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  • ( Updated from 4:05 p.m. EDT)

    Personal-computer powerhouse Dell ( DELL) posted second-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, topping the 25-analyst First Call/Thomson Financial estimate by a penny and exceeding the year-ago 19-cent result.

    The computer-maker reported that its second-quarter earnings rose 19%, thanks to a better mix of products as well as higher prices and lower component costs. Revenue, however, rose 25% to $7.7 billion, below analysts' prediction. TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom covered Dell's earnings in an earlier story.

    This morning, Salomon Smith Barney lowered its rating on Dell to outperform from buy. The investment house also revised its price target to 55. The PC powerhouse's revenue of $7.67 billion was significantly below Solly's estimate of $7.93 billion. The shortfall came from lower-than-expected desktop shipments to the federal government and Europe. Dell dropped 4 1/16, or 9.7%, to 37 11/16.

    Microsoft ( MSFT - Get Report) was off 3/16 to 72 7/16 after it announced that it expects to miss the September deadline for the rollout of its high-profile European TV software. The delay would cause Microsoft's first customer, cable TV operator United Pan-Europe Communications ( UPCOY) to introduce its product with limited functionality.

    Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

    Investment services firm Southwest Securities Group ( SWS) and Matrix Bancorp ( MTXC) have called off their proposed stock merger plan. Southwest Securities shot up 2 13/16, or 10.4%, to 29 13/16, while Matrix fell 3 13/16, or about 36%, to 6 13/16.

    Viacom ( VIA) ended discussions to buy TV stations from Chris-Craft Industries ( CCN). Previous discussions had broken down over price and a legal battle over the two companies' defunct partnership in the United Paramount Network. The news sunk Chris-Craft's stock 8, or 11.4%, to 62, but Viacom's was up 1 1/2 to 71 15/16.

    Wellsford Real Properties ( WRP) said it's in talks with Goldman Sachs ( GS) in a possible sale or transfer of its interest in Wellsford Whitehall Group, a unit created by Wellsford and Goldman to acquire and operate office properties in the Northeast. Wellsford was up 2, or 11.8%, to 19 and Goldman moved up 5 7/8, or 5.3%, to 117 7/8.

    Zale ( ZLC) announced that it would buy Piercing Pagoda ( PGDA), which sells low-priced jewelry, for about $192 million in cash. According to the deal, a Zale subsidiary will make a tender offer of $21.50 for each Piercing Pagoda share. Investors liked the news and pushed Piercing Pagoda up 5 1/4, or 32.8%, to 21 1/4. Zale edged up 7/16 to 40 9/16.
    After Thursday's Close

    Broadband systems company Tut Systems ( TUTS) announced plans to acquire privately held ActiveTelco, a telephony and messaging technology company, in a stock deal valued at nearly $36.5 million. Tut plummeted 10 3/8, or 9.7%, to 97.

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    Earnings/revenue reports and previews

    Adaptive Broadband ( ADAP), a data networking company, posted a fourth-quarter loss of 20 cents a share, wider than both the six-analyst estimate of a 17-cent loss and the year-ago 13-cent loss. The news sent the stock down 7 5/8, or about 25%, to 23 1/8.

    Learning Tree ( LTRE) posted third-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, beating the three-analyst estimate of 45 cents a share, and up from the year-ago 6-cent profit. The news boosted the stock up 5 3/8, or 10%, to 59.

    Two cents of upside ... and beyond! Pixar Animation ( PIXR) reported second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, topping the four-analyst estimate of 14 cents a share and up from the year-ago 13-cent profit. Still, the stock managed to slip a little. It was off 1/8 to 33 11/16.

    Triarc ( TRY) was down 1/8 to 23 3/8 after it announced second-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, missing the one-analyst estimate of a 20-cent profit but above the year-ago 15-cent result.

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    Offerings and stock actions

    Illinois Tool Works ( ITW) declared a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents a share, an increase of 2 cents, or 11%, over its current dividend rate. The stock was 3/4 higher to 59 1/4.

    Saturn Electronics & Engineering ( SN) withdrew its $59 million initial public offering, citing current market conditions.

    ViaSat ( VSAT), a communications-equipment maker, set a 2-for-1 stock split. ViaSat ended the day up 2 9/16, or 6%, to 45.

    Vishay Intertechnology ( VSH), an electronic-components maker, set a 5 million-share stock buyback. The stock was 1 3/4, or 5.7%, higher to 32 1/4.

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    Analyst Actions

    Upgrades

    Barr Laboratories ( BRL): 12-month price-target UP to 125 from 58 at Banc of America Securities. Barr was up 1 21/32 to 73 1/8.

    Harrah's ( HET) gained 1 11/16, or 6.4%, to 27 7/8 after it was raised to buy from attractive at Bear Stearns.

    Mylan Laboratories ( MYL): UP to strong buy from buy at Banc of America Securities. Mylan moved up 3 3/4, or 15.8%, to 27 1/2.

    Oxford Health ( OXHP): UP to trading buy from market perform at Goldman Sachs. Oxford jumped 3 3/8, or 12.8%, to 29 13/16.

    Sprint PCS ( PCS): 12-month price target UP to 75 from 55 at Banc of America Securities. Sprint crept up 5/16 to 53 13/16.

    Downgrades

    Adaptive ( ADAP) fell 7 5/8, or 24.8%, to 23 1/8 after it was cut DOWN to hold from strong buy at CIBC World Markets.

    Gap ( GPS) was removed from Goldman Sachs' "U.S. recommended for Purchase List" and cut DOWN to market outperformer. Despite the downgrade, the stock edged up 1/16 to 27 1/16.

    Guilford Pharmaceuticals ( GLFD): DOWN to hold from a strong buy at CIBC World Markets. The stock slid down 5/8 to 16 7/8.

