America Online (AOL) was sliding 3 7/16, or 6%, to 55 3/8 and AMR (AMR) was inching up 3/8 to 54 1/4 after its American Airlines unit and AOL said they would offer AOL AAdvantage, a combined rewards program. The three-year deal combines the airline's miles program with AOL's Reward program and calls for the companies to launch a multi-million dollar, cross-marketing campaign to their members. AOL will take a stake in Netcentives (NCNT) , which will create and operate the infrastructure for the new plan. Netcentives hopped 4, or 6.5%, to 65 7/8.
shares were enjoying a sweet trading session, rising 3 7/8, or 10.3%, to 41 5/8 after posting better than expected fourth-quarter earnings. For more on the company's results, check out the
earnings coverage below.
Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures
has agreed to provide e-commerce infrastructure to
that will allow GE customers to access their accounts and carry out financial transactions via the Internet. AIT and
GE Equity Investments
signed a three-year option agreement under which AIT will transfer up to 608,800 shares, or just under 3% of current shares, to GE company. GE inched up 11/16 to 134 11/16.
fell 2 to 59 11/16 after it said it will buy 5% of
in a deal valued at $18.3 million. Shares of Audible added 1 1/4, or 8.7%, to 15 3/4.
El Paso Energy
inched up 1/16 to 31 5/16 after it said it agreed to buy the natural gas and natural gas liquids businesses owned by
for $840 million, including $561 million in debt. PG&E gained 5/16 to 21 3/8.
popped 3 7/8, or 6.4%, to 64 1/16 after it signed a three-year contract to use
products. Shares of Sycamore were sliding 18 3/8, or 5.9%, to 291 1/2.
General Motors gained 1 9/16 to 80 9/16 after
The Wall Street Journal
reported it is close to a deal with
to offer GM's Onstar in-car communications system in Toyotas sold in the United States.
Shares of Toyota climbed 13/16 to 86 13/16. Separately,
, the investment arm of Sweden's Wallberg family, said GM is paying $125 million to exercise its option to buy the group's 50% stake of Swedish auto group
British palm-top computer group
said it signed an agreement with
to co-develop a range of mobile Internet access devices. Shares of Motorola climbed 7 3/4 to 136.
Royal Bank of Scotland
raised its offer for
National Westminster Bank
, increasing the cash element of its bid and putting pressure on rival bidder
Bank of Scotland
to respond. NatWest responded to the revised offer by calling it a "bit of damp squib", (apparently slang for a firework that didn't go off) and saying it was still risky.
Apparently undeterred by that cutting remark, Royal Bank of Scotland said it expected NatWest to recommend its takeover bid if a Feb. 14 vote on its offer is split and Royal Bank has the highest proportion of votes. Shares of NatWest popped 5 7/8, or 5.3%, to 115 7/8.
campaign to win over the hearts of
shareholders escalated another notch, as the British-U.S. phone operator announced a joint venture with France's
. Vodafone was slipping 1/4 to 54 3/8.
The two plan to create a European Web portal that would rival
, a joint venture between America Online and
. They will also look at joining to form a pan-European telephone network. Shares of Yahoo! were falling 8 1/8 to 305 7/16.
But the alliance is contingent upon Vodafone winning control of Mannesmann, Germany's leading wireless company, which has repeatedly spurned Vodafone's advances.
Mannesmann brass remained opposed to Vodafone's $170 billion hostile takeover bid Sunday; investors have until Feb. 7 to decide. According to
The Wall Street Journal
, the move comes as Vodafone AirTouch and Mannesman have held stepped-up talks, although the two companies remain far apart on issues such as price, the story said, citing people familiar with the situation.
Earnings/revenue reports and previews
Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.
dropped 2 31/32, or 343.2%, to 3 31/32 after it warned its fourth-quarter results are expected to fall short of expectations as a result of a focus on strategic alternatives that it is ending. The company expects to report results between a profit of 2 cents a share and a loss of 2 cents a share, below the five-analyst estimate of earnings of 13 cents a share.
cut its rating on Century Business to near-term neutral from buy.
climbed 15/16 to 27 1/8 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 79 cents a share, ahead of the five-analyst forecast of 74 cents and the year-ago 71 cents.
