Updated from 12:37 p.m.

It may be a new quarter, but it's the same old story as the earnings carnage continues.

Software giant

Ariba

(ARBA)

issued a spate of bad news after the market closed Monday, saying that second-quarter results would come in well below previous expectations and disclosing plans to cut about a third of its workforce.

As a result of the difficult economic and market conditions, Ariba and

Agile Software

(AGIL)

have decided to

terminate their proposed merger.

Ariba expects revenue of about $90 million for the second quarter ended March 31. The company projected a loss from operations of about 20 cents a share, excluding certain noncash charges for the quarter. According to

Thomson Financial/First Call

, analysts expect the company to earn 5 cents.

The job cuts will affect 700 workers. Ariba closed down $2.06, or 31.7%, to $4.44; Agile was down 20 cents, or 1.9%, to $10.31.

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Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Mmm, mmm, good news for

Campbell Soup

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, which got approval from the

European Commission

to buy

Unilever's

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European culinary brands unit.

Unilever was unloading the business in order to get regulatory approval for its acquisition of

Bestfoods

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. Campbell closed down 24 cents, or 0.8%, to $29.14; Unilever was down 14 cents, or 0.5%, to $28.80; Bestfoods was flat at $72.94.

Harris

(HRS)

agreed to acquire

Exigent International

(XGNT)

in a cash transaction valued at roughly $23 million.

A unit of Harris will acquire Exigent's 6 million shares outstanding for $3.55 a share. The boards of both companies have approved the merger, and Harris expects to begin a tender offer for Exigent's shares around April 17. The offer requires the approval of regulators and Exigent's shareholders.

Exigent, headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., provides software for satellites, telecommunications and information technology, mainly for government markets. Harris, a communications-equipment company, is also based in Melbourne. Exigent closed up $1.50, or 77.4%, to $3.44; Harris was down $1.55, or 6.8%, to $21.21.

General Semiconductor

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said its board will review

Vishay Intertechnology's

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proposal to acquire the company in a stock swap, but the producer of power semiconductor components remained tight-lipped in a brief statement responding to the offer.

Vishay, which is based in Malvern, Pa., said it would be willing to discuss a cash or cash-and-stock transaction. General Semiconductor, based in Melville, N.Y., said in a statement today that the board would respond to the proposal "in due course."

In February,

TheStreet.com

took a look at the possibility that Vishay might try to make some

acquisition moves in 2001. General Semiconductor closed up 18 cents, or 1.9%, to $9.48; Vishay was down $1.11, or 5.8%, to $17.90.

After Monday's Close

Hercules

(HPC)

, a manufacturer of industrial chemicals, announced that it has sold its peroxy chemicals division to

GEO Specialty Chemicals

for an undisclosed amount. The move is part of a larger plan to downsize the company's operations and reduce debt. Hercules ended the trading day down 48 cents, or 3.7%, to $12.50.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Best Buy

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surpassed estimates in the fiscal fourth quarter and said earnings growth would continue in the new year.

The consumer electronics retailer, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., earned $189.7 million, or 89 cents a share, in the quarter. The 18 analysts queried by

Thomson Financial/First Call

estimated earnings, on average, of 82 cents a share. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, Best Buy earned $163.8 million, or 78 cents a share. The company generated sales of $5.5 billion in the quarter, up from $4.3 billion in the year-ago period.

In fiscal 2000, Best Buy opened 62 new stores and relocated or expanded 10 stores. In the new year, the chain plans to open 60 new locations, including about 20 of its smaller-market stores. Seven stores will be remodeled or relocated.

While consumer spending will remain soft in fiscal 2001, Best Buy executives expected positive results for the year, with earnings of $2.15 to $2.20 a share. The consensus estimate posted on Thomson Financial is $2.07 a share. Best Buy ended the day up $3.26, or 8.9%, to $40.06.

Energy company

Entergy

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, which announced on Monday that it and

FPL Group

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were

axing their $7.6 billion merger plans, said its first-quarter 2001 earnings per share are expected to be 10% to 15% over the high end of current published consensus estimates thanks to a "solid performance in Entergy's competitive businesses."

The Thomson Financial/First Call two-analyst estimate is currently 38 cents a share. Also, Entergy expects operational earnings for the full year 2001 to be in the range of $3 to $3.20, unchanged from its previously issued earnings guidance. The 13-analyst estimate for the full year is currently $3.10 a share.

Entergy plans to release first quarter earnings on April 25.

Yesterday, the company announced financial guidance for 2002, saying it expected earnings in a range of $3.30 to $3.50 a share, which is on track with the current Thomson Financial estimate of $3.40 a share. Entergy closed up $1, or 2.6%, to $39; FPL was up 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $61.46.

ImClone Systems

(IMCL)

lost far more in the fourth quarter than analysts expected as revenue plunged from the previous year.

The biopharmaceutical company lost $33.7 million, or 52 cents a share, in the fourth quarter. Thomson Financial polled five analysts who estimated, on average, a loss of 5 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, ImClone lost $9.1 million, or 17 cents a share.

ImClone, which is based in New York and develops cancer treatments, reported revenue of $153,000, down from $1.1 million in fourth-quarter 1999.

ImClone has worked out a licensing agreement with

Merk KGAA

that will generate about $24 million in revenue for the beleaguered company in the first quarter, executives said. ImClone closed down 94 cents, or 3.2%, to $28.19.

MicroStrategy

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said Tuesday its first-quarter revenue and earnings will fall short of forecasts and that it will cut one third of its work force.

The business intelligence software provider said it expects a loss per share of 31 cents to 37 cents on revenue of $47 million and $51 million. Eight analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting a loss of 30 cents a share. In the year-ago quarter, MicroStrategy lost 45 cents a share.

Executives said a restructuring plan would eliminate 600 employees as the company tries to reach profitability by the end of 2001. MicroStrategy currently employs 1,800 people. The company said the job cuts would come across the board and occur by the end of the second quarter.

In 2000, MicroStrategy, which is based in Vienna, Va., reported revenue of $223.9 million. Revenue for all of 2001 is pegged at $170 million to $180 million, down considerably from a February forecast of a 30% rise in revenue above what was posted in 2000. MicroStrategy closed up 41 cents, or 15.9%, to $2.97.

PSINet

(PSIX)

delayed its annual financial report and will likely seek bankruptcy.

The Internet access provider has hired consultants to value assets in order to finalize financial statements, which it expects to do within the 15-day extension period.

PriceWaterhouse Coopers

is auditing PSINet's statements for 2000. The expected proceeds from the sale of the company's assets will not cover the anticipated cash needs. Even if one or more financial or strategic deals are worked out, PSINet executives remain concerned that the