-ago 26 cents.

Jabil Circuit


posted fourth-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, in line with the 27-analyst estimate of 30 cents and better than the year-ago 17 cents.



said that it could report first-quarter earnings close to 14 cents a share, missing both the analysts' consensus estimate of 18 cents and the year-ago 19 cents.

Tarrant Apparel


warned investors that it expects to report third-quarter earnings between 30 cents a share and 33 cents, greatly missing both the six-analyst estimate of 58 cents and the year-ago 49 cents. The company blamed increased fabric costs and staffing for the disappointing results.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures



said it forged a deal to acquire


in a stock transaction valued at $86.9 million. The deal calls for Informix to pay 10 million shares for all of Cloudscape's outstanding shares and options.

Longs Drug Stores


announced its plans to acquire 38



stores for $186 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in October and will bring its total stores in California to 419.



said it plans to purchase



in a stock deal valued at $155 million. Photronics said the transaction calls for it to pay Align-Rite stockholders the equivalent of $23.09 per share, handing over roughly 16% of its stock.

Starwood Hotels


said it has tagged hotel properties with a combined worth of about $500 million for a possible sale. Starwood said the potential sales would take place between now and Q2 2000. Profits would be used to repurchase outstanding shares.

Offerings and stock action

Hambrecht & Quist

priced a 4.1 million-share initial public offering of

in mid-range at $12.

Harcourt General



Neiman Marcus


said stockholders favored a spinoff of the majority of Harcourt's interest in Nieman Marcus. The spinoff calls for Harcourt to issue 21.4 million of the 26.4 million Nieman common shares it holds to its stockholders. The Nieman shares given to the Harcourt shareholders would be converted into Class B shares, electing 82% of Nieman's board.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced a 4.6 million-share initial public offering of

Luminant Worldwide

above its $15 to $17 range at $18 a share.

Vitesse Semiconductor


set a 2-for-1 stock split which would be paid on Oct. 21, to shareholders of record Sept. 30.


American Home Products


said it has been given the green light to sell its insomnia remedy,


, which received


approval on Aug. 16. The company said the

Drug Enforcement Administration

labelled Sonata a Schedule IV controlled substance, a designation all sleeping pills need prior to being marketing.

Separately, the


said it gave its stamp of approval to


, a new drug that aids in the acceptance of kidney transplants. American Home Products and

Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories

manufacture the drug.

Glenayre Technologies


said that it plans to cut 330 jobs, or 20% of its workforce, which would result in a third-quarter restructuring charge of between $11 and $13 million. Glenayre said the workforce reduction would take place over the next two quarters, and includes 200 cuts in its Vancouver operations.

Pharmeutical Resources


said the FDA awarded marketing approval to


, a generic version of

Roche Holding's


that decreases the possibility of thrombotic stroke.