Friday, Sept. 24, 1999

After-hours trading on Island ECN was lighter than the dandruff from the angel dancing on the head of a pin. Two tiny stocks were topped the leader board.
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Publish date:

After-Hours Markets

Got a minute? Got a buck and change?

Island ECN's

most-active leaders,

Paging Network

and

Imaging Technologies

, are so cheap that paper carriers, baby sitters and pensioners now have brokers and a

Gordon Gekko

sneer. Trading is usually light during Friday's after-hours trading. Tonight was no exception. Aside from the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny leaders, the only other notable stock was

TMP Worldwide

, up over a point.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online Holdings, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. Prior to Sept. 15 Island offered trading from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT

.

--

Eric Gillin

Day-Session Report

At the close, the major stock indices finished the day in the red, after making a late-day attempt to rid themselves of the session's losses. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

closed down 39 at 10,279, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

finished down 9 at 2740.

The big European indices wrapped up the day's session with sizable losses. France's

CAC

fell 51.99 to 4549.25, Germany's

Xetra Dax

tumbled 102.48 to 5197.09 with London's

FTSE

slipping 23 to 5946.7.

In Asia, Japan's

Nikkei

picked up where it left off before yesterday's holiday, closing down 454.03 to 16,871.73, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

finished down 182.37 to 13,032.07.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

Cendant

(CD)

announced its plan to sell its

North American Outdoor Group

division to fund management firm

Doughty Hanson

for $150 million. Cendant said it would assume a fourth-quarter gain of $107 million. The transaction calls for Doughty Hanson to pay $140 million in cash for the unit, with Cendant retaining a 6% interest.

Landair

(LAND) - Get Report

said that its transport division inked a $60 million deal with

Sonoco Products

(SON) - Get Report

. The transaction calls for Landair Transport to support six Midwest paper and packaging plants with trucking services and an additional six plants in the Southeast. In addition, Landair would also offer yard switching and management for two plants in South Carolina and Tennessee.

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

and

Sprint

(FON)

have been chatting about a merger,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. The newspaper said that although Sprint has held talks with a few telecom titans, negotiations with MCI have recently picked up. The

Journal

story also said that significant roadblocks remain, which could sink a deal.

Phelps Dodge

(PD) - Get Report

said it has been awarded antitrust clearance from U.S. regulators for its bids to purchase

Asarco

(AR) - Get Report

and

Cyprus Amax

(CYM)

, which have declined the unsolicited offers. On Wednesday, Phelps upped its offers for the companies to $2.75 million.

Pinnacle West Capital

(PNW) - Get Report

said it would probably assume a third-quarter charge of $1.65 a share associated with an agreement with Arizona regulators. The company said the regulators authorized a deal with Pinnacle West's electric utility

Arizona Public Service

, which relates to the initiation of customer choice in its service area.

Merrill Lynch

raised its rating on the stock to near-term accumulate from neutral.

Security First Technologies

(SONE)

announced its plans to acquire privately held

VerticalOne

in a stock deal valued at $166 million. In May, Security First said it would purchase

FICS Group NV

and

Edify

(EDFY)

for $1.4 billion in stock.

Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews

Citing higher catastrophe losses,

Allstate

(ALL) - Get Report

warned it expects third-quarter operating earnings of 50 to 55 cents a share, which would miss both the 13-analyst estimate of 78 cents and the year-ago 76 cents. The company said it expects to post earnings Oct. 20. Also, Allstate said, depending on developments in the weather, fourth-quarter operating earnings could come in between 65 and 73 cents a share, which would fall well below the 13-analyst estimate of 81 cents and below the company's year-ago operating earnings of 78 cents.

Warburg Dillon Read

hammered Allstate's rating to hold from a strong buy.

Goodyear

(GT) - Get Report

said third-quarter earnings could come in slightly above or below analyst estimates and would reflect work-force reductions. Goodyear said it expects earnings of 50 to 56 cents a share in the third quarter. The current seven-analyst estimate is for 51 cents a share.

Park Electrochemical

(PKE) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, beating the three-analyst estimate of 44 cents and the year-ago 2 cents.

Steelcase

(SCS) - Get Report

reported second-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of 24 cents but down from the year-ago 41 cents.

Analyst Actions

Warburg Dillon Read

raised its fiscal 1999 estimates for

ADC Communications

(ADCT) - Get Report

to $1.38 from $1.35 a share.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

upgraded

Atmos Energy

(ATO) - Get Report

to buy from market perform.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

started coverage of

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

with an initial buy rating.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

upped its rating on

Copper Mountain

(CMTN)

to strong buy from buy and set a price target of 100 on the stock.

Merrill Lynch upgraded

CVS

(CVS) - Get Report

to a buy and set a price target of 54.

Banc of America

upped its fiscal 2000 estimates of

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

to $1.22 from $1.19 a share.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its rating on

EarthLink

(ELNK)

to strong buy from outperform and set a price target of 74 on the stock.

