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Nestle Chows Down on Ralston-Purina

Ralston-Purina (RAL) agreed to be acquired by Nestle S.A. in a $10.3B deal. Terms: $33.50 cash per Ralston share.

Rollins Truck Leasing (RLC) agrees to be acquired by Penske Truck Leasing Co. in deal valued at about $754M, or $13 per share.

Edison International (EIX) reported that its Southern California Edison unit temporarily suspended payment of certain debt, purchased-power obligations in order to preserve cash.

CuraGen Corp (CRGN) entered an alliance with Bayer to discover, develop, commercialize small molecule drugs to treat obesity, adult onset diabetes, evaluate Bayer's pipeline. Prudential upgraded the company's shares to strong buy.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) President, COO Patricia DeRosa resigns effective Jan. 15. Jefferies says resignation short-term neutral, stock oversold today.

Needham downgraded Extreme Networks (EXTR) shares to hold from buy.

Anixter Intl Inc. agrees to return in excess of $200 million in goods to Lucent Technologies (LU).

Due to Globalstar suspending principal and interest payments on all its funded debt, QUALCOMM (QCOM) expects to reserve significant portion of GSTRF-related assets, incur small negative impact to Q1. QCOM still expects $0.28 Q1 EPS.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) received a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office, for a method of designing novel chemical inhibitors of protein kinases.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) posted $0.48 vs. $0.43 Q4 EPS on 6.8% higher worldwide sales.

Banc of America upgraded Aether Systems (AETH) shares to strong buy from buy.

Forest Labs (FRX) posted $0.36 vs. $0.18 Q3 EPS on a 32% revenue rise.

Parametric Technology (PMTC) posted $0.07 vs. $0.06 Q1 EPS (pro forma) from operations on a 4% revenue rise.

Ceradyne (CRDN) sees better than expected $0.14 Q4 EPS on sales of $11.6M, and $0.61 2000 EPS on sales of $45.9M.

Sanchez Computer (SCAI) expects to post a Q4 profit, and to exceed Wall Street's $19.6M Q4 revenue and $0.05 loss per share estimates, primarily due to better-than-expected license revenue.

Rollins Truck (RLC) agreed to be acquired by Penske Truck Leasing Co., LP, in a deal valued at about $754M, or $13 per share.

Xircom (XIRC) agreed to be acquired by Intel (INTC) for $25 per share. Xircom posted $0.01 vs. $0.55 Q1 EPS on 3% lower sales. Results for the current quarter exclude acquisition costs.

Citigroup (C) posted $0.65 Q4 core EPS on a 14% revenue rise.

Adtran (ADTN) posted $0.22 vs. $0.43 Q4 EPS despite a 17% sales rise. The company notes that margins were reduced by a transition to new generation HDSL2 technology and changes in its product mix, as well as component pricing issues.

Universal Access (UAXS) sees Q4 revenue exceeding its previous forecast of $19M and gross margin in excess of 27%.

Cooper Cameron (CAM) reiterated its $0.45-$0.48 Q4 EPS estimate from operations. The company sees $0.30 Q1 EPS and $1.90-$2.00 2001 EPS from operations. Cooper Cameron cites current backlog, internal division forecasts.

Conexant Systems (CNXT) introduced a crosspoint switch device that uses advanced semiconductor packaging, circuit-design technology to quadruple networking traffic that can be routed through a single chip in optical-networking equipment.

AnnTaylor (ANN) announced the resignation of president and COO Patricia DeRosa. The company will seek a replacement immediately.

Idacorp (IDA) reaffirmed its Q4 EPS estimate of $0.60-$0.70, up from a year ago's $0.49. With respect to the current energy situation in California, and believes it has credit exposure of $30M-$40M.

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