Lucent Technologies

(LU)

was lately inching up 13/16 to 52 13/16 after an earnings warning yesterday sent the stock reeling in after-hours trading.

The company

shocked Wall Street when it announced it expects first-quarter earnings to fall below estimates. The telecommunications-equipment giant attributed the shortfall to flat revenue growth caused by changes in customer purchasing habits, lower software revenue and lower-than-expected gross margins. The company said it expects to report earnings in the range of 36 cents to 39 cents a share, compared with 48 cents a year ago. The 29-analyst estimate from

First Call/Thomson Financial

was for 54 cents. Lucent said it expects revenues to be in the range of $9.8 billion to $9.9 billion, flat with the year-ago period.

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Lucent (LU)

The expected shortfall marked a sharp departure from the company's excellent earnings track record. Until now, Lucent has beat earnings forecasts in every quarter since it was spun off from

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

in 1996. Further,

Lehman Brothers'

decision yesterday morning to up the stock's target price to 95 from 90 looked like an odd move by late afternoon. Today, a number of firms announced ratings or earnings estimate changes on the stock.

This morning, Lehman downgraded the stock, as did

Salomon Smith Barney

.

Merrill Lynch

cut Lucent to near-term neutral from accumulate but maintained a long-term buy rating, while

SG Cowen

cut the stock to neutral from buy.

Credit Suisse First Boston

cut its first-quarter EPS view to 36 cents from 55 cents.

For additional coverage of Lucent's earnings

warning, check out a separate story from the

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom. Also see

TheStreet.com's

past coverage of

Lucent, including an in-depth look at the company's

accounting practices.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Ericsson

(ERICY)

popped 3 3/8, or 6%, to 59 15/16 after it said it is selling its

Private Radio Systems

operations to

Com-Net Critical Communications

of Pennsylvania for an undisclosed sum.

McLeodUSA

(MCLD)

, rose 7/16 to 53 after it said it is buying

Splitrock Services

(SPLT)

, a data communications provider, for about $1.7 billion in stock. Shares of Splitrock sailed up 4 5/8, or 21%, 26 5/8.

Seagram's

(VO) - Get Report

added 1/8 to 48 13/16 after its

Universal Music Group

unit and

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

set a strategic pact which will enable digital music from Universal's collection of artists to be played on RealNetworks'

RealJukebox

. Under the pact, UMG and RealNetworks will team up in online and offline digital music marketing activities. Shares of RealNetworks jumped 11 3/4, or 10.4%, to 124 3/4

U S West

(USW)

slipped 3/16 to 64 15/16 after saying it has taken a minority equity stake in Internet services concern

Netpliance

.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

is going hard core into e-tailing. Wal-Mart and Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm

Accel Partners

said they're joining forces to form

Wal-Mart.com

, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based, independent concern that they intend to take public. Shares of Wal-Mart rose 1 3/4 to 65 3/8.

Analyst actions

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

lost 1 1/16 to 24 11/16 after

Warburg Dillon Read

cut its rating to hold from strong buy citing competitive concerns.

Merrill raised its price target on

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Report

to 80 from 60.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

started coverage of three Internet healthcare companies.

Drugstore.com

(DSCM)

rose 1 1/4 to 31 13/16 after it was rated buy with a price target of 43.

Healtheon/WebMD

(HLTH)

gained 7/16 to 34 1/2 after it was rated a buy with a price target of 42 and

PlanetRx.com

(PLRX)

popped 1 5/8, or 10.5%, to 17 1/4 after it was rated a strong buy with a price target of 30.

ING Barings

raised its rating on

Du Pont

(DD) - Get Report

to hold from sell. Shares added 1/2 to 72.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its rating on

Dynegy

(DYN)

to strong buy from outperform and set a price target of 50 on the stock. Dynegy inched up 49/64 to 28 7/8.

Exodus Communications

(EXDS)

climbed 3/4 to 87 1/8 after

Wit Capital

started coverage with a buy rating.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

FDX

(FDX) - Get Report

with a hold rating. Shares lost 1 1/2 to 45 3/4.

Goldman Sachs

downgraded

Noble Drilling

(NE) - Get Report

to market outperformer from its recommended list.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded Germany's

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

to outperform from neutral. SAP hopped 10 3/4, or 24%, to 55 1/2.

PaineWebber

upped its rating on

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

to attractive from neutral.

Robertson Stephens

raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimates to $1.08 from 88 cents. Tiffany tacked on 3 13/16 to 80 13/16.

Merrill downgraded

Weyerhaeuser

(WY) - Get Report

to intermediate-term neutral from accumulate. Merrill kept its long-term rating at buy. Weyerhauser slipped 1 7/8 to 72 1/4.

Miscellany

Shares of

Ancor

(ANCR)

were sliding 12 13/16, or 23%, to 43 1/4 on no particular news whatsoever.

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch

(TMCS)

climbed 5/16 to 33 1/2 after it named John Pleasants president.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

this week spotlights

Maxtor

(MXTR)

, whose stock could be hot soon because the company is poised to unveil a variety of Web-enabling and Linux storage server products and because a major PC maker is said to be in talks to buy

Hyundai's

36% stake in the company. Maxtor is a hard disk drive provider for PCs. Shares of Maxtor climbed 15/16, or 13.3%, to 8.

Two other stocks garner bullish mention in the column:

True North Communications

(TNO)

, the world's sixth-largest ad agency, and

@plan

(APLN)

, which some analysts say is undervalued. True North added 7/8 to 43 1/8, while shares of @plan added 1/2 to 12 5/8.