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  • Updated from 3:57 p.m. EDT

    No, it's not April Fools' Day, but it might have seemed that way to Emulex ( EMLX), which became the target of a hoax that sent its stock nose diving about 60% to 45. A fake press release had the company reversing its fourth-quarter earnings estimates to a loss of 15 cents a share from net gain of 25 cents and said chief executive Paul Folino had resigned. The stock was halted around 10:30 a.m. EDT., but was restarted at 1:30 p.m. Shares of Emulex ended lower 7 5/16, or 6.5%, to 105 3/4.

    Fiber optics network equipment company Sycamore Networks ( SCMR) posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates. The firm reported earnings of 8 cents a share, beating the 13-analyst First Call/Thomson Financial estimate of a 6-cent profit and the year-ago 4-cent result. Since the prior fourth quarter, Sycamore's revenue has increased eightfold. TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com joint newsroom detailed Sycamore's results in a separate story. Sycamore Networks fell 7 3/16 to 150 13/16.

    Internet consulting firm Razorfish ( RAZF) reported that its President, Mike Pehl, will resign to spend time with his family and explore career opportunities. (Stop snickering.) Pehl joined the company in November after his firm, International Integration, was acquired by Razorfish. He will continue to have a relationship with Razorfish through a consulting agreement. Razorfish closed down 7/8, or 6%, to 13 11/16.

    This morning, the stock was cut to buy from strong buy at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.

    Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

    Global tire makers Cooper Tire ( CTB), Goodyear ( GT), Michelin, Continental, Pirelli and Sumitomo signed an agreement to build a joint purchasing and procurement e-marketplace, called RubberNetworks.com. Cooper Tire slid 1/16 to 11 7/8.

    Ford's ( F) dealer council said it will form an Internet-based site, called FordDirect.com, to sell cars online. The Web site will be jointly owned by participating dealers and Ford with an independent management team. Ford will be an investor, while the dealers will retain control of the venture. Ford declined 1/8 to 27 5/8.
    After Thursday's Close

    Consumer products manufacturer Chattem ( CHTT) announced that it has agreed to sell its Ban deodorant line to Kao's Andrew Jergens unit, for $160 million in cash. Kao is Japan's largest personal, cleansing and sanitary products company. Chattem fell 1 7/8, or 13%, to 12 15/16.

    Manufacturing giant Honeywell ( HON) confirmed that it has hired investment house Salomon Smith Barney to help the company find a buyer for its automotive products unit, a division that makes goods including filters, spark plugs and car care products. Honeywell moved down 1/8 to 39 7/8.

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    Earnings/revenue reports and previews

    Lancaster Colony ( LANC) posted fourth-quarter earnings of 61cents a share, missing the four-analyst estimate and year-ago earnings by a penny. The company blamed the missed earnings on weaker operating results in its automotive and glassware and candles businesses. Lancaster Colony lowered 7/16 to 23 3/8.

    Automotive supplier Lear ( LEA) cut its second-half earnings estimate for 2000 by 18 cents a share, saying it would be hurt by the weak euro and the stronger-than-expected peso, as well as Ford Explorer and Ranger production cuts. The 21-analyst estimate for the third-quarter was 66 cents a share and the 20-analyst estimate for the fourth-quarter was $1.54. Lear missed 1 13/16, or 7.5%, to 22 1/2.

    Rent-A-Center ( RCII) said it agrees with analyst earnings estimates for 2000 and 2001. The six-analyst estimate for 2000 was $2.58 a share, while the five-analyst estimate for 2001 was $2.97. In 1999, the company's earnings were $1.74 and in 1998 were $1.24. The company said it's on track to post double-digit same-store sales in the third quarter. Rent-A-Center hopped 4 1/8, or 14.7%, to 32 1/8.

    Rite-Way ( RWY) said it is "highly confident" it will meet analysts' estimates for its fourth-quarter and year earnings. The seven-analyst estimate for the quarter is 46 cents a share, which is up from year-ago earnings of 41 cents and the full year estimate was $1.83 a share, compared with year-ago of $1.26. Rite-Way increased 9/16 to 24 9/16.

