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Midday Movers: Diversa's Dynamite Debut and Maytag Needs a Repairman After Earnings Warning

United Technologies (UTX) climbed 1 7/8 to 50 14 , Honeywell (HON) gained 2 7/16 to 44 11/16 and i2 Technologies (ITWO) popped 20, or 8.3%, to 260 3/4 after the companies announced plans to launch MyAircraft.com, a joint venture devoted to developing and operating an open electronic marketplace for aerospace products and services available to all industry players.

Diversa

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was flying 40, or 166.6%, to 64 in its trading debut.

Bear Stearns

priced 7.25 million shares above range at $24 each. The company collects genetic material from organisms and stores genes in DNA libraries.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Amerada Hess

(AHC)

climbed 9/16 to 48 13/16 after it said it will buy the 51% of

Meadville

stock it does not already own for $168 million. The purchase includes 178 gas stations.

Computer Associates

(CA)

slipped 13/16 to 68 15/16 after it said it is buying

Sterling Software

(SSW)

. Sterling sailed up 2 5/16, or 6.7%, to 36 3/4. Under terms of the deal, a unit of Computer Associates will begin an offer to swap 0.5634 shares of Computer Associates stock for each outstanding share of Sterling.

The exchange ratio is subject to a collar. If the average price of Computer Associates for the period designated prior to the closing of the offer is greater than $77.12, the exchange ratio will be reduced so that each Sterling share tendered in the offer would be exchanged for $43.45 worth of Computer Associates stock. If the average price of Computer Associates shares for the period is less than $63.10, the exchange ratio will be bumped up so each Sterling share tendered in the offer will be exchanged for $35.55 worth of Computer Associates stock. In that case, Computer Associates may elect to cut the exchange ratio and make up the difference in cash and or stock.

CMGI

(CMGI)

rose 3 3/16 to 115 1/4 after saying it will buy

Tallan

for $920 million in stock and cash. Tallan provides Internet and e-commerce professional services. CMGI said the purchase will grow its billable resources by 350% and expects the deal to close by May.

Corning

(GLW)

jumped 6 5/8 to 172 3/8 after it said it will buy

NetOptix

(OPTX)

for about $2 billion in stock. NetOptix was hopping 13 1/8, or 9.7%, to 149 1/8.

Corning will swap 0.9 of its shares for each NetOptix share and said the deal will be mildly dilutive in 2000 and accretive in 2001.

Corning also said it has formed an equity venture named Samsung Corning Micro-Optics. And

British Telecommunications

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said it agreed to a $62 million deal to license its photonics technology to Corning. BT was sliding 4 to 159.

Dealtime.com

, an independent online comparison shopping service, said it has secured $50 million in financing, including some from merger partners

Time Warner

(TWX)

and

America Online

(AOL)

. AOL lost 1 1/16 while Time Warner slipped 3/8 to 83 1/4.

Entergy

(ETR)

inched up 5/8 to 23 3/4 after it agreed to buy two New York power authority nuclear plants. The company agreed to pay $638 million over seven years, plus $168 million for fuel.

Ford

(F)

added 9/16 to 46 11/16 and

General Motors

(GM)

rose 1/2 to 74 7/16 after

The Wall Street Journal

reported the two are set to enter a bidding war over

Daewoo Motor

, an insolvent South Korean car maker.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

is also considering making a move, the story said. DaimlerChrysler was lately rising 2 1/16 to 66. The successful bidder will have the potential to be the world's biggest automaker.

NiSource

(NI)

climbed 1/4 to 17 11/16 after it said its tender for

Columbia Energy

(CG)

is not being extended. Columbia edged up 25/32 to 64 23/32. NiSource said 58.6% of Columbia's shares had been tendered at the expiration.

Nortel

(NT)

moved up 1 3/16 to 119 13/16 after it said it will invest $260 million in its optical networking business and create 3,400 new jobs globally. Nortel also announced a broad patent cross-licensing agreement with

Tellabs

(TLAB)

, under which the companies will have rights to each other's patent portfolios. Tellabs tacked on 1 to 61 9/16.

Occidental Petroleum

(OXY)

lost 13/16 to 17 11/16 after it won an auction for

Altura Energy

, a U.S. oil exploration joint venture of

BP Amoco

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and

Shell Oil

, with a bid of more than $3.5 billion. BP Amoco rose 5/8 to 47 1/4.

Apollo Management

,

The Yucaipa Companies

,

Pequot Capital Management

and

GRP II

are investing a total of $120 million in

Peapod

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, an Internet grocer. Peapod slipped 3/8 to 10 5/8 despite the news.

