Thursday, Sept. 23, 1999

The tech sector danced in the dark tonight, with some big names trading higher in heavy after-hours volume on Island ECN and MarketXT.
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After-Hours Markets

As the sun set on a bloody day littered with fallen tech stocks, investors crept to their keyboards, putting life back into the struggling sector. Tonight, the dead walk again, rising from the red into the green. Both

Island

ECN and

Market XT

were packed with Internet providers, Web portals and box makers, most of which were posting gains.

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

and

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

rang in point-plus gains on Island, while

America Online

topped Market XT, trading on 1,650 shares.

If you've got more than a minute,

David Shabelman

covered today's tech fallout in

Nothing But Net. For the larger market perspective and insight into the

Nasdaq Composite Index's

fourth-worst point drop,

Brian Louis

scribed the latest

Market Roundup.

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

.

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.

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

The major stock indices finished the day amid a major selloff. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

ended the session down 216 at 10,318, below the key 10,500 level, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

fell 107.9 to 2750.2.

The big European indices all finished solidly higher, led by Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

, which gained more than 1%.

In Asia, Japan's

Nikkei

was closed for trading due to a holiday. In Hong Kong, the

Hang Seng

closed up 26.82 at 13,214.44.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures

EarthLink

(ELNK)

and

MindSpring

(MSPG)

announced merger plans. According to the deal's terms, MindSpring holders would receive one share of the new company for each of their shares, while EarthLink holders would get 1.615 shares for each of their shares.

Tradepoint Financial Networks

said

Credit Suisse First Boston

,

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson

and

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

joined a consortium of banks and brokerages that own more than half of the London-based electronic stock exchange.

ITT Industries

(IIN) - Get Report

announced its plans to acquire

Stanford's

(STII)

space division for $191 million.

Textron

(TXT) - Get Report

said it plans to pay $24.50 per share to buy

Litchfield Financial

(LTCH)

.

Unicom

(UCM)

has forged a solid agreement with

Peco

(PE) - Get Report

for a merger that would generate $12.4 billion in revenue.

PaineWebber

downgraded Unicom to neutral and Peco to attractive, both from buy ratings.

Earnings/Revenue Reports and Previews

Arrow

(ARRO)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share, in line with the five-analyst estimate of 50 cents and above the year-ago 43 cents.

Chiquita

(CQB)

said it would take a third-quarter charge of 9 cents a share. The company said that, excluding the charge, earnings would be within the range of analysts' estimates. Chiquita also said it would cut 200 jobs.

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

posted first-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, beating both the 13-analyst estimate of 31 cents and the year-ago 24 cents.

Tricon

(YUM) - Get Report

said it expects third-quarter earnings to exceed analysts' forecasts. The company said that its operating earnings per share will rise by 20%, putting Tricon's earnings at about 98 cents a share, well above the 90 cents predicted by the 10 analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

.

Allegheny Teledyne

(ALT) - Get Report

warned investors that it would post third-quarter earnings from 17 cents to 21 cents a share, greatly missing the nine-analyst estimate of 28 cents. The company blamed the disappointing results on softness in oil and gas markets.

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings after yesterday's close of 23 cents a share, beating both the 17-analyst estimates of 22 cents and the year-ago 18 cents. Last night,

TheStreet.com

reported the story.

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

posted third-quarter earnings of $2.20 a share, beating both the 11-analyst estimate of $2.01 and the year-ago $1.10.

Texas Industries

(TXI)

reported first-quarter earnings of 75 cents a share, easily beating the five-analyst estimate of 49 cents but down from the year-ago $1.17.

Analyst Actions

SG Cowen

downgraded shares of

Ballantyne of Omaha

(BTN) - Get Report

to a neutral from a strong buy.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

upgraded shares of

CNet

(CNET) - Get Report

to a strong buy from market perform.

Credit Suisse First Boston

lowered its rating on

Cordant Tech

(CDD)

to buy from strong buy.