    Time Warner Telecom ( TWTC) agreed to pay $690 million for the majority of GST Telecommunications' assets. The deal excludes most of GST's Hawaii assets and residual cash balances. Time Warner Telecom fell 5/8 to 61 7/16.
    After Thursday's Close

    Crossroads Systems ( CRDS), a manufacturer of storage network equipment, recorded a third-quarter 30-cent loss, missing the two-analyst prediction of a 21-cent loss, and dropping below the year-ago 9-cent loss. The company also reported a 6% decrease in revenue for the quarter. Crossroads Systems declined 1 3/4, or 16%, to 9 3/16.

    Mandalay Resort Group ( MBG) announced second-quarter earnings of 50 cents a share, topping the 16-analyst 47-cent estimate and improving on year-ago 29-cent earnings. Mandalay Resort Group advanced 1 5/16, or 5%, to 27 9/16.

    Marvell Technology Group ( MRVL) listed a second-quarter profit of three cents a share, exceeding the three-analyst one penny estimate and in line with the year-ago result. The stock's 2000 EPS was raised to 16 cents from 13 cents at Lehman Brothers and its 2001 EPS was raised to 36 cents from 33 cents. Marvell Technology Group rose 1/4 to 55 3/8.

    Midway Games ( MWY) recorded a fourth-quarter loss of 39 cents a share, narrower than the three-analyst expectation of a 43-cent loss but below the year-ago negative 12-cent result. Midway Games declined 1/2, or 5.7%, to 8 1/4.

    PumaTech ( PUMA) posted a pro forma loss of 8 cents a share, besting the five-analyst forecast of an 11-cent loss but below the year-ago pro forma 1-cent profit. PumaTech shed 2 5/8, or 11.2%, to 20 13/16.

    Remec ( REMC) posted second-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, beating the four-analyst 6-cent estimate by a penny and up from the year-ago 7-cent loss. Remec increased 1/16 to 30 1/16.

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    Analyst actions

    Coca-Cola's ( KO) volume projections were lowered by Salomon Smith Barney because of softness in several global markets including North America. The firm estimates unit case volume in the second half of this year to increase 4.5%, not 5% to 5.5% as previously projected and 2001's volume growth target was cut to 5% from 5.5%. Coke has projected growth in the 6% to 7% range.

    In related news, the company named Jeffrey Dunn group president of North America. Coca-Cola declined 1 15/16 to 56.


    Apple ( AAPL): UP to strong buy from buy at Wit Soundview. Apple lifted 45/64 to 56 13/16.

    Coflexip Stena Offshore ( CXIPY): 2000 earnings-per-share estimate UP to $1.70 from $1.50 at Merrill Lynch. Coflexip Stena Offshore gained 7/16 to 64 3/4.

    Corio ( CRIO) was added to U.S. recommended-for-purchase list at Goldman Sachs. Corio added 7/8, or 7.5%, to 12 1/2.

    Lehman Brothers ( LEH): third-quarter EPS estimate UP to $2.80 from $1.98 at UBS Warburg; 2000 EPS estimate to $12.20 from $10.68; and 2001 EPS estimate to $12.40 from $11.20. Lehman Brothers lowered 1 9/16 to 133 13/16.

    Ulticom ( ULCM): 2000 EPS UP to 16 cents from 13 at Lehman Brothers; 2001 EPS UP to 21 cents from 17 cents and its price target UP to 55 to 60. Ulticom hopped 6 1/8, or 13.9%, to 50 1/16.

    Waters ( WAT): price target UP to 165 from 140. Waters improved 6 3/8 to 156 7/8.


    American Management Systems ( AMSY): DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings. American Management Systems tacked on 3/8 to 15 3/8.

    Bausch & Lomb ( BOL): DOWN to hold from buy at ING Barings; DOWN to neutral from buy at PaineWebber. Bausch & Lomb missed 15/16 to 34 15/16.

    Sysco ( SYY): DOWN to neutral from buy at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. Sysco fell 1 1/4 to 42 3/4.


    Lamar Advertising ( LAMR): NEW outperform at Salomon; 12-month price target: 60. Lamar Advertising gained 9/64 to 48 1/4.

    Lexent ( LXNT): NEW buy at Credit Suisse First Boston; 12-month price target: 30. Lexent dropped 3/16 to 26 1/8.

