Monday, Sept. 13, 1999

<B>After-Hours Trading</B>: BMC Software, Cisco and AOL stayed busy after the bell on MarketXT.
Author:
Publish date:

After-Hours Markets

Last Trades on Island ECN

BMCS: 67 7/16 at 4:03 p.m. EDT.

CSCO: 70 11/16 at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

INTC: 84 1/2 at 4:32 p.m. EDT.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Discover Brokerage and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Monday through Thursday. Island ECN offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. EDT.

TheStreet.com

updates the most active issues on both MarketXT and Island ECN in Got a Minute? and in the Evening Update.

TSC

also reports how MarketXT's three most active Nasdaq-listed issues finished the Island ECN session

.

--

Eric Gillin

Day-Session Report

Stocks closed modestly lower after a day of choppy trading had major proxies going in narrow, negative circles. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

eeked out a positive 1.3-point gain to 11,029 in the final minutes of trading, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

was looking a little rough around the edges after recent upturns, ending the day down 42.3 to 2844.

The big European indices closed lower, with France's

CAC

down 28.7, or 0.6%, to 4716.78. Germany's

Xetra Dax

lost 37.04, or 0.7%, to 5446.91, and London's

FTSE

slipped 22 to 6169.0

Asian markets closed higher as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 4.92 to 13,860.85, and Tokyo's

Nikkei

jumped 198.27, or 1.1%, to 17,909.29.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

confirmed it is in talks with

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

to consolidate the companies' U.S. cellular phone operations,

The New York Times

reported Sunday. An agreement would create a U.S. network capable of rivaling

Sprint

(PCS)

and

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

.

Grupo Sanborns

, the Mexican retail unit of empire magnate Carlos Slim, paid $86.4 million for a 14.1% stake in

CompUSA

(CPU)

.

Harbinger

(HRBC)

signed an e-commerce pact with

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

which will market its software for translation and mapping.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

(LVMHY)

agreed to buy

TAG Heuer International

(THW) - Get Report

for $745.6 million.

Mark IV Industries

(IV)

sold its

Percolator Industrial Filters

unit to

Clarcor

(CLC)

for $144.8 million. Mark IV said it will use the proceeds to retire high-cost debt and repurchase common stock.

Motorola

(MOT)

is in talks to acquire

General Instrument

(GIC)

in an all-stock deal worth about $10 billion,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. Under the deal, each General Instrument common share would be exchanged for little more than half of a Motorola share. The proposed merger is aimed at giving the companies a presence in the broadband market, which provides high-speed access for interactive voice, data and video service over cable-TV lines. Separately, Motorola reiterated its earnings outlook, saying it is comfortable in stating that it will earn $2 a share in 1999.

Total Fina

(TOT) - Get Report

agreed to acquire

Elf Aquitaine

(ELF) - Get Report

for $54.24 billion in stock, a move that puts an end to the noisy French fracas and will create the world's fourth-largest oil company. Elf agreed to the terms after Total Fina raised the offer from an initial $45 billion hostile bid made in early July.

Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews

Computer Task Group

(TSK)

said it expects earnings and revenue for the rest of the year to fall below analyst expectations. The company said the shortfall is due to an industrywide reduction in information-technology spending. Computer Task said it expects to report annual earnings of $1.13 to $1.17 a share for the year, compared with an expected $1.50 a share.

Hain Food

(HAIN) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, in line with the seven-analyst estimate and up from 13 cents a year ago.

Hershey Foods

(HSY) - Get Report

warned it sees third-quarter and 1999 earnings below expectations. The 14-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 78 cents a share in the third quarter, while the 15-analyst estimate for 1999 is for $2.36. Hershey said the start-up of a new business system in July hurt its bottom line.

Offerings and Stock Actions

3Com

(COMS)

announced plans to sell shares in its

Palm Computing

subsidiary to stockholders in early 2000 in an effort to bolster its strength and allow it to create more Internet products and services.