Shares of

Georgia Pacific

(GP)

took a tumble after it CFO John McGovern announced his departure from the company. McGovern will be replaced by Dan Huff, the company's vice president and treasurer. The resignation prompted firms, including

Bear Stearns

and

Brown Brothers Harriman

to slice their earnings estimates for Georgia Pacific. Bears Stearns cut its third-quarter estimate on the company to $1.35 a share, while Brown Brothers lowered its estimate for the same period to $1.25 a share from $1.40.

Lehman Brothers

trimmed

Howmet's

(HWM)

1999 earnings-per-share estimate to $1.24 from $1.27 and its 2000 estimates to $1.35 a share from $1.42. Lehman also dropped its price target on the stock to 22 from 25. Yesterday the company warned it would miss analysts' estimates for 1999 earnings.

PaineWebber sliced its rating on

Harken Energy

(HEC)

to a neutral from attractive.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

sliced its price target on

Ingersoll-Rand

(IR) - Get Report

to 64 from 72.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

rolled out coverage of

Net2Phone

(NTOP)

with a strong buy rating.

Warburg Dillon Read

upped its average oil-price estimate to $17.60 per barrel for 1999 and to $18.50 from $17 per barrel for 2000.

Morgan Stanley upped its rating on

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

to a strong buy from outperform.

Offerings and Stock Actions

NetZero

filed with the

Securities & Exchange Commission

to raise the expected pricing range for its initial public offering to $14 to $16 from $9 to $11.

Global Crossing

(GBLX)

and

Frontier

(FRO) - Get Report

have received voter approval for their $9 billion planned merger. Earlier today, Global Crossings said it would take Frontier's place in the

S&P 500

index.

Network Associates

(NETA)

said its

McAfee.com

division has filed an IPO for $57.5 million of Class A common shares.

Ralston Purina

(RAL)

said it set an 8 million-share repurchasing plan.

Rouse

(RSE)

said it set a $250 million share buyback.

Southwest Airlines

(LUV) - Get Report

said it has set a $250 million share buyback.

Miscellany

Maytag

(MYG)

set plans to cut about $100 million in costs over the next two years, with 40% to 50% of those savings to come from stepping up its existing quality and productivity improvement programs. Maytag last week warned that its third- and fourth-quarter earnings would fall short of expectations.

Amkor

(AMKR) - Get Report

said this week's earthquake in Taiwan would not hurt its operations. The company said that its manufacturing hubs were in the Philippines and South Korea.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

said that its supervisory board would convene Friday to devise a restructuring plan that would include axing four of its 17 board members. According to media reports, the automaker would let go of North American President Thomas Stalkamp, while retaining CFO Manfred Gentz, a source confirmed in an interview with

Reuters

.

FDX

(FDX) - Get Report

unveiled plans to broaden its intra-European services, adding more cargo flights and a new overnight delivery service,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the

Journal

, FDX plans to centralize its operations in Paris.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

received kudos from 10,830 online survey participants as the American company with the best corporate reputation,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

Medtronic

(MDT) - Get Report

said the

FDA

gave marketing approval to longer stents, which are used to support diseased arteries, in its Flexible Bilary and Extra Support Biliary Plus product lines.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

announced its plans to create a new Web site called

MicrosoftbCentral

, to attract small businesses. The new site, which will contain several of Microsoft's Internet properties, was unveiled during a series of presentations highlighting the company's latest product lines, which are aimed at boosting its struggling Internet businesses.

Microsoft also said that it would raise about $75 million through a spinoff of its Internet travel site

Expedia.com

. The company said it would hold a majority interest in the unit but did not give an exact percentage. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will serve as lead underwriters for the deal.

Separately, at the

Society of American Business Editors and Writers

, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer said technology stocks are overvalued, including Microsoft's,

Bloomberg

reported. According to the report, Ballmer said, "It's a bad thing for the long-term health of the economy."

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

was charged yesterday with deceptive trade practices, civil theft and racketeering by the Florida

Attorney General's Office

for allegedly billing patrons different prices for the same prescription drugs.