Midday Movers: Hewlett-Packard Retreating a Bit, Sony and Intel Higher on Alliance Talks

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Hewlett-Packard (HWP) was taking a bit of a beating today, sliding 6 3/8 to 124 11/16 after last night posting first-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, beating the 23-analyst estimate of 78 cents but down from the year-ago 85 cents.

It's not exactly surprising that the stock should need a rest. In February alone, the computer giant tacked on about 21%. CEO Carly Fiorina said the company, which posted revenue of $11.7 billion, experienced growth in products and noted a turnaround in its

Unix

business, according to

Reuters

.

Today,

Credit Suisse First Boston

upped H-P's 2000 earnings view and said it sees upside in the numbers.

ABN Amro

raised Hewlett-Packard's fourth-quarter EPS view to $1.00 from 92 cents.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

raised the stock to strong buy and set a target of 160.

Elsewhere, merger mania swept the exciting world of paper stocks. Well, the first part is true.

UPM-Kymmene

said it would buy rival

Champion International

(CHA) - Get Report

in a deal valuing Champion's equity at $6.5 billion. Champion was sliding 3 7/16, or 6.2%, to 52 1/4. The new company will be based in Helsinki and be called Champion International.

Shorewood Packaging

(SWD)

rose 2, or 10.6%, to 20 7/8 after it said it accepted a $600 million acquisition offer from

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

, in an attempt to thwart a $500 million hostile bid from rival

Chesapeake

(CSK)

. International Paper lost 1 1/16, while Chesapeake was unchanged at 25 1/4. The transaction calls for IP to pay $21 a share for Shorewood, topping Chesapeake's hostile bid that valued the company at $17.25 a share.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

lost 15/16 to 52 3/4 after it said it would create an Internet portal with software maker

Commerce One

(CMRC)

to enable companies to do business with one another online. Commerce One jumped 7 1/4 to 191 1/2.

McGraw-Hill

(MHP)

was up 5/16 to 52 13/16 after it said it will sell Tower Group International it transportation logistics unit to

FedEx

(FDX) - Get Report

. Terms were not disclosed.

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

sailed up 12 3/4, or 5.1%, to 263 5/16 after it said it is in talks with

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

about a possible alliance in next-generation home appliances,

Reuters

reported. Intel gained 2 3/16 to 109 3/8.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Baker Hughes

(BHI)

lost 1 15/16 to 24 1/16 after it posted a fourth-quarter loss of 3 cents a share, in line with the 31-analyst estimate but lower than the year-ago profit of 14 cents a share. The company said it plans to double 1999 operational earnings in 2000.and sees first-quarter results almost breaking even.

Cablevision

(CVC)

lost 3/16 to 70 13/16 after it posted a fourth-quarter loss of $1.27 a share, a penny narrower than the three-analyst expected loss, but wider than the year-ago loss of $1.22 a share, which includes items.

Entergy

(ETR) - Get Report

gained 1/16 to 2 3/8 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 8 cents a share, in line with the eight-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 79 cents a share. The company said it expects to continue an earnings growth path of 8% to 10% in 2000 and expects EPS in the range of $2.35 to $2.45, in line with estimates.

Fresh Del Monte

(FDP) - Get Report

inched up 3/16 to 8 after it posted a fourth-quarter loss of 45 cents a share, a penny better than the five-analyst expected loss but wider than the year-ago loss of 8 cents.

JLG Industries

(JLG)

gained 5/16 to 8 3/8 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, above the 10-analyst estimate of 4 cents, but down from the year-ago 25 cents. The company authorized a repurchase of up to 5 million common shares.

York International

(YRK)

shed 4 7/8, or 20.5%, to 18 15/16 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share, a penny shy of the four-analyst estimate and down from the year-ago 81 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

Advanced Digital

(ADIC)

lost 3 5/8, or 5.3%, to 65 1/8 said it approved a 2-for-1 split.

Bear Stearns

increased its price range to 75 to 80, from 65 to 70.

Aeroflex

(APX)

slipped 1/16 to 8 13/16 after it said it will move to the

Nasdaq Stock Market

from the

New York Stock Exchange

and trade under the symbol "ARXX."