    Symyx ( SMMX): NEW buy at Chase Hambrecht & Quist; price target: 55. Symyx increased 15/16 to 37 7/8.

    Temple-Inland ( TIN): REINITIATED as a hold at CSFB. Temple-Inland decreased 1/4 to 43.

    Group Moves

    Merrill Lynch said auto supplier Visteon ( VC) will be "substantially" affected by the Ford/Firestone recall, and other auto suppliers ArvinMeritor ( ARM), Dana ( DCN) and Federal-Mogul ( FMO) will "bear the brunt of deteriorating market conditions."

    • Visteon: third-quarter EPS estimate DOWN to 42 cents from 50 cents and yearly EPS estimate DOWN to $3.41 from $3.45.

    • ArvinMeritor: fourth-quarter EPS estimate DOWN to 65 cents from 82 cents and yearly EPS estimate DOWN to $3.77 from $3.95.

    • Dana: third-quarter EPS estimate DOWN to 82 cents from 90 cents and yearly EPS estimate DOWN to $3.67 from $3.80.

    • Federal-Mogul: third-quarter EPS estimate DOWN to 55 cents from 70 cents and yearly EPS estimate DOWN to $2.65 from $2.95.

      Ford decreased 1/8 to 27 5/8; ArvinMeritor fell 15/16 ,or 5.2%, to 16 15/16; Dana shed 1 1/8 to 25 1/16; Federal-Mogul stayed flat at 11.

    Lehman Brothers started coverage of four California banks:

    • Westamerica Bancorp ( WABC): NEW neutral

    • City National ( CYN): NEW neutral

    • Greater Bay Bancorp ( GBBK): NEW outperform; 2001 EPS estimate: $3.65.

    • BancWest ( BWE): NEW buy.

      Westamerica Bancorp climbed 1/4 to 29 7/8; City National lifted 7/16 to 38 3/8; Greater Bay Bancorp advanced 7/8 to 58 7/16; BancWest gained 1/16 to 17 5/16.

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    Offerings and stock actions

    Amresco ( AMMB) said its shareholders had approved a 1-for-5 reverse stock split. Amresco remained unchanged at 11/32.

    Federated ( FD) said its board approved an additional stock buyback up to $500 million. This adds to the company's existing stock buyback started in January, which at the end of its second quarter had about $70 million of the original $500 million authorization remaining. Federated climbed 5/16 to 27 5/8.

    Principal Financial Group said it intends to shed its policyholder-owned status and restructure into a stockholder-owned corporation, The Wall Street Journal reported. It will lay out its demutualization plan early next year, company officials said.
    After Thursday's Close

    OceanFirst Financial ( OCFC), the holding company for OceanFirst Bank, announced that it plans to buy back up to 1.1 million shares, or about 10%, of its outstanding common stock. OceanFirst Financial increased 13/16 to 20 7/8.

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    Internet phone company Net2Phone ( NTOP) named Stephen Greenberg to the new post of president. The newly formed office of the president will be staffed as well by CEO Howie Balter and Chairman Cliff Sobel and will manage the company's planned expansion into online and offline markets. Net2Phone staggered 15/16 to 27.

    Auto insurer 21st Century Insurance Group ( TW) said it has deferred action on a third-quarter dividend until it reviews its dividend policy, which will be completed within 30 days. 21st Century Insurance Group improved 1/4 to 16 11/16.

    Natural gas distributor ONEOK ( OKE) announced that Larry Brummett, chairman and chief executive, has died after a two-year battle with cancer. Brummett was 49. The company has not named a successor. ONEOK fell 1/2 to 30 15/16.

    Bank of America ( BAC) said it will redesign some of its branches in an effort to increase sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The bank will launch a pilot program that is expected to affect 500 of its 4,500 branches over the next several years. The new offices' improvements include television sets tuned to financial news networks and computers with Internet access to accounts. Bank of America lowered 3/4 to 51 3/4.

    Lernout & Hauspie's ( LHSP) newly appointed Chief Executive John Duerden said the departure of his predecessor, Gaston Bastiaens, was not speeded up by litigation threats and Duerden's appointment wasn't made as an attempt to regain investor confidence amid concerns about how it reported its sales.

