Midday Movers: Rambus Soaring on Split News and Dial Lower on Earnings Warning

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Rambus' (RMBS) - Get Report board approved a 4-for-1 stock split. Rambus jumped 37 17/32, or 9.9%, to 417.

Three IPO are debuting during today's trading session. For more on their pricing and performance, check out

TheStreet.com's

Offerings and stock action coverage.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

CoreComm Limited

(COMM) - Get Report

, a provider of integrated telephone, Internet and data services to business and residential customers in targeted markets in the U.S., is acquiring

ATX Telecommunications Services

, a privately held company, for $900 million. CoreComm Limited advanced 6 15/16, or 16.8%, to 48 1/8.

Medarex

(MEDX)

set a pact with

Regeneron

(REGN) - Get Report

to create and market drugs based on antibodies. Medarex declined 19 21/32, or 11.8%, to 147 while Regeneron climbed 2 1/8, or 5.2%, to 43 3/16.

Phillips Petroleum

(P)

is expected to talk to the

Federal Trade Commission

about acquiring some of Arco's crude oil assets in Alaska, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. Phillips Petroleum moved up 1/2 to 40 3/4.

Qwest Communications

(Q)

said last night that "a major telecommunications company" pulled out of talks to acquire it and

U S West

(USW)

, which are already planning to merge. The major telecom firm mentioned by Qwest has been identified in numerous published reports as

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

. Qwest placed some blame on U S West for the potential acquirer pulling out of the takeover talks. Qwest Communications was down 8 3/4, or 14.6%, to 51 1/4, while U S West fell 6 7/16, or 8.3%, to 70 1/8. Deutsche Telekom slid 1/16 to 93.

Reliant Energy

(REI) - Get Report

said it has hired an investment banker to consider options for two of its natural gas distribution companies and its natural gas pipeline operations. Reliant said could sell

Reliant Energy Arkla

and

Reliant Energy Minnegasco

, which service 1.4 million customers in five states. Reliant Energy fell 1/8 to 21.

Waste Management

(WMI)

said it is selling its waste services operations in the Netherlands to

Shanks Group

for $328 million. Waste Management dropped 5/16 to 13 11/16.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Dial

(DL) - Get Report

said it expects to post fiscal 2000 earnings 10% to 12% below the year-ago report. Dial is also forecasting first- and second-quarter sales to decline 3% to 5% from 1999. J.P. Morgan sliced its rating on Dial to long-term buy from buy. Dial fell 3 7/16, or 24.1%, to 10 7/8.

Littelfuse

(LFUS) - Get Report

said it expects to report first-quarter earnings 20% above the seven-analyst estimate of 35 cents a share. Littelfuse rose 4 1/16, or 12.4%, to 36 13/16.

Offerings and stock actions

CMGI

(CMGI)

said it expects the IPO for its

AltaVista

portal unit in early April due to

Securities and Exchange Commission

delays. CMGI also said its revenue will increase at a rate of 20% on a quarter-over-quarter basis through 2000. CMGI moved down 6 1/16 to 139 5/16.

Crown Central Petroleum

(CNP.A)

(CNP.B)

has received an acquisition offer of $9.20 a share from

Apex Oil

for all of Crown Central's Class-A and Class-B common stock. The proposal will expire at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17, Crown Central said. Crown Central Petroleum Class-A shares were up 13/16, or 10.2%, to 8 3/4.

MCK Communications

(MCKC)

said it filed for a 3 million-share secondary offering. MCK Communications dropped 2 5/8 to 71 1/2.

Metropolitan Life

(MET) - Get Report

cut the number of shares in its IPO to 179 million from 255 million and reduced the estimated price range to $13 to $15 a share, from $14 to $19. The new terms were revealed in an amended filing with the SEC.

MetLife now will sell 73 million shares of common stock in a concurrent private placement to

Banco Santander Central Hispano

(STD)

and

Credit Suisse Group

at the IPO price. The company plans to net about $3.4 billion from the IPO and the private stock sales, based on a $14-per-share initial price. Originally, MetLife had intended to raise as much as $6.5 billion in its public offering. Banco Santander was up 1/16 to 10 11/16.

Quest Software

(QSFT)

said it priced a 4.2 million-share secondary offering at $140 a share. Quest also set a 2-for-1 stock split. Quest Software bounced 18 3/4, or 13%, to 162.

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

added $100 million to its current stock-repurchasing program. Office Depot rose 5/16 to 10 11/16.

Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Report

set a share buyback for up to $100 million . Sempra Energy ascended 9/16 to 17 5/8.

Analyst actions

ING Barings

upped its rating on American Management

(AMSY)

to buy from hold and set its price target at 45. American Management popped 4 3/4, or 13.8%, to 38 15/16.

Warburg Dillon Read

upped its price target on

Antec

(ANTC)

to 70 from 56. Antec slid 3 9/16, or 6.5%, to 50 7/8.

Lehman Brothers

raised its rating on

Becton Dickinson

(BDX) - Get Report

to buy from neutral. Becton Dickinson lifted 1 1/2 to 32 3/8.

Salomon Smith Barney

lowered its first-quarter loss estimates on

Bethlehem Steel

(BS)

to 8 cents a share from 20 cents, citing higher-than-expected shipments. Bethlehem Steel tacked on 3/8, or 6%, to 6 9/16.

Merrill Lynch

cut its intermediate-term rating on

Cable Design Technologies

(CDT)

to neutral from accumulate. Cable Design Technologies slipped 6 1/2, or 16%, to 34.

J.P. Morgan

sliced its rating on

Clorox

(CLX) - Get Report

to long-term buy from buy. Clorox declined 4, or 11.8%, to 29 3/4.

PaineWebber

upgraded

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

to buy from attractive and set a 12-month price target on the stock of 78. Dell advanced 2 15/16, or 5.8%, to 53 3/8.

ING Barings upped its rating on

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

to strong buy from buy. Electronic Arts retreated 3 15/16 to 95 1/8.

SG Cowen

started coverage of

Exodus

(EXDS)

with a strong buy rating. Exodus jumped 10 9/16, or 6.6%, to 169 1/4.

ING Barings rolled out coverage of

Globix

(GBIX)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 85. Globix added 2 3/16 to 61 1/4.

Credit Suisse First Boston

rolled out coverage of

Lante

(LNTE)

with a buy rating and a price target of 90. Lante mounted 4 1/2, or 6.5%, to 73.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage of

Lightspan

(LSPN)

with a strong buy and set a price target of 28. Lightspan bounced 2 3/8, or 10.8%, to 24 1/34

Warburg Dillon Read upped its price target on

National Sermiconductor

(NSM)

to 100 from 68. National Semiconductor fell 6 3/4, or 8.5%, to 72 1/4.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

raised its rating on

Nextlink Communications

(NXLK)

to top pick from buy. Nextlink Communications shot up 9 5/8, or 8.8%, to 118 1/2.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimates on

Royal Dutch

(RD)

to $3.00 a share from $2.95 and its fiscal 2001 estimates to $3.10 a share from $3.05. Royal Dutch stumbled 5/16 to 56 3/8.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Time Warner

(TWX)

and

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

with buy ratings. Disney shed 1 3/8 to 34 7/8 and Time Warner declined 1 5/8 to 85 1/4.

Warburg Dillon Read rolled out coverage of

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

with a strong buy rating and a price target of 75. Viacom climbed 5/8 to 55 3/8.

Miscellany

Advanced Tissue Sciences

(ATIS) - Get Report

was flying after it announced that one of its products stimulates new blood vessel formation in damaged heart tissue. It was up 5 5/8, or 78.2%, to 12 13/16. Advanced Tissue Sciences jumped 5 1/4, or 75.6%, to 12 5/8.

CNet Networks

(CNet) - Get Report

slipped 4, or 5.8%, to 64 after he said vice chairman Shelby Bonnie has been named CEO, while Halsey Minor, CNet's founder and current CEO will continue as chairman.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

introduced a dedicated video game console, code-named

X-Box

. Microsoft gained 13/16 to 100 3/4.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

this week penned as usual by Gene Marcial, shines a positive light on

American Home Products

(AHP)

. Robert Lyon, president and chief investment officer of

Institutional Capital

in Chicago, thinks

Novartis

, the Swiss drug giant, will try to acquire AHP before long, the column reported. American Home Products lifted 3/16 to 49 11/16.

Also garnering positive mention is

Concord Camera

(LENS)

. The column, citing an unnamed investor close to the company's management, said that Concord, in conjunction with a big overseas cell-phone maker, has developed a phone capable of taking pictures that can be transmitted to the Net via cellular airwaves. Concord Camera hopped 1 1/8 to 52 1/4.

Meanwhile, Israel's

ForSoft

(FORS)

receives positive mention in the column. ForSoft added 2 3/4, or 15.3%, to 20 5/8.

As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.