Merrill Lynch raised its ratings on

Ericsson

(ERICY)

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

to near-term buy.

J.P. Morgan

cut its rating on

Frontier Insurance Group

(FTR) - Get Report

to market perform from buy.

Morgan Stanley upped its fourth-quarter earnings estimate on

Hambrecht & Quist

(HQ)

to $1.25 from 97 cents a share.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens

analyst Dan Niles said the earthquake in Taiwan and soft third-quarter PC demand might put near-term pressure on

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

. Niles reiterated his long-term attractive rating on the stock.

ING Barings

rolled out coverage of

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

with a hold rating.

Warburg Dillon Read sliced its rating on

Kroll-O'Gara

(KROG)

to hold from strong buy.

Merrill Lynch upgraded

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

to near- and long-term buy from accumulate.

Warburg Dillon Read raised its rating on

Medquist

(MEDQ)

to strong buy from buy.

Morgan Stanley lowered its third-quarter and 1999 estimates on Merrill Lynch

(MER)

to $1.28 from $1.34 a share and to $5.46 from $5.60 a share, respectively.

Merrill Lynch rolled out coverage of

McLeodUSA

(MCLD)

with near-term accumulate and long-term buy ratings.

Salomon Smith Barney said that

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

weakness is a buying opportunity.

Merrill Lynch upped its rating on

Motorola

(MOT)

to near-term buy from near-term accumulate.

J.P. Morgan cut it rating on

National Data

(NDC)

to a long-term buy from buy.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimates on

Park Place Entertainment

(PPE)

to 10 cents a share from 8 cents.

ING Barings raised its rating on

Precision Response

(PRRC)

to strong buy from a buy.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens cut its rating on

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

to a long-term attractive from buy.

SG Cowen

sliced its fiscal 2000 estimates on

Research in Motion

(RIMM)

to 19 cents from 21 cents a share.

Prudential Securities

began coverage of

Station Casinos

(STN) - Get Report

with an accumulate rating.

Prudential Securities initiated coverage of

TheStreet.com

(TSCM)

, the parent company of this Web site, with an initial strong buy rating.

Salomon Smith Barney

sliced its 1999 earnings estimates on

Union Carbide

(UK)

to $1.67 a share from $1.86.

Offerings and Stock Actions

Alteon WebSystems

(ATON)

soared 55 15/16, or 294% to 74 15/16 in its trading debut. Lehman Brothers priced the 4 million-share IPO above range at $19 a share.

Brooktrout

(BRKT)

said its

Interspeed

(ISPD:Nasdaq) unit is set to make its trading debut today. The $2 million deal was priced at $12 a share. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, Warburg Dillon Read,

Tucker Anthony Clearly Gull

and

DLJdirect

were underwriters for the deal.

The

New York Stock Exchange

said

CTS

(CTS) - Get Report

declined to comment on its shares' recent decline. The stock closed down 3 5/8, or 6%, to 53.

NetZero

(NZRO)

jumped 13 1/8, or 82%, to 29 1/8 in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq. Goldman Sachs priced the 10 million-share offering at top-range at $16 a share.

NTL

(NTLI)

said it set a 5-for-4 stock split.

Sky Financial

(SKYF)

said it has set a 3.5 million-share buyback.

Sylvan Learning

(SLVN)

unveiled its plans to spin off its Prometric computer-testing division. Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown will serve as the deal's lead underwriter.

Webstakes

(IWIN)

closed down 2 1/2, or 17.8%, to 11 1/2 in its first day of trading.

Bear Stearns

priced the disappointing 3.5 million-share IPO mid-range at $14 a share.

Miscellany

AutoNation

(AN) - Get Report

said it has tapped Michael J. Jackson to become its CEO.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

announced it has trimmed its management board to 14 members from 17 and that Thomas Stallkamp, the company's North American president, will leave the company by the end of the year.

Horizon Properties

(HGPI)

announced the possibility of a partial or complete sale of its real estate portfolio in an attempt to boost shareholder value. The company has brought

Secured Capital

on board to advise Horizon on strategic options.

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

said it would reduce its workforce by 330 in an attempt to save $20 million a year. Earlier today, the company said most of the cuts would take place at its headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa. In addition, Rite Aid plans to shut down its Ogden, Utah, distribution hub, moving its operations to Lancaster, Calif. Yesterday, charges of deceptive trade practices from the Florida Attorney General's office pummeled the company's shares. Lehman Brothers slashed its fiscal 2000 and 2001 estimates to $1.28 a share from $1.56 and to $1.49 a share from $1.88, respectively.

Telident

(TLDT)

said that its president and CEO, W. Edward McConaghay, has stepped down to become the CEO of personal computing company

ViA

.

Timken

(TKR) - Get Report

said that it has brought J.P. Morgan on board to strategize options for its specialty steel division, which would allow the company to become more competitive.

Staff reporter

Brian Louis contributed to this report.