Phone.com

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lost 4 3/8 to 116 3/4 after it said it will buy

OneBox.com

for $850 million in stock. OneBox.com shareholders will get 6.5 million Phone.com shares.

Starbucks

(SBUX)

climbed 1 to 33 15/16 after it set a five-year pact with

Kozmo.com

, an "Internet-to-door delivery service," under which Starbucks will receive $150 million from Kozmo.com for in-store exposure and co-marketing. Kozmo.com said the deal with Starbucks will help its planned expansion into new markets around the country. Kozmo.com's currently has operations in New York City; Boston; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco and Seattle.

Teligent

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jumped 6 1/4, or 7.8%, to 86 3/4 after it set a deal with

Mannesmann Arcor

, the telecommunications unit of industrial powerhouse

Mannesmann

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, to offer fixed-wireless communications services in Germany.

Texaco

(TX)

tacked on 1/4 to 48 9/16 after it and

TradeCapture.com

set a strategic pact for the global trading of energy commodities. Texaco will take a minority equity stake in TradeCapture.com and use its Internet-based trading platform for its crude oil and refined products trading activities.

World Access

(WAXS)

lost 1 1/4, or 5.5%, to 21 5/8 and

Star Telecommunications

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gained 5/8 after the companies agreed to merge in a deal that could be worth about $523 million. World Access also agreed to acquire privately-held

Communication Telesystems International

for about 31 million shares, or about $709 million.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Formula Systems

(FORTY)

popped 8 7/8, or 13.3%, to 75 7/8 after it said it expects to post fourth-quarter earnings above the two-analyst estimate of 50 cents a share.

International Home Foods

(IHF)

lost 1/4 to 16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 43 cents a share, a penny ahead of the six-analyst estimate and the year-ago 33 cents.

Lear

(LEA)

lifted 1 1/4, or 5.5%, to 24 after it reported fourth-quarter operating net income of $1.36 a share, 3 cents ahead of the

First Call/Thomson Financial

19-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago $1.09.

Maytag

(MYG)

fell 3 9/16, or 9.8%, to 32 13/16 after it said first-quarter earnings could be off 10% from the year-ago 95 cents. Maytag said it sees full-year results within the lower end of the $3.80 to $4.00 range. The current nine-analyst estimate calls for $3.91 a share.

Tickets.com

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lost 1/2 to 15 5/8 after it reported a fourth-quarter pro forma loss of 45 cents a share, narrower than the three-analyst expected loss of 59 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

The

Nasdaq Stock Market

said the board of

Nasdaq Investment Product Services

, the sponsor of the

Nasdaq 100 Trust

(QQQ)

approved a 2-for-1 stock split. The payment date for the split will be March 17, payable to stockholders of record on Feb. 28.

Xoma

(XOMA)

edged up 15/32, or 6.7%, to 7 15/32 after it said it sold 6.1 million common shares in a private placement offering.

Analyst actions

Warburg Dillon Read

upgraded

Accredo

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to strong buy from buy. Accredo was climbing 11/16 to 33.

Goldman Sachs

upped

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD)

to market outperform. Despite the upgrade, Advanced Micro Devices was sliding 1 15/16 to 43 9/16.

Lehman Brothers

raised its rating on

Alcatel

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to outperform from neutral. Alcatel was declining 9/16 to 53 1/2.

ING Barings

raised

American Airlines

parent

AMR

(AMR)

to strong buy from buy. AMR was adding 1/2 to 53 15/16.

Deutsche Banc Alex Brown

cut

Banco Rio

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to market perform from buy. Banco Rio was losing 1/16 to 14 1/16.

Wit Soundview

upped its price target on

Brocade Communications

(BRCD)

to 300 from 195. Brocade Communications was jumping 15 3/4, or 7.3%, to 220 5/16.

Warburg downgraded

Enzon

(ENZN)

to hold from buy. Enzon was falling 4 15/16, or 9.5%, to 47.

PaineWebber

raised

FleetBoston

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to buy from neutral. FleetBoston was lifting 13/16 to 28 7/16.

Merrill Lynch

initiated coverage of

A.J. Gallagher

(AJG)

with an intermediate-term accumulate rating. A.J. Gallagher was declining 1 1/8 to 53 1/8.

Goldman Sachs

cut its 2000 earnings per share estimate on

Micron Tech

(MU)

to $3.75 from $4.00. Micron Tech was losing 2 1/2 to 68 5/8.