    Lands' End ( LE) was up 1 3/16 to 29 3/8 even though its rating was cut DOWN to outperform from buy at ABN Amro.

    Medquist ( MEDQ): DOWN to market performer from buy at Banc of America Securities. Medquist moved up 2 1/4, or 10.5%, to 23 3/4.

    UAL ( UAL): third-quarter earnings estimate DOWN to $2.72 from $3.20 at ING Barings. UAL was 2 1/8 higher to 52.

    Initiations

    Cendant ( CD) edged up 5/16 to 13 after it was started as a NEW buy at Credit Suisse First Boston. 12-month price target: 20.

    Global Telesystems ( GTS): NEW outperform at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. It moved up 7/16, or 5.1%, to 9 1/16.

    Imsa ( IMY) was down 5/16 to 10 11/16 even though it was started as a NEW buy at Salomon Smith Barney.

    Micron Technology ( MU): NEW buy at PaineWebber. Micron hopped up 5/8 to 75 5/8.

    Syntroleum ( SYNM): NEW buy at J.P. Morgan. The stock finished up the day unchanged at 14 9/16.

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    Miscellany

    Quorum Health Group ( QHGI) was up 5/8 to 13 1/2 after it announced that it hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of the company. Quorum owns 21 hospitals and manages 215. A spokesman for the company told Reuters it is reviewing its options because of a difficult climate for hospitals the past two years.

    Raytheon ( RTN.B) announced that it received a $1.4 billion contract from Lockheed Martin ( LMT) to develop three radar sets for the Army's high-altitude defense system. Raytheon was 1 13/16, or 6.5%, higher to 29 9/16, while Lockheed Martin ended the day unchanged at 29 5/8.

    Walt Disney ( DIS) was ordered by a Florida jury to pay $240 million in damages to a former baseball umpire and his architect partner for stealing the idea for a sports theme park. Still, the stock managed to move up 3/8 to 40 7/8.

    Trucking company Simon Transportation ( SIMN) was down 1/4 to 6 3/4 after it announced that founder Richard Simon has agreed to step down as chairman and chief executive. He will sell all of his class B shares of Simon stock to individual shareholder Jerry Moyes.

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    By the Numbers

    NYSE Percent Winners
    Name Price Change %
    Mylan Laboratories (MYL) 27 1/2
    3 3/4

    15.8%
    Maritrans (TUG) 5 3/4
    3 3/4

    15.8%
    Amex Euro Top 100 (EVC) 18 1/8
    2 1/8

    13.3%
    Encompass Services (ESR) 5 15/16
    11/16

    13.1%
    Metris Companies (MXT) 33 5/8
    3 3/16

    10.5%

    NYSE Percent Losers
    Name Price Change %
    Mitel (MLT) 20 1/8
    3 7/8

    16.1%
    Chris Craft Industries (CCN) 62
    8

    11.4%
    Millipore (MIL) 55 5/8
    5 5/8

    9.2%
    Commscope (CTV) 25 7/16
    2 9/16

    9.2%
    Kent Electronics (KNT) 24 1/16
    2 3/8

    9%

    Nasdaq Percent Winners
    Name Price Change %
    Bi (BIAC) 7 29/32
    3 9/32

    70.9%
    Piercing Pagoda (PGDA) 21 1/4
    5 1/4

    32.8%
    Ixys (SYXI) 34 3/4
    6 5/8

    23.6%
    Hispanic Television Network (HTVN) 6 1/4
    1 1/8

    22%
    Nanometrics (NANO) 39 7/8
    6 15/16

    21.1%

    Nasdaq Percent Losers
    Name Price Change %
    Independent Energy Holdings (INDYY) 5 5/8
    3 1/2

    38.4%
    Matrix Bancorp (MTXC) 6 13/16
    3 13/16

    35.9%
    Softnet Systems (SOFN) 5 19/32
    1 31/32

    26%
    Adaptive Broadband (ADAP) 23 1/8
    7 5/8

    24.8%
    Speech Works International (SPWX) 75 1/2
    18 15/16

    20.1%

    The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

    Dow Point Winners
    Name Price Change %
    Dupont (DD) 49 3/8
    2 1/2

    5.33%
    Philip Morris (MO) 31 1/4
    2 3/4

    9.7%
    J.P. Morgan (JPM) 143 7/8
    2 1/8

    1.5%
    Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing (MMM) 96 3/4
    1 7/8

    1.98%
    Intel (INTC) 63 13/16
    1 13/16

    2.92%

    Dow Point Losers
    Name Price Change %
    Hewlett Packard (HWP) 110
    2 1/4

    2%
    ExxonMobil (XOM) 81 3/8
    3/8

    0.46%
    General Electric (GE) 56 9/16
    7/16

    0.77%
    United Technologies (UTX) 60 3/4
    3/8

    0.61%
    Honeywell (HON) 35 1/8
    3/8

    1.06%

    Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

    Large-Cap Nasdaq Movers
    Name Price Change %
    Cisco (CSCO) 64 5/16
    15/16

    1.48%
    Dell (DELL) 37 11/16
    4 1/16

    9.7%
    Ericsson (ERICY) 18 15/16
    3/16

    1%
    Intel (INTC) 63 13/16
    1 13/16

    2.92%
    Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) 72 7/16
    3/16

    0.26%
    Oracle (ORCL) 81 1/8
    1 1/16

    1.33%
    Qualcomm (QCOM) 61 5/8
    3/16

    0.31%
    Sun Microsystems (SUNW) 112 3/16
    1 3/4

    1.58%
    WorldCom (WCOM) 33 11/16
    5/16

    0.94%
    Yahoo! (YHOO) 128 5/8
    11/16

    0.53%

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