Monday, July 26, 1999

"I don't like money actually, but it quiets my nerves." -- Joe Louis

Latest Market Numbers

IBM Aims to Overtake EMC

Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) is expected to unveil a new line of enterprise storage servers in an effort to regain its leadership position in the fast-growing data storage market. According to reports in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, IBM seeks to challenge market leader EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) with higher performance systems at significantly lower prices.

IBM describes its new product, code named Shark, as a new box containing new technology that can transfer data faster than its competitors' models and IBM's other offerings. The company claims that Shark can store more information than any of its rivals -- from 420 gigabytes to 11 terabytes, or more than the printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. Its list price ranges from $0.44 to $0.51 a megabyte.

The move is a blow to Storage Technology (NYSE: STK), which has supplied IBM with storage systems for the past three years and relies on IBM for about 15% of its revenue. IBM said it will continue to sell StorageTek products, at least until their agreement expires at the end of next year.

News to Go

Disk drive and storage products maker Quantum Corp. (Nasdaq: QNTM) announced that its shareholders approved the company's initiative to replace its existing common stock with two separate tracking stocks that will trade on the New York Stock Exchange instead of Nasdaq starting today. The two tracking stocks will reflect the performance of the company's two primary business units, the hard disk drive group and the DLT and storage systems group, which will trade under the tickers "HDD" and "DSS" respectively. Current shareholders will get one share of the DLT and Storage Systems Group stock and half a share of he Hard Disk Drive Group stock for each Quantum share.

Internet address registrar Network Solutions (Nasdaq: NSOL) plans to launch a new online business directory today, according to The Wall Street Journal. The free service will be called the "dot com directory" and will include the 1.8 million businesses that have an Internet address registered with Network Solutions. The company plans to make money by selling advertising.

U.K. drug company Shire Pharmaceuticals Group (Nasdaq: SHPGY) will acquire Eatontown, N.J.-based Roberts Pharmaceutical Corp. (AMEX: RPC) in a deal valued at around $1 billion, or $30.71 a share. That represents a 23% premium over Roberts' closing price Friday of $25. Roberts shareholders will receive between 1.0427 and 1.2802 Shire American depositary shares for each Roberts share.

Philip Morris (NYSE: MO) is testing a new menthol version of its Marlboro brand in an attempt to win over menthol smokers, the majority of whom are black or Hispanic, The Wall Street Journal reported. The tobacco company is expected to test the new cigarette, called Marlboro Mild, in Pittsburgh and Atlanta beginning this fall. Wrapped in deep blue packaging, Marlboro Mild is formulated to deliver more tar and nicotine than Marlboro Lights but less than Marlboro Medium.

More Foolishness

Don't miss the Fool's Midyear Review 1999. We cover AT&T and the battle for broadband, Internet stocks, Winners and Losers, and more... Shipping giant UPS makes TMF Puck's wish come true by announcing plans to go public and letting her talk to the CEO... Check out a StockTalk interview with the CEO of DoubleClick.

Also, check out the Lunchtime News at 12:30 p.m. for updates on the top stories of the day, and remember to start each business day with Breakfast With the Fool at 9 a.m.

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Yi-Hsin Chang (TMF Puck), Writer
Jennifer Silber (TMF Amused), Editor