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Illinois Tool Works Sets $3.4 Billion Buy of Premark; After-Hours Trading Update

Illinois Tool Works

(ITW) - Get Illinois Tool Works Inc. Report

hammered out an agreement to acquire

Premark International


in a $3.4 billion deal. Under the agreement, shareholders of Premark, a commercial food equipment maker, will receive ITW stock with a market value of $55 for each Premark share. But the amount may vary, based on ITW's average share price in the 20 trading days before closing. Deerfield, Ill.-based Premark will become a wholly owned subsidiary of ITW.

Inflows to equity funds totaled $2.7 billion for the week ended yesterday, with more than half going to growth funds and a third to international and global equity funds, according to

AMG Data Services

. Large-cap equity funds reported their largest inflow in 18 weeks, while taxable bond inflows totaled $168 million. High-yield funds experienced redemptions.

Last Trades on Island ECN

DELL: 48 193/256 at 5:15 p.m. EDT.

INTU: 101 1/2 at 5:15 p.m. EDT.

ALTR: 50 9/16 at 4:01 p.m. EDT.

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. Island ECN offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT.

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

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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

Boston Communications Group


said it expects to report a net loss in the third-quarter of between 13 cents and 16 cents a share, excluding a charge. The five-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 6 cents a share.



said it expects third-quarter revenue and earnings below expectations due to general softness in the information technology market. The company said it expects to earn 18 cents to 22 cents a share, before a 5-cent charge, in the third quarter. The 13-analyst estimate called for earnings of 26 cents a share.

National Semiconductor


said quarterly results indicated it was ahead of schedule in returning to profitability. The company said profit for the first quarter ended Aug. 29 was $57 million, or 25 cents a share, including a gain, compared with 63 cents a share a year ago. The 19-analyst estimate was for a loss of 14 cents a share. National Semi did not release per-share figures excluding the gain.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Corporate Express


will sell its courier delivery unit to

United Shipping & Technology


. Terms were not disclosed though United Shipping said the courier business has sales of $600 million, compared to its own of roughly $2 million.

A unit of

Nabisco Holdings




, Argentina's fourth largest biscuit company for $116 million. Canale, which has annual sales of about $100 million, will be integrated into Nabisco's existing operations in Argentina.

St. Jude Medical


said it would buy privately held

Vascular Science

for up to $100 million in a deal which will extend its line of devices for heart surgery. St. Jude will pay $80 million in cash and $20 million in milestone payments for Vascular. The acquisition will result in a third-quarter R&D charge, and will likely reduce fourth-quarter and 2000 earnings as well, the company said. Separately the St. Jude said it would buy back up to $250 million of its stock over a three-year period.

Offerings and stock actions


(HRC) - Get Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. Report

said it has decided not to spin off its inpatient operations to shareholders and would instead keep its divisions under one business. The company, which provides outpatient surgery and rehabilitative health care services, also said it will resume a $1 billion stock buyback approved earlier this year. Healthsouth also announced plans to restructure management at its outpatient services, a move that will result in charges of between $250 million and $300 million by the end of the year.

Personal finance software maker


(INTU) - Get Intuit Inc. Report

set a 3-for-1 stock split, applicable to shareholders of record on Sept. 20.