Symantec Shares Hacked by Earnings Warning

Consulting downturn hurts Korn/Ferry; Ann Taylor and Gap slip as retail climate weakens; plus other stocks in the news

Symantec Corp. (SYMC ) is trading sharply lower after cutting its Q1 guidance to $0.39-$0.47 Q1 cash EPS on sales of $225M-$235M. S&P maintains buy. Salomon SB downgraded. Lehman says avoid shares.

Merrill downgraded Korn/Ferry International (KFY ) to near-term reduce from neutral, and maintains its long-term accumulate rating.

Gap Inc. (GPS ) says its goal is to reduce positions by 5%-7% from year-end levels; reserve costs in Q2, with the likely range of $10M-$20M pre-tax. Robertson Stephens and JP Morgan downgraded.

Robertson Stephens downgraded Ann Taylor (ANN ) and Men's Wearhouse (MW ) to market perform from buy.

Fluor (FLR ) Merrill downgraded to near-term reduce from accumulate, and maintains long-term neutral.

Silicon Valley Banc (SIVB ) sees $0.45-$0.50 Q2 core EPS, and says the decrease is due to a continuing decline in deposit balances. Dain Rauscher downgraded to buy from strong buy.

UBS Warburg downgraded AFLAC Inc. (AFL ) to hold from strong buy.

CS First Boston upgraded Mesa Air Group (MESA ) to buy from hold.

Charles River Lab (CRL ) is trading lower after filing to offer eight million shares.

Merck (MRK ) lowered its $0.77-$0.79 Q2 EPS and $3.12-$3.18 2001 guidance, citing a negative foreign-exchange impact and lower Vioxx sales. Analysts expected Merck to report $3.20 EPS for 2001. DB Alex. Brown and Tucker Anthony downgraded. S&P upgraded to accumulate from hold.

Micron Technology (MU ) posted a $0.50 Q3 loss from continuing operations (including a pre-tax inventory write down) vs. $0.50 EPS on 47% lower sales. S&P and Lehman cut estimates.

Schering-Plough (SGP )says new FDA inspection reports indicate ongoing, additional deficiencies concerning compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices at Schering-Plough's New Jersey and Puerto Rico facilities.

Manugistics Group (MANU ) posted $0.03 Q1 EPS vs. an $0.01 loss (adjusted) on a 78% revenue rise. Merrill and DB Alex. Brown downgraded. CS First Boston cut estimates.

Research In Motion (RIMM ) posted $0.05 Q1 EPS vs. breakeven on a sharp revenue rise.

Datalink Corp. (DTLK ) expects Q2 revenue to be about $26M-$30M, and sees a loss of $0.06-$0.11.

Darden Restaurant (DRI ) posted $0.50 vs. $0.43 Q4 EPS from operations on a 6.9% sales rise.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY ) posted $0.10 vs. $0.08 Q1 EPS on 4.4% higher same store sales, and 25% higher total sales. S&P maintains accumulate. Lehman says Bed Bath & Beyond remains its top pick.

Banc of America downgraded General Motors (GM ) to underperform from market perform.

Merrill reportedly downgraded Williams Communications (WCG ) to near-term neutral.

DMC Stratex Networks (STXN ) sees a lower than expected $0.04-$0.08 Q1 loss from operations on $75M-$80M revenue, citing customer delays in network buildouts and internal organizational changes.

Tektronix (TEK ) posted $0.37 vs. $0.32 Q4 EPS, and sees a 15%-20% Q1 sales decline. S&P maintains hold.

Cyberoptics ( CYBE ) expects near or at breakeven Q2 net (excluding goodwill, amortization) on revenues of about $11M-$11.5M, and says a major OEM customer told the company to suspend shipments during the first two months of Q3.

Metro-Goldwyn (MGM ) sees a $30M-$35M Q2 EBITDA loss, and a $0.27-$0.29 per share loss on $265M-$270M sales. MGM says two theatrical releases did not meet expectations.

Due to a problematic retail environment, Kenneth Cole (KCP ) sees $0.17- $0.19 Q2 EPS on sales of $81M-$83M.

Georgia Gulf (GGC ) says lack of demand in vinyl resins and aromatics will cause a Q2 loss of up to $0.10 per share.

Cutter & Buck (CBUK ) posted $0.03 vs. $0.55 Q4 EPS on slightly lower sales, and narrowed gross margins, and expects flat to very modest sales growth for fiscal 2002.

Midway Games (MWY ) says it is discontinuing its coin-operated videogames business in light of declining demand.

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