Packaging Corp. of America

filed to sell more than $976 million worth of its common stock in an IPO of about half of its common equity. The offering will include

Tenneco's

(TEN) - Get Report

sale of the 43.5% stake it owns of Packaging Corp.

Analyst Actions

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

started coverage of

Alliance Resource Partners

(ARLP) - Get Report

with an outperform rating and a price target of 19.

Merrill Lynch

initiated coverage of

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

with a near-term accumulate, long-term buy rating.

Merrill upped

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

to near-term buy from accumulate and increased its 2000 earnings-per-share estimate to $1 from 97 cents, and its price target to 85.

Banc of America

upgraded data storage maker

EMC

(EMC)

to buy from market performer.

Merrill Lynch upgraded

IDEC Pharmaceuticals

(IDPH)

to near-term buy from accumulate.

ING Barings cut its rating on

Incyte Pharmaceuticals

(INCY) - Get Report

to sell from hold, following an adverse patent ruling.

ING Barings

raised

Lyondell Chemical

(LYO)

to buy from hold.

Following negative earnings warnings, analysts cut

Maytag's

(MYG)

ratings. Banc of America cut the stock to market perform from buy, while

Salomon Smith Barney

dropped its rating to outperform from buy.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens started coverage on two real estate investment trusts, or REITs, which own hotel properties.

MeriStar Hospitality

(MHX)

received a buy rating while

FelCor Lodging

received a long-term attractive rating.

Lehman Brothers

cut its 2000 earnings outlook on

SBC

(SBC)

to $2.36 from $2.46 a share.

Miscellany

America Online

(AOL)

could experience rough seas ahead, including a drop as big as 50% in its share price, Doug Kass of hedge fund

Seabreeze Partners

told

Barron's

. Kass said AOL could be forced to lower its subscription fees if competitors such as

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

and AT&T offer cheaper service.

Compaq

(CPQ)

said it was cutting prices on all of its business desktop computers by up to 17%, as part of its ongoing effort to regain momentum over some of its fast-growing rivals.

The

Foundation on Economic Trends

is spearheading an antitrust lawsuit against a number of international agribusiness firms alleging that they unfairly control genetically modified seeds. The plaintiffs intend to seek billions of dollars in damages from companies including

Monsanto

(MTC) - Get Report

,

Du Pont

(DD) - Get Report

,

Astra Zeneca

and

Archer Daniels Midland

(ADM) - Get Report

.

IBM unveiled a new line of powerful Unix servers to run Web sites and new programs and services. The company said the RS/6000 S80 servers are more powerful than those of

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

but are as little as one-third the cost.

School-bus operator

Laidlaw

(LDW)

said it plans to sell off its U.S. health care operations and seek a buyer for its 44% stake in

Safety-Kleen

(SK)

. The company said it expects to realize proceeds of about $2 billion from the divestitures and would pay off about $1 billion in debt after selling off the units.

Microsoft plans to announce a new strategy acknowledging the company will increase its focus on the Web, as compared with stand-alone computers, the

Journal

reported in its online edition.

Corporate plaintiffs in a vitamin price-fixing suit, including

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

and

Quaker Oats

(OAT)

said they will opt out of a proposed $1.1 billion settlement, saying it let the vitamin makers off too cheaply, the

Journal

reported. The companies indicated they would rather pursue individual cases against the vitamin makers.

Online publisher

Ziff-Davis

(ZD)

said it was not negotiating a sale of the company to Rupert Murdoch's

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

, in response to a Sunday story in Britain's

Observer

that said News Corp. was considering a deal worth up to $1.5 billion.

Oddenda

James Sherard, a 56-year-old drug dealer from Green Bay, Wis., was cursed with a 31-year jail sentence after trying to put a hex on someone else. In a letter to a probation officer, Sherard outlined his quest for help from his great-grandmother, a voodoo priestess who died in 1952 at the age of 113. "I pray that if any foul beings owe her any favors, let all debt be settled through you 666," Sherard wrote. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mario Gonzales, who referenced the letter in seeking a sentence, told the

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

the officer had "done nothing to deserve this supposed curse."

As originally published, this story contained errors. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.