Superior earnings forecasts from new wave Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Report and old school Sears (S) - Get Report move the companies' stocks at midday.

Advanced Micro Devices expects to report record sales of more than $1 billion in the quarter ended Sunday. AMD reported record sales of $968.7 million in the previous quarter.

Merrill Lynch

raised its intermediate-rating on AMD to accumulate from neutral and its long-term rating to buy from neutral. Advanced Micro Devices jumped 5 11/16, or 9.3%, to 66 13/16.

Similarily,

Sears

announced that it foresees record first-quarter earnings of 62 cents to 67 cents a share, compared with the year-ago 38 cents. The current 15-analyst estimate calls for Sears to come in at 46 cents. The company also stated that it sees full-year earnings-per-share growth in the low to mid teens. The retailer's same-store sales for March were up 3.8%. Sears lifted 5 9/16, or 18.2%, to 36 1/16.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

BellSouth

(BLS)

and

SBC Communications

(SBC)

are

combining their U.S. wireless operations, creating the second-largest wireless carrier in the country. The largest wireless company in the U.S. is

Verizon Wireless

, the joint venture between

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

. BellSouth and SBC said the new wireless operation will serve 16.2 million subscribers and be able to reach 175 million potential customers from coast to coast. SBC will own 60% of the new company, while BellSouth will own 40%. The companies said the operation will have $10.2 billion in revenue. BellSouth advanced 1 to 49 7/8, while SBC Communications climbed 19/16 to 46 13/16.

American Home Products

(AHP)

and Ireland's

Elan

(ELN)

have formed a research alliance to develop a vaccine that may be used to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and perhaps to prevent the onset of the disease. American Home Products slipped 15/16 to 55 9/16, while Elan advanced 13/16 to 47 11/16.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

,

British Telecommunications

(BTY)

and

Concert

announced they plan to invest $2 billion over three years to deliver seamless, global e-commerce services via a network of 44 Internet data centers in 16 countries. Concert is a $7 billion AT&T and BT telecommunications venture. AT&T lost 1 1/4 to 55 1/4, while British Telecommunications fell 6 1/2 to 173 1/4.

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

, a manufacturer and marketer of optical networking systems, announced a pact with

PSINet

(PSIX)

, a high-speed Internet access provider. The three-year agreement calls for Ciena to supply optical networking solutions for PSINet's global backbone network. Ciena dropped 5 3/8, or 5.3%, to 96 3/4, while PSINet descended 1 11/16, or 5.3%, to 29 15/16.

Dresdner Bank's

(DRSDY)

management board has decided unanimously to scrap its merger with

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

. According to

Reuters

, the announcement came after speculation that the two banks were ready to abandon the merger, announced last month, over a dispute about the fate of Dresdner's

Kleinwort Benson

investment banking unit. The union would have created the world's largest bank.

Citibank

(C) - Get Report

declined to comment on rumors that it would launch a bid for Dresdner.

SuperGen

(SUPG)

, a drug company focused on cancer treatment, announced that it has acquired exclusive sales and marketing rights to a cancer vaccine developed by

AVI BioPharma

(AVII)

in exchange for a $20 million equity investment in AVI BioPharma. SuperGen advanced 2, or 4.6%, to 45 1/8, while AVI BioPharma rose 15/16, or 7.9%, to 12 13/16.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

scaled its long-term growth target back to 15% from its initial 15% to 20% projected range. The company will take a $400 million charge in the first quarter related to its operations in India. But CFO Gary Fayard also pointed out that the company had lowered its estimate of a pretax restructuring to be taken later this year, to $725 million from an earlier estimate of $800 million.

Coke is also reducing the estimated number of jobs it will cut in its restructuring, to 5,200 from the 6,000 originally forecast in January. The restructuring is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Fayard said worldwide sales volume in the first quarter had grown by 3%.

PaineWebber

reiterated its buy rating on the stock. Coca-Cola dropped 3 1/2, or 6.7%, to 48 7/8.

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

said it would continue restructuring its performance coating unit with the closure of two of its plants and a workforce reduction of 900 jobs. The company said along with closing two of its plants in Germany and Great Britain, it would scale back operations at other European facilities. DuPont said that it would assume a second-quarter restructuring charge for the changes, which will save the company roughly $80 million before taxes. DuPont rose 1 1/4 to 59 1/4.

Gabelli Asset Management

(GBL) - Get Report

said that it expects to post first-quarter earnings of at least 44 cents a share, beating the two-analyst estimate of 40 cents a share. Gabelli Asset Management edged up 1/16 to 16 15/16.

Intimate Brands

(IBI)

reported a 1% increase in March

same-store sales. Intimate Brands lost 1/8 to 39 13/16.

Microchip Technology

(MCHP) - Get Report

, said it would likely post fourth-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, beating the 11-analyst estimate of 35 cents. The chipmaker said sales could be higher than $140 million, up 36% from the year-ago report. Microchip Technology hopped 5, or 8.6%, to 62 15/16.

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Report

sees a third-quarter loss of 20 cents to 25 cents a share, above the 11-analyst estimate of a 42-cent per-share loss. Western Digital gained 9/16, or 8.7%, to 7.

Offerings and stock actions

Credit Suisse First Boston

priced 202 million shares of

MetLife

(MET) - Get Report

at $14.25 each, within the expected range of $13 to $15 a share. In addition to its IPO, MetLife is distributing 493.5 million shares to more than 9 million of its policyholders. The offering raised $2.9 billion.

The company originally expected to raise $6.1 billion, based on a November filing in which the company had planned to sell 255 million shares at up to $24 each. The decision to reduce the offering came after early marketing research showed weaker-than-expected investor demand for life insurance issues. MetLife was up 7/8, or 6.1%, to 15 1/8.

J.P. Morgan

and

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced 3 million shares of doughnut maker

Krispy Kreme

(KREM)

at $21 each, above the estimated range of $18 to $20. Krispy Kreme was up 15 1/2, or 74%, to 36 1/2.

Merrill Lynch

priced

Oratec Interventions'

(OTEC)

4 million-share IPO midrange at $14 a share. Oratec, based in Menlo Park, Calif., produces medical devices that use controlled thermal energy to treat spine and joint disorders. Oratec jumped 11 7/8, or 85%, to 25 7/8.

Lehman Brothers

priced 4.25 million shares of

Ulticom

(ULCM)

at $13 a share, the low end of the expected $13-$15 range. Ulticom, a subsidiary of

Comverse Technology

(CMVT)

, provides networking signaling software for wireless, wireline and Internet communications services. Ulticom climbed 3 1/2, or 27%, to 16 9/16, while Comverse Technology lost 2 1/16 to 81 5/8.

Banc of America Securities

priced

Vyyo's

(VYYO)

6.75 million-share IPO at the lower end of the estimate price range at $13.50 a share. The estimated price range was $13-$15 a share. Vyyo, based in Cupertino, Calif., is a supplier of broadband wireless access systems. Vyyo gained 6 7/8, or 51%, to 20 3/8.

Analyst actions

Buckeye Partners

(BPL) - Get Report

,

Kaneb Pipeline Partners

(KPP)

and

Suburban Propane Partners

(SPH) - Get Report

: STARTED as outperform;

Teppco Partners

(TPP)

: STARTED as a buy at

Lehman Brothers

. Buckeye Partners fell 1/16 to 25 3/8; Kaneb Pipeline Partners climbed 1/2 to 25 3/8; Suburban Propane Partners lifted 3/16 to 19 1/4 and Teppco Partners lost 1/4 to 21 5/8.

Aspect Medical

(ASPM)

: UP to outperform from neutral; price target of 46 at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. Aspect Medical gained 3 5/8, or 11.3%, to 35 3/4.

Bioshield Technologies

(BSTI)

: NEW outperform at

Gruntal

. Bioshield Technologies fell 1/8 to 24 1/2.

Bristol-Myers

(BMY) - Get Report

: DOWN to attractive from buy at

PaineWebber

. Bristol-Myers declined 2 1/8 to 63 7/8.

Dentsply International

(XRAY) - Get Report

: NEW buy at

Warburg Dillon Read

; price target of 36. Dentsply International inched up 15/16 to 28 3/8.

eBenX

(EBNX)

falling 1/4 to 24 3/8: STARTED with a strong buy rating and a 50 price target at

W.R. Hambrecht

.

Freemarkets

(FMKT)

down 11 3/16, or 8.8%, to 117 3/8 and

Calico Commerce

(CLIC)

up 2 13/16, or 10.2%, to 30 7/16: UP to trading buy from market outperformer at

Goldman Sachs

.

i2 Technologies

(ITWO)

rising 12 1/4, or 13%, to 106 11/16: UP to buy from market performance at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

.

OTG Software

(OTGS)

down 3 3/4, or 10.6%, to 31 3/4: STARTED with a buy rating and a 55 price target at Credit Suisse First Boston; STARTED with a buy and a 50 price target at

SG Cowen

.

TTI Team Telecom

(TTIL)

down 1 1/8 to 28 1/2 : STARTED as a strong buy with a 41 price target at

US Bancorp

.

Visible Genetics

(VGIN)

rising 3 1/8, or 8.6%, to 35 3./4: STARTED as a strong buy with an 89 12-month price target at

Warburg Dillon Read

.

Western Wireless

(WWCA)

gaining 7 3/8, or 18.8%, to 46 5/8: UP to outperform from buy with a 48 price target at

ABN Amro

.

Miscellany

Pitney Bowes

(PBI) - Get Report

said it has "Web-enabled" its Postage By Phone System. The new service, dubbed Postage By Phone.com, will allow Pitney Bowes customers to reset their postage meters online. Pitney Bowes descended 1/8 to 46.

The Heard on the Street column in

The Wall Street Journal

talks about the hush of celebrated Internet cheerleaders amid the tech-stock plunge.