Goldman Sachs raised its 2000 earnings estimates on

Monsanto

by 15 cents to $1.30

(MTC)

. But analyst Avi Nash also lowered the firm's 2001 EPS estimate to $1.60 from $1.75. Monsanto was slipping 5/8 to 39 13/16.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Mpower Communications

(MPWR)

with a buy rating and a price target of 90. Mpower Communications was bouncing 1 3/16 to 70.

Joe Battipaglia,

Gruntal's

chief investment strategist said he raised his year-end 2000 target on the

Nasdaq Composite Index

to 5,000 citing impressive growth among companies in the tech-heavy index.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

analyst Thomas Galvin added

Nokia

(NOK)

and

IXnet

(EXNT)

to its focus list. Nokia was declining 3 13/16 to 193 3/8 and IXnet was tacking on 5 7/8, or 14.2%, to 47 1/4.

Warburg initiated coverage of

Priority Healthcare

(PHCC)

with a strong buy rating. Priority Healthcare was edging up 11/16 to 30 11/16.

Merrill Lynch

said it cut its rating on

Terra Networks

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to accumulate from buy but kept a long-term buy rating on the stock. Terra Networks was gaining 1 to 133.

Banc of America Securities

upgraded

Trammell Crow

(TCC)

to strong buy from buy on valuation. Trammell Crow was moving up 1 5/16, or 12.2%, to 12 1/16.

Warburg initiated coverage of

Trizetto Group

(TZIX)

with a buy rating. Trizetto Group was mounting 8 1/8, or 12.7%, to 72 1/8.

U.S. Bancorp

started coverage of

VerticalNet

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with a strong buy rating and a price target of 290. VerticalNet was sliding 4 3/4 to 208 3/4.

PaineWebber raised

Xerox

(XRX)

to attractive from neutral. Xerox was edging up 1 1/2, or 7.4%, to 21 3/4.

Merrill reiterated a buy, and raised its price target on

Xilinx

(XLNX)

to 70 from 62. Xilinx was adding on 2 3/16 to 59 1/4.

Wit Soundview rolled out coverage of

Xtal Technology

(AXTI)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 50. Xtal Technology was advancing 3 3/4, or 11.7%, to 35 11/16.

Miscellany

H. Eugene Lockhart, head of

AT&T's

(T)

shrinking $22 billion consumer business, will leave the long-distance company after one year to join a small start-up company. AT&T was declining 1/8 to 48 1/2.

Dell

(DELL)

said its

OptiPlexGX300

, which uses

Intel

(INTC)

memory chips made with

Rambus

(RMBS)

technology is ready to hit the shelves. The desktop PC, which includes Inte'ls 820 chips set and Rambus's RDRAM, faced delays after Intel found bugs in the technology. Dell was advancing 1/8 to 37 and Intel was bouncing 2 to 107 13/16, while Rambus was shooting up 11 7/16, or 12.6%, to 99 3/8.

JDN Realty

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said J. Donald Nichols has resigned as CEO.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

cut JDN to underperform from buy. JDN Reality was skidding 8 3/16, or 49.4%, to 8 3/8.

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

named Thomas Patrick CFO and John Steffens was named chairman of the brokerage titan's U.S. private client group. Merrill Lynch was tacking on 3/8 to 91 3/4.

Switzerland's price regulator said he was launching an investigation into

Microsoft

(MSFT)

software prices after an initial probe backed complaints from consumer groups that they were paying too much. Microsoft was mounting 11/16 to 100 9/16.

Rupert Murdoch is planning to consolidate

News Corp's

(NWS)

global satellite operations and investments into a new public company, the

Journal

reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The move comes in response to criticism the company lacks a digital strategy, the story said. NewsCorp was losing 1/8 to 56 7/8.

PetSmart

(PETM)

is expected to announce an aggressive marketing strategy in the wake of

Pets.com's

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disappointing IPO last week, the

Journal

reported. PetSmart was down 1/16 to 4 1/8.

The Heard on the Street column in the

Journal

says shares of Steve Wynn's

Mirage Resorts

(MIR)

are down more than 50% from their 52-week high in May. According to the story, Wynn's lack of good communication with Wall Street analysts hasn't done any favors for Mirage's share price.

At times, Wynn has insulted and chastised his investors and withheld key information about hotel operations, the story says. Musing on the analysts who cover Mirage, Wynn is quoted as saying, "I was surprised ... They were dumber than I thought". Mirage Resorts was rising 3/16 to 11 3/4.