Birmingham Steel Weighing Its Options for the Future

Wednesday night's after-hours has few highlights.
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Birmingham Steel

(BIR)

said it is contemplating a possible sale, after an ongoing dispute with a group of protesting shareholders over control of the company. Birmingham said its board gave the go-ahead for its management and financial advisor,

Credit Suisse First Boston

, to consider strategic options.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

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MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.

--

Patrick M. Fitzgibbons

In other post-close news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

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

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

HW Group

said it will be bought by

TMP Worldwide

(TMPW)

, in a deal valued at $57.9 million.

Offerings and stock actions

The

New York Stock Exchange

said that ADRs of

Hoeschst

(HOE)

will be halted on at 11:30 a.m. EST on Friday for a company statement about its tender offer.

Waste Connections

(WCNX)

said it cannot explain the recent decline in its stock price and said that it is on track to meet its fourth-quarter seven-analyst estimate of 24 cents a share and its fiscal 2000 estimate of $1.25 a share.