    An Aug. 8 story in The Wall Street Journal raised questions about discrepancies in the company's claims of sales to certain customers in South Korea. Lernout disputed the findings, but the company commissioned a special audit by its accountants to allay concerns about its financial results. Lernout & Hauspie decreased 4 5/8, or 13.3%, to 30 1/16.

    Property and liability insurer St. Paul ( SPC) said its president and chief operating officer, James Gustafson, is leaving the company by mutual consent. In a release, Chairman and CEO Douglas Leatherdale said Gustafson, who has been in the job less than two years, is "a talented executive," but that "it has become apparent to the board and me that there was not a fit" between the company and Gustafson's skills. St. Paul moved down 1 to 45 13/16.

    Special Metals ( SMCX) said its chairman, Robert Halverstadt, will retire and will be replaced by Phillippe Choppin de Janvry, who is currently chairman and CEO of Eramet International. Special Metals tacked on 1/8 to 3 3/4.

    UAL's ( UAL) United Airlines is making headway in contract talks with its pilots union, according to The Wall Street Journal. The story said senior officials from both sides are now at the bargaining table. Also, the company announced that a 30-second advertisement featuring an apology to customers from the airline's chairman, James Goodwin, will begin airing. UAL advanced 2 3/16 to 50 3/8.
    After Thursday's Close

    Newspaper and TV company E.W. Scripps ( SSP) announced that Kenneth Lowe has been elected president and chief executive. Lowe's appointment had been expected since January, when he became president and COO and William Burleigh, then CEO, stepped down. E.W. Scripps climbed 1/8 to 49 15/16.

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    By the Numbers

    NYSE Percent Winners
    Name Price Change %
    Loral Space & Communications (LOR) 8 1/2
    1 9/16

    Silverline Technologies (SLT) 24 3/4
    2 1/4

    Rio Algom (ROM) 19 3/8
    1 11/16

    Telesp Celular (TCP) 36 11/16
    2 11/16

    Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) 60 3/4
    4 1/4


    NYSE Percent Losers
    Name Price Change %
    Lamson & Sessions (LMS) 18 1/4
    2 1/2

    Brilliance China Automotive (CBA) 26 7/8
    3 1/8

    Stifel Financial (SF) 11 5/8
    1 3/16

    Lear (LEA) 22 1/2
    1 13/16

    Midway Games (MWY) 8 1/8


    Nasdaq Percent Winners
    Name Price Change %
    Optelecom (OPTC) 6 1/8
    2 3/8

    Mediaplex (MPLX) 11 1/2
    3 1/2

    Hytek Microsystems (HTEK) 13 3/8
    3 3/8

    Gennaissance Pharmaceuticals (GNSC) 18
    4 5/16

    Tripath Technology (TRPH) 12 3/4
    2 3/4


    Nasdaq Percent Losers
    Name Price Change %
    MatrixOne (MONE) 27 1/2
    6 1/2

    Stemcells (STEM) 7 15/16
    1 23/32

    Crossroads (CRDS) 9 3/16
    1 3/4

    HEI (HEI) 19 3/4
    3 1/4

    Lernout & Hauspie Speech (LHSP) 30 1/16
    4 5/8


    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 %
    IBM (IBM) 129
    4 3/16

    WalMart (WMT) 50 1/2
    1 1/16

    Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (MMM) 95 3/4

    Eastman Kodak (EK) 65 1/8

    Boeing (BA) 54 1/8


    Dow Point Losers
    Name Price Change %
    Coca-Cola (KO) 56
    1 15/16

    General Motors (GM) 71 7/16
    1 7/16

    Intel (INTC) 72 15/16
    1 1/2

    Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) 95 7/16

    Citigroup (C) 75 15/16


    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) 65 1/2

    Dell (DELL) 38 5/8

    Ericsson (ERICY) 20

    Intel (INTC) 72 15/16
    1 7/16

    Microsoft (MSFT) 70 5/8

    Oracle (ORCL) 84 5/8

    Qualcomm (QCOM) 58 7/8
    1 13/16

    Sun Microsystems (SUNW) 124 3/4
    3 1/4

    WorldCom (WCOM) 36 1/16
    1 3/16

    Yahoo! (YHOO) 134 1/4
    5 1/2


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