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Friday, Sept. 17, 1999

Sun announces a split, then its stock shines in after-hours trading on Island ECN.

After-Hours Markets


Island ECN offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Prior to September 15, 1999, Island offered trading from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT



Eric Gillin

Day-Session Report

Stocks ended the day with solid gains inspired by a break in the yen's strength against the dollar and triple-witching -- the quarterly expiration of stock options, index options and index futures. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

ended up 66.2 to 10,803, off its intraday high of 10, 860, but not bad considering this choppy week. The tech-laden

Nasdaq Composite Index

kicked off the weekend on a positive note, climbing 62.9 to 2869.

The big European indices closed mixed. France's


was up 3.77 to 4644.32, while Germany's

Xetra Dax

was down 0.48 to 5303.94. London's


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gained 25.2 to 6039.8.

Asian markets closed higher as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

closed up 54.24 to 13,484, and Tokyo's


gained 50.68 to 17,342.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures



can expect some serious competition in its online auction site business. High-tech behemoths












have teamed up to create a new auction network in which goods will be shared across all member sites.



signed a $30 million deal with telecommunications equipment maker

Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson

to provide software for an Internet satellite network.

British software firm

Kalamazoo Group

formed a strategic alliance with



to deliver solutions to the automotive retail channel in Europe.

Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews

Fort James


said earnings per share could be up to 20% lower in the second half of the year, and 25% lower in the third quarter. Fort James said the earnings drop was due to significant systems and workflow changes as it merged two predecessor companies, as well as increased costs for distribution and warehousing.

Material Sciences


posted second-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, better than the two-analyst estimate of 25 cents, and up from 13 cents a year ago.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter




2000 earnings estimate to $2.05 a share from $2. Last night, the company reported better than expected first-quarter results and said a cost-cutting plan improved its bottom line despite only a small change in revenue.

wrote about Nike's earnings in a

story yesterday.



said it expects third-quarter results to fall substantially below analyst estimates. The company also said it plans to sell its entertainment and aviation units. Ogden announced management changes including the resignation of R. Richard Ablon as chairman and chief executive, who will be replaced by Scott Mackin, executive vice president of Ogden.

Select Comfort


said it expects third-quarter estimates below expectations and said the company would report a loss for the quarter. Select Comfort added that it was pursuing solutions to the recent softness in sales.

Offerings and Stock Actions

Adobe Systems


last night set a 2-for-1 stock split, payable on Oct. 26, for shareholders of record Oct. 4. The company also posted third-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, ahead of the 11-analyst estimate of 74 cents.

Hollinger International


increased its share buyback program to cover an additional $100 million in Class A common shares. So far this year, the company has repurchased 8.3 million shares, completing the $100 million buyback authorized last year.

Analyst Actions

Warburg Dillon Read

downgraded three drug-industry firms.

Pharmaceutical Product Development


, was cut to hold from buy,

Mylan Laboratories


was cut to hold from strong buy, and

ICN Pharmaceuticals


was cut to buy from strong buy.

Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown

started coverage of

Agile Software


with a buy rating, and said the company is capable of delivering 50% revenue growth over the next three to five years.

Lehman Brothers

cut its rating on



to neutral.

Lehman Brothers cut

Blue-Square Israel


to neutral from buy, citing flat sales in a tough economic climate.





to hold from sell, following its annual profit results.

Warburg Dillon Read raised

Electro Scientific


to strong buy from buy.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter cut its earnings estimates on

Federal Express




in the wake of both disappointing earnings news and profit predictions. Morgan cut 2000 earnings estimates to $2.30 a share from $2.50, and 2001 earnings to $2.70 from $2.80.

Credit Suisse First Boston

started coverage of

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines


with a hold rating, saying the airline cycle had peaked and North American yields remain depressed, while fuel and operating costs have risen.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter started coverage of

LHS Group


with a neutral rating.

Merrill Lynch




to near-term buy from accumulate.

Credit Suisse First Boston cut its rating on



to buy from strong buy. Yesterday, Raytheon said it would take $350 million in charges, which will push third-quarter and full-year earnings below estimates.

Credit Suisse First Boston started

Research in Motion


with a hold rating.


Flight attendants for



American Airlines

, told the company to take a flying leap, rejecting a proposed new labor contract covering more than 20,000 flight attendants, according to the

Association of Professional Flight Attendants


A U.S.

Food and Drug Administration

panel recommended expanding the approved uses for

Bristol-Myers Squibb's


cancer drug


to include patients with early-stage breast cancer.

IBM doubled the number of U.S. employees eligible to keep existing benefits after proposed changes to its pension plan sparked an outcry among middle-aged employees.

International Total Services


was delisted from the Nasdaq following a recent hearing. The company had earlier said it was unable to file its year-end financial report on time due to refinancing problems.

Synergy Brands


said it is in talks to sell certain parts of its grocery operation and focus on its Internet-related strategies. The company also said it has implemented a new business-to-business e-commerce subsidiary.


Elementary school principal John A. Crouch, of North Kingstown, R.I., admitted to police that he has been pilfering his students'


supply for the past four years. The pill-popping principal said the drug improved his concentration. But police decided Crouch should have just said no, and slapped the focused felon with a five-count charge of theft.


Salt Lake Tribune

reporter, nabbed by police for soliciting sex from a prostitute, quickly conjured up the ingenious excuse that he was just doing a little research for work. When Shawn Foster attempted to flee in his car, officers drew weapons and ordered him to halt. Foster, who managed to keep his position as a court reporter, allegedly told cops he was on assignment for the