Midday Movers: Concur Soars on Nortel and Safeco Investments, Visx Lower After Downgrade

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Alcatel (ALA) of France is buying Newbridge Networks (NN) of Canada in a stock swap valued at $7.1 billion. Newbridge closed yesterday at 34 3/8. Under terms of the deal, Newbridge shareholders will receive 0.81 share of Alcatel ADRs, or $38.98125 a share. Alcatel slipped 4 3/4, or 9.9%, to 43, while Newbridge Networks lost 2 1/16, or 6%, to 32 3/8.

Concur Technologies

(CNQR)

said that

Nortel Networks

(NT)

and

Safeco

(SAFC)

would each make a $35 million equity investment in the company and establish a trading network for small and mid-sized businesses called

Concur Business Advantage

.

Concur gained 3 13/16, or 16.4%, to 27 1/16; Nortel rose 2 3/8 to 116 1/16 and Safeco advanced 3/32 to 21 1/16.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

ADC Telecommunications

(ADCT) - Get Report

is buying

PairGain Technologies

(PAIR)

for $20.13 a share in stock, or $1.6 billion. ADC is a supplier of network equipment, software and integration services for broadband networks. PairGain, which closed yesterday at 16 1/16, is a designer, manufacturer, marketer and seller of digital-subscriber-line networking systems. ADC expects the buyout to be nondilutive to earnings for the balance of fiscal year 2000 and 5 cents accretive in fiscal year 2001. ADC Communications fell 4 7/8, or 10.4%, to 41 15/16, while PairGain edged up 7/8, or 5.4%, to 16 15/16.

AT&T Latin America

, a division of

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

, said it would buy Argentina-based

Keytech LD

, a new local phone company. AT&T Latin America would purchase all the share of closely held Keytech from

Keytech Group

.

Separately, AT&T said it agreed to a deal with

Cablevision Systems

(CVC)

to sell combined telephone and TV service packages to customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. AT&T said the companies would offer cable channels and Internet services. The agreement saves AT&T from buying Cablevision, but doesn't give AT&T direct use of Cablevision's wires to transmit its services in order to bypass local telephone company's networks. AT&T rose 3/16 to 46 1/2, while Cablevision advanced 1 to 69 7/8.

MGM Grand

(MGG)

has offered to buy

Mirage Resorts

(MIR)

for $17 a share.

A letter from Mirage CEO Steve Wynn to MGM Grand's chairman, J. Terrence Lanni said that Mirage shareholders can either receive the $17 in cash or a combination of $7 in cash and MGM Grand stock valued at $10 a share, based on MGM Grand's closing price of 40 3/8 yesterday. The $17-a-share offer is a nice premium over Mirage's close of 10 7/8 yesterday. MGM Grand shed 3/8 to 40, while Mirage climbed 3 1/4, or 30.4%, to 14 3/16.

724 Solutions

(SVNX)

said

Motorola

(MOT)

bought an equity interest in the company. The investment was part of 724 Solutions' IPO in January. 724 Solutions bounced 5 to 134.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Conseco

(CNC) - Get Report

slipped 1, or 6.3%, to 14 3/4 after it posted fourth-quarter operating earnings of 64 cents a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of 57 cents but down from the year-ago 89 cents.

Consolidated Stores

(CNS) - Get Report

was unchanged after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.06 a share, which includes a loss from its

Kbkids.com

venture. Due to the loss, the report is in line with the year-ago earnings but beats the 15-analyst estimate of $1.03 a share, which reflects the effect of the venture.

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

declined 5/16 to 34 11/16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.04 a share, beating the 18-analyst estimate of $1.99 and up from the year-ago $1.88 a share.

H&R Block

(HRB) - Get Report

tacked on 1/4 to 40 11/16 after it posted a third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, narrower than the six-analyst estimate of a 17-cent loss but wider than the year-ago report of a 3-cent loss.

Liz Claiborne

(LIZ)

lifted 3/8 to 34 3/8 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 85 cents a share, beating the 13-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 73 cents.

Tandy

(TAN) - Get Report

shed 1 7/8 to 40 1/4 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share, a penny better than the 17-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 51 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

Capital One

(COF) - Get Report

slid 5/16 to 33 5/8 after it set a share-repurchasing program for up to 10 million shares.

Incyte

(INCY) - Get Report

shot up 24 15/16, or 11%, to 250 after it set a 2 million-share offering for institutional investors at $211 a share. The offering could raise $422 million.

The 23.5 million-share IPO of

Nextel Partners

(NXTP)

was priced at $20 a share, the top of the $18-to-$20 range.

Goldman Sachs

and

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

are the lead underwriters. Nextel Partners is an affiliate of

Nextel Communications

(NXTL)

, offering digital wireless communications services in small and midsize markets. Nextel Partners jumped 9 5/8, or 47.8%, to 29 1/2.

RSA Security

(RSAS)

mounted 5 3/8, or 9.8%, to 60 after it raised its share repurchase program to 8 million from 4 million.

St. Joe

(JOE) - Get Report

edged up 11/16 to 24 13/16 after it set a $150 million stock buyback.

Weyerhaeuser

(WY) - Get Report

slipped 1 5/8 to 50 1/16 after it set a repurchasing plan for up to 12 million shares.

Zoll Medical

(ZOLL)

bounced 2, or 7.1%, to 44 1/2 after it priced a 1.5 million-share secondary offering at $41.75 a share.

Analyst actions

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated coverage of

Accredo Health

(ACDO)

-- a provider of specialized contract pharmacy and related services pursuant to agreements with biotech manufacturers -- with a buy rating and a 30 price target. Accredo Health declined 1/8 to 26 1/8.