Elantec Semiconductor

(ELNT)

popped 4 3/4, or 7.8%, to 65 7/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Park Place Entertainment's

(PPE)

chairman Stephen F. Bollenbach sold three million shares of the company's stock last week, exercising 75% of his existing stock options,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. The move prompted the company's biggest institutional shareholder to demand his resignation. The sale comes four months after Bollenbach sold about two million shares of the company, the story says. Park Place was lately inching up 1/16 to 10 3/16.

Analyst actions

Salomon Smith Barney's

new REIT analyst, Jonathan Litt, initiated coverage of the REIT sector with ratings on more than 50 companies.

First Boston upped

Act Manufacturing

(ACTM)

to strong buy from buy. Shares gained 2 3/8 , or 7.4%, to 34 3/8.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

lowered its rating on

American Eagle

(AEOS)

to neutral from outperform. The shares were recently off 4 13/16, or 18.6%, to 21 1/16.

Goldman Sachs

raised

Cnet

(CNET) - Get Report

to the recommended for purchase list from market outperform. The shares were up 3 11/16 to 64 5/8.

Bear Stearns started coverage of

Dycom

(DY) - Get Report

and

Mastec

(MTZ) - Get Report

with buy ratings. Dycom was up 3 1/16 to 37, and Mastec was up 1 3/16 to 57 1/16.

J.P. Morgan

raised

Conoco

(COCA)

to buy from long-term buy. Conoco fell 1/8 to 21 5/8.

Salomon Smith Barney started coverage of

eToys

(ETYS)

as an outperform and set a price target of 20.

Merrill Lynch

raised its price target on

Gilat Satellite

(GILTF)

to 200. Gilat popped 10 3/8, or 7%, to 159 5/8.

Merrill Lynch cut its rating on

Lan Chile

(LFL)

to near-term neutral from accumulate. Lan Chile lost 3 1/16 to 9 13/16.

ABN Amro raised

Lucent

(LU)

to buy from outperform. Lucent rose 5/16 to 52 7/16.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Molecular Devices

(MDCC)

with a strong buy rating and a price target of 90. Molecular Devices lost 1/8 to 73 3/4.

Merrill upgraded its intermediate-term rating on

United Technologies

to buy from accumulate. Shares rose 7/16 to 52 9/16.

Credit Lyonnais

upped

USA Networks

(USAI) - Get Report

to add from hold. Shares lost 7/16 to 48 1/8.

First Boston analyst Wendell H. Laidley resumed coverage of

Vitria Technology

(VITR)

as a strong buy. Vitria popped 6 7/8 to 174 7/16.

Miscellany

Discussions are underway at

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

on ways to speed the transfer of power to chairman-elect

Douglas Daft

from its current chairman,

Douglas Ivester

. The shift in power could be decided as early as today, the

Journal

reported. Coke dropped 1 3/8 to 52 1/4.

In response to government probes over its use of consumers personal information,

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

said it does not and will not use sensitive data in the background data it compiles on Web surfers.

Four Seasons

gained 2 5/16 to 52 7/16 after it said it planned to open seven more properties around the world over the next seven years.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

inched up 9/16 to 98 3/16 after it released its Windows 2000 product today. The company said it plans to launch the new operating system in China on schedule and is working with authorities to ensure it complies with restrictions on encryption technology.

Separately, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, told the

Financial Times

that the new operating system would give the company ammunition to go after rival

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

. Sun was unchanged at 92.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

gained 2 to 123 7/8 after it said its co-founder and vice chairman Andrew Viterbi will retire next month when he turns 65.

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

slid 7/16, or 6.1%, to 6 11/16 after it was announced that it is the subject of an investigation of possible criminal fraud in connection with its past accounting practices, the

Journal

reported, citing people familiar with the situation. The investigation has been launched by the U.S. attorney in Harrisburg, Pa., the story says.

The "Heard on the Street" column in the

Journal

examines the pros and cons of "concept" stocks, highflying stocks powered largely by optimism about business concepts and future prospects. The story says prior phases of speculation for these types of stocks, 1969 and 1972 particularly, preceded significant market downturns.

On the other hand, the story says, despite the risk and lofty valuations, it doesn't pay to try and fight them in this market. The story mentions

VerticalNet

(VERT)

,

Leap Wireless

(LWIN)

and

Be

(BEOS)

.