Updated from 2:39 p.m. EST

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

announced last night that it expects third-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 22 cents a share -- below analysts' expectations. The company said its October same-store sales fell 2% in October and were 8% lower for the entire third quarter.

According to the 26-broker opinion compiled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, the Street was anticipating Gap earnings of 23 cents per share.

Prudential Securities

cut the company's 2000 EPS estimate to $1 from $1.11 and its 2001 EPS estimate to $1.35 from $1.50.

TheStreet.com

wrote more on the company's quarter in a

storyyesterday. The Gap closed today up $2.69, or 11%, to $27.13.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

The recently merged

Terra Lycos

(TRLY)

, which just started trading under that name and ticker Tuesday, said Lycos Europe would buy Paris-based Web site

MultiMania

for $191 million.

Yesterday, European analysts initiated buy ratings on the stock, saying the company was going to be a winner in Europe.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated the stock with a buy rating Tuesday. Terra Lycos closed today up $1.81, or 7.9%, to $24.81.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

October same-store sales numbers were released today for a number of companies.

Big discounters

Costco

(COST) - Get Report

and

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

both posted increases of about 5%.

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

saw an increase of 9.5% and

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

discount stores units' sales rose 4.1%.

Costco closed up 44 cents, or 1.2%, to $36.19; Wal-Mart was up $1.75, or 3.8%, to $48.44; Kohl's was up 44 cents, or 0.8%, to $55.50; and Target closed up 81 cents, or 2.95%, to $28.38.

Department stores gave mixed reports:

Neiman Marcus

(NMG.A)

,

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

and

May

(MAY)

posted increases, while

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

and

Dillards

(DDS) - Get Report

said sales were down.

Neiman Marcus finished up the day higher by $1.38, or 3.8%, to $37.69; Federated was higher by $1.75, or 5.4%, to $33.94; May was higher by $2.06, or 7.8%, to $28.38; J.C. Penney was up 69 cents, or 6.1%, to $11.94; and Dillards was up 69 cents, or 6.1%, to $11.94.

Also, clothes retailers

AnnTaylor

(ANN)

and

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

reported declines, but

Talbots

(TLB)

,

Gymboree

(GYMB)

and

Limited

(LTD)

all saw sales increase.

AnnTaylor closed up $5, or 17.3%, to $33.94; A&F was up 13 cents, or 0.5%, to $24.44; Talbots was up $7.44, or 9.4%, to $86.75; Gymboree was up 69 cents, or 7.7%, to $9.66; and Limited was up $1.94, or 7.8%, to $26.81.

J.C. Penney said October sales for its departments stores open at least a year fell 2.6% and warned that it expects its third-quarter loss to at least double, to a range of 10 cents to 15 cents.

First Call/Thomson Financial's

current 12-analyst estimate was for a loss of 5 cents.

The company, the fifth-largest U.S. retailer, said last month's same-store results were hurt by soft department store and catalogue sales. Also, it said that while its department stores sales fell, drugstore division Eckerd's same-store sales jumped 8.4% for the month.

Women's clothes retailer AnnTaylor said that even though October same-store sales were down 3.4%, it still sees its third-quarter earnings coming in above estimates.

The company said it's expecting earnings of 78 cents a share, a penny better than the First Call/Thomson Financial 16-analyst estimate. AnnTaylor said same-store sales fell in October, but the month's total sales jumped 9.1% and third-quarter net sales rose 12.3%.

AmeriSource

(AAS)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 53 cents a share, in line with the 13-analyst estimate and up from year-ago earnings of 45 cents a share. The stock closed down $3.31, or 7.5%, to $40.81.

Charter Communications

(CHTR) - Get Report

reported a loss of 93 cents a share, which is wider than the two-analyst estimate of a loss of 90 cents. Comparable year-ago figures were unavailable because of acquisitions.

TheStreet.com

wrote more about the

loss in a separate story. Charter closed down 69 cents, or 3.3%, to $20.13.

PSINet

(PSIX)

posted a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss of 95 cents a share, excluding items and charges. The 15-analyst estimate had expected a loss of $1.28 a share, but PSINet's year-ago loss was 68 cents. But the company's shares fell anyway after it warned that fourth-quarter results would not meet expectations and that COO and President Harold Wills had resigned as part of a reorganization.

TheStreet.com

wrote further about its announcements in a

separate story.

Also,

Merrill Lynch

cut its rating on the company to long-term neutral from buy. PSINet closed down $3.80, or 56.4%, to $2.94.

After Wednesday's Close

Charles River Laboratories

(CRL) - Get Report

waltzed by analysts' views by reporting third-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share, as opposed to the Street's 8-cent estimate, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company also said it is comfortable with its fourth-quarter earnings estimates of 7 cents to 8 cents a share. Charles River closed down $1, or 3.9%, to $24.50.

GSI Lumonics

(GSLI)

beat estimates by a penny last night when it reported earnings of 17 cents a share, vs. the 16-cent analyst estimate by First Call/Thomson Financial. The Canadian laser-system maker reported that it had earnings of $7.2 million on revenues of about $98 million. During the year-ago quarter, the company said it earned 6 cents a share on profits of $6 million. GSI closed down $2, or 13.7%, to $12.63.

