Palm

(PALM)

, the handheld computer-maker, reported third-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 3 cents a share, ahead of the six-analyst estimate of a profit of a penny a share, and up from the year-ago pro forma 2 cents. Palm, which was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of

3Com

(COMS)

, went public in March. 3Com owns the vast majority of Palm's common stock.

Palm also said it sees fourth-quarter sales of $280 million to $295 million but warned that gross margins should narrow in fiscal 2001 from fiscal 2000, citing component shortages and price reductions. According to

Reuters

, Palm CFO Judy Bruner said during a conference call that the company scaled down Palm's prices in February to jump-start sales and forecasted that gross margins would hit 35% to 40% over the next several years. Bruner said that demand from mobile-phone makers triggered a shortage of some Palm components, which could extend into the next several quarters.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

plans to issue 360 million shares of

AT&T Wireless Group

tracking stock, with the price range running from $26 to $32 a share, which would raise from $9.36 billion to $11.5 billion. The company said it may issue up to an additional 54 million shares if underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full. The shares to be offered represent 15.6% of AT&T's interest in the AT&T Wireless Group, based on basic shares outstanding. That percentage could increase to 17.5% if the underwriter's over-allotment option is exercised in full. AT&T plans to list the tracking stock on the

New York Stock Exchange

under the ticker symbol AWE.

Goldman Sachs

,

Merrill Lynch

and

Salomon Smith Barney

are serving as global coordinators and joint book-running managers for the IPO.

-- Brian Louis

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified)

:

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

The

New York Power Authority

said

Entergy's

(ETR) - Get Report

$967 million bid for two New York nuclear plants beat out a $947 million rival offer from

Dominion Resources

TST Recommends

(D) - Get Report

. Entergy said it would pay $636 million for the plants, about $171 million for fuel, $92 million to secure a part of decommissioning costs and $68 million to commit NYPA to future purchases from one of the nuclear facilities.

Carbon dioxide supplier

NuCo2

said it has entered a dispensing agreement with

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

. According to the terms, NuCo2 would set up CO2 dispensing systems and services for Coca-Cola fountain customers. Last year, NuCo2 made a pact with

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

to supply its

Red Lobster

and

Olive Garden

restaurants with the CO2 systems.

Earnings/revenue reports

Armstrong World Indutries

(ACK)

warned investors that it would post first-quarter earnings between 65 cents to 75 cents a share, greatly missing the 11-analyst estimate of 97 cents a share and the year-ago report of a $1.20 profit. The company blamed the shortfall on slow European sales and increasing raw material expenses.

Offerings and stock actions

Merrill Lynch

priced an 11 million-share IPO for

Telocity

(TLCT)

at the top of its expected $10 to $12 price range at $12 a share.

Miscellany

Disney's

(DIS) - Get Report

ABC Television Network

president Patricia Fili-Krushel stepped down from her post at the company to become the president and CEO of

Healtheon/WebMD's

(HLTH)

consumer unit. Healtheon said Fili-Krushel would assume her new position on April 10.

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

Corrections and Clarifications.