Deluxe confirmed it will separate its e-commerce and technology services businesses into a new company. A minority stake in the new company, to be called
, will be sold to the public through an IPO.
gained 1 1/8 to 49 1/4 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 69 cents.
lost 4 7/8, or 6.4%, to 72 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, a penny better than the six-analyst forecast, but down from the year-ago earnings of 16 cents a share.
inched up 7/16 to 18 13/16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of 24 cents and the year-ago 13 cents.
slipped 7/16 to 16 1/2 after it said it will take a fourth-quarter charge due to its decision to close its medical center in Roseburg, Oregon.
added 3/16 to 54 1/2 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, blowing past the 11-analyst estimate of 46 cents and the year-ago 49 cents, which included a gain of 31 cents. The company attributed the increase in its earnings to continuing high volumes, improved pricing at its basic chemicals and polymers unit and strengthening performance by its
Offerings and stock actions
approved the repurchase of up to $20 million in common shares and notes. Shares of Avatar were edging up 9/16 to 16 5/16.
were declining 18 9/16, or 12.1%, to 133 5/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.
was adding 5/16 to 18 1/2 after it said it completed a $3 billion stock-repurchase program five months ahead of schedule and authorized the repurchase of up to an additional 50 million shares.
was popping 1, or 6.1%, to 17 1/4 after it said it has decided to split the company into three publicly traded businesses and spin off two of them to its shareholders.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
upped its rating on
to strong buy from buy. Shares of Alltell were lifting 7/8 to 64 7/8.
Alex. Brown cut its rating on
to market perform from strong buy. Shares of Aviation Sales were sliding 3/4, or 7.6%, to 9.
Alex. Brown raised its rating on
to strong buy from buy. Shares of Carnival was climbing 1/4 to 44 3/4.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
lifted its rating on
to strong buy from outperform. Shares of Celestica were advancing 1/32 to 39 5/8.
Brown Brothers Harriman
to its focus list. Cooper's shares were bouncing 1/2 to 38 5/16.
Salomon Smith Barney
upped its rating on
to a buy from outperform. Shares of Credence Systems were shedding 4 15/16, or 5.8%, to 79 11/16.
sliced its rating on
to long-term buy from a buy rating. Shares of Dana were sliding 15/16 to 23 5/8.
Warburg Dillon Read
raised its rating on
to buy from hold .Morgan Stanley lifted its rating on the stock to outperform from neutral, while
Credit Suisse First Boston
upped its price target and reiterated a strong buy rating.
increased its earnings estimates for 2000. Shares of Ericsson were climbing 1/8 to 70 1/4.
First Boston added
to its focus list and reiterated a strong buy rating. Shares of Intel were lifting 5/8 to 93 3/8.
to its recommended list from market perform. Shares of McDonald's were advancing 3/4 to 37 1/2.
Merrill Lynch upped its rating on
to near-term accumulate from near-term neutral. Shares of Mead were skidding 1/2 to 36 7/8.
to buy from outperform. Shares of Praxair were shedding 1/2 to 40 5/16.
Banc of America Securities
raised its price target on
to 85 from 50, while reiterating its strong buy rating. Shares of Sawtek were gaining 1 1/4 to 63.
Deutsche Banc started coverage of
with a buy rating. SBA Communications were losing 1 to 29 1/2.
Banc of America upped
to buy from market performer. Shares of Starbucks were advancing 1 9/16, or 5.2%, to 31 7/16
to near-term buy from accumulate. Shares of StarMedia were retreating 5/16 to 30.
increased its rating on
to buy from neutral and set a 12-month price target of 60. Shares of 3Com were tacking on 1 13/16 to 48 7/16.
Deutsche Banc lowered its rating on
to buy from strong buy. Shares of Xeikon were sinking 13/16 to 15 13/16.
said CEO, chairman and president Max Lukens has resigned. The company named Joe Foster, chairman of
, as an interim CEO, chairman and president.
upped Baker Hughes to market outperform from market perform.
Meanwhile Newfield announced that Foster resigned to take the post at Baker Hughes and said it named David Trice as CEO effective Feb. 1. Shares of Baker Hughes were moving up 2 1/16, or 9.9%, to 22 7/8.
said it named Jerome York as president, CEO and chairman.
has taken control of Micro, the companies said. In December, Micro Warehouse said it would be acquired for $725 million by an investor group led by York, a former
executive. Shares of Micro Warehouse were bouncing 3/4 to 18 7/8.
said it will sell its Finland operations for $100 million. Shares of Waste Management were declining 1/16 to 17 5/8.
The Heard on the Street column in
The Wall Street Journal
said shares of
may be poised for a rebound later this year. The stock has fallen about 25% since Dec. 2, the first day shares of the newly merged Honeywell and
began trading. But if Honeywell can get past some weak numbers in its fourth-quarter earnings report, among other things, say some observers, the stocks could climb as high as 92 in 2001. Shares of Honeywell International mounting 1 13/16 to 47.
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Corrections and Clarifications.