Read-Rite

(RDRT)

announced a pro forma loss of 25 cents during its fiscal fourth quarter, easily topping the 39 cent loss expected by three analysts, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company, which makes magnetic recording heads and head-stack assemblies for storage device manufacturers, also said that it expects to return to profitability during the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Read-Rite closed down 31 cents, or 3.97%, to $7.56.

Shaw Industries

(SHX)

reported earnings of 31 cents a share for the third quarter. First Call had forecast 51 cents a share. However, the company said it had about $63 million in nonrecurring charges during the quarter, which detracted about 30 cents from its earnings. Shaw closed flat at $18.63.

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Analyst Actions

WorldCom's

(WCOM)

woes continue with negative actions by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

and

Goldman Sachs

. Morgan Stanley cut it to outperform from neutral and Goldman slashed its 2000 EPS estimate to $1.60 from $1.83 a share and 2001 EPS estimate to $1.45 from $1.90 a share. WorldCom closed down $1.38, or 7.3%, to $17.56.

Beazer Homes

(BZH) - Get Report

: UP to buy from hold at

Credit Suisse First Boston.

Beazer ended the trading day up 88 cents, or 3.1%, to $29.

Genzyme

(GENZ)

: UP to buy from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

. Genzyme closed up $6.75, or 9.2%, to $80.

Global Marine

(GLM)

: UPPED intermediate-term rating to buy from accumulate at Merrill Lynch; 2000 EPS UP to 64 cents from 60 cents and 2001 EPS estimate UP to $1.50 from $1.40. Global Marine closed down $1.06, or 3.6%, to $28.19.

Foundation Health Systems

(FHS)

: UP to attractive from neutral at

PaineWebber

; price target: $23.50. FHS closed up 50 cents, or 2.5%, to $20.69.

Pharmacia

(PHA)

: UP to buy from market perform at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

. The stock closed up 56 cents, or 0.98%, to $58.

Ryland Group

(RYL)

: UP to buy from hold at CSFB; 12-month price target: $41 to $42. Ryland closed up $2.81, or 8.5%, to $36.

Downgrades

Aon

(AOC)

: DOWN to market performer from buy at

J.P. Morgan

. Aon closed down $7.44, or 18.3%, to $33.19.

AstroPower

(APWR)

: DOWN to market perform from market outperform at Goldman Sachs; and DOWN to long-term attractive from buy at

Robertson Stephens

. AstroPower closed down $5, of 10.7%, to $41.88.

CareScience

(CARE) - Get Report

: DOWN to market perform from strong buy at Alex. Brown. CareScience closed down $1.31, or 43.8%, to $1.69.

Ingersoll-Rand

(IR) - Get Report

: DOWN to neutral from attractive at

Bear Stearns

; 2001 EPS estimate DOWN to $3.90 from $4.20. The stock ended the day down 88 cents, or 2.3%, to $36.88.

Nortel

(NT)

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at

SG Cowen

. Nortel closed down $1.38, or 3.1%, to $42.63.

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Offerings and stock actions

Aeroflex

(ARXX)

said its board set a 2-for-1 stock split. Aeroflex closed up $3.06, or 5.1%, to $63.13.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

will postpone consideration of the initial public offering of its proposed integrated circuits and system software business spinoff until January, citing unfavorable market conditions.

Qualcomm said it received a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service that the proposed spinoff should be a tax-free distribution to Qualcomm and its shareholders, provided it is executed in accordance with the representations made in the ruling request. The record date for the spinoff hasn't been set. Qualcomm stockholders would receive common shares of the integrated circuits and system software company. Qualcomm closed up $1.31, or 2.1%, to $62.81.

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Miscellany

The money management unit of

Charles Schwab

(SCH)

,

U.S. Trust

, said Jeffrey Maurer, its current COO and president, will replace Marshall Schwarz as CEO, effective Jan. 1.

Schwarz will stay on as chairman. Maurer, who has been with the firm since 1970, will be succeeded as president by Vice Chairman Maribeth Rahe. Schwab closed up 38 cents, or 1.1%, to $35.13.

The

World Wrestling Federation

(WWF)

, which recently shook the canyons of lower Manhattan when it switched from the Nasdaq to the NYSE, said it will post a charge of $7 million from the settlement with wrestler Owen Hart's family. Hart was killed in an accident during a performance.

Terms of the agreement call for the WWF to receive a full release from any further liability in the case. The charge of $7 million, which will be recorded for the quarter ended Oct. 27, is the net of its insurance recoveries. The company retains the right to pursue contribution and indemnity from the companies that manufactured and sold the equipment involved in the accident. WWF closed flat at $15.

After Wednesday's Close

ECC International's

(ECC) - Get Report

shares should be delisted, says a statement from the

New York Stock Exchange. The company, which provides training materials, does not meet the exchange's listing criteria, the NYSE said. The stock will be halted Monday. ECC closed down 6 cents, or 1.8%, to $3.50.

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