SG Cowen

rolled out coverage of

Advanced Paradigm

(ADVP)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 28. Advanced Paradigm hopped 3/8 to 23 1/2.

Credit Suisse First Boston

boosted software and programming manufacturer

Bea Systems'

(BEAS)

raised its fiscal 2001 earnings target to 33 cents from 31 cents and price target to 170 from a split-adjusted 76. Bea Systems advanced 2 1/4 to 140 1/8.

DLJ downgraded

Consolidated Papers

(CDP)

to market perform from buy. Consolidated Papers climbed 1/4 to 36 1/4.

Merrill Lynch

launched coverage of online auctioneer

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

with a buy rating. eBay leaped 10 1/4, or 7.6%, to 144 13/16.

SG Cowen

initiated coverage of

Express Scripts

(ESRX)

with a buy rating and a 50 price target. Express Scripts shed 5/16 to 41 1/4.

Merrill upgraded

Kyocera

(KYO)

-- a global producer of high-tech solutions in the fields of electronics, telecommunications, metal processing, automotive components and optics -- near-term rating to buy from accumulate. Kyocera hopped 6 15/16 to 173 15/16.

SG Cowen initiated coverage of Internet advertiser

L90

(LNTY)

as a strong buy with a near-term price target of 37. L90 lost 1 3/8, or 5.5%, to 23 1/2.

CSFB raised its earnings estimates on

National Discount Brokers

(NDB)

. The firm upped its fourth-quarter EPS to 16 cents a share from 12 cents and raised its fiscal 2000 estimate to 58 cents share from 43 cents, while taking its fiscal 2001 estimate to $1.14 a share from 97 cents. National Discount Brokers climbed 2 3/4, or 10.6%, to 29 3/16.

First Boston rolled out coverage of

Protein Labs

(PDLI) - Get Report

with a buy rating and a price target of 222. Protein Labs moved up 9, or 5.5%, to 196 1/2.

Merrill Lynch rolled out coverage of

Regeneron

(REGN) - Get Report

with an intermediate accumulate, long-term buy rating. Regeneron bounced 9 7/16, or 46.1%, to 30 1/2.

Lehman Brothers

lowered its price target for

Summit Technology

(BEAM)

-- a manufacturer of laser systems and related products to correct vision disorders -- to 18 from 25. Summit Technologies fell 4, or 33.1%, to 8 1/16.

Goldman upgraded

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

to its recommended list from market outperformer. Tiffany rose 2 to 59 3/8.

Merrill reinstated coverage of

Time Warner

(TWX)

with a near- and long-term buy rating. Time Warner added 6 1/4, or 8.5%, to 79 13/16.

ING Barings

upped its rating on

Unilever

(UL) - Get Report

-- a manufacturer of foods, detergents and other personal products -- to buy from hold. Unilever shed 1/16 to 25 11/16.

Lehman Brothers downgraded

Visx

(VISX)

-- another manufacturer of vision-improving laser technology -- to neutral from buy. Visx sank 4 1/2, or 20.5%, to 17 5/16.

Merrill Lynch upped its fiscal 2000 EPS estimate on

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

to $1.46 from $1.45 a share. Wal-Mart was off 5/8 to 47 1/2.

First Boston raised its priced target on

Williams Communications

(WCG) - Get Report

to 65 from 38. Williams Communications gained 1 15/16 to 43 9/16.

Miscellany

Fluor

(FLR) - Get Report

was down 2 11/16, or 7%, to 35 5/16 after it said it would shut down its Marlton, NJ plant, reducing its workforce by 300 jobs. The company said it would move its pharmaceuticals business to South Carolina, giving its employees of its

Life Sciences

division the option to transfer. Fluor has layed off 5,000 employees since it began restructuring in March.

Scholastic

(SCHL) - Get Report

, in response to inquiries, said "there are no corporate developments to account for the recent drop" in its stock price. Also, the company anticipates it will "meet or exceed" consensus analyst estimates for the third quarter and full fiscal year ending May 31. Scholastic said that according to

I/B/E/S International

,

Nelson Information

and

Zack's

its earnings estimates range from 6 cents to 7 cents a share for the third quarter, while for the full fiscal year the estimates range $3.05 to $3.08 a share. The full fiscal year estimates exclude a pretax nonrecurring charge that was recorded in the second quarter. The five-analyst First Call/Thomson Financial consensus estimate calls for the company to earn 6 cents a share for the third quarter and $3.06 for the full fiscal year.

On Jan. 18, Scholastic closed at 69 3/4. The stock up 7/8 to 50 7/8 during today's trading session.

Oil ministers from

OPEC

members Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar and non-OPEC nations Bahrain and Oman, ended a day of talks in Saudi Arabia with a vow to work toward a stable balanced market that would avoid damaging the world economy,

Reuters

reported.

Waste Management

(WMI)

was unchanged at 16 1/8 after it named William Trubeck CFO.

The Heard on the Street column in

The Wall Street Journal

said that stocks going into the four trusts

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

has sold so far, totaling $2.4 billion, have had a big run-up in the day before the HOLDRs begin trading. The jump occurred because Merrill has to buy all the shares for a HOLDRs trust the day before it is formed.

The column also noted that the shares are sold to the trust at their closing prices, sometimes as much as 5% to 10% higher than where they began trading that day. Merrill discloses which stocks will be included in the trust and their weightings in prospectuses for the trusts filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

weeks before the trusts start trading, the column says. Merrill Lynch advanced 2 13/16 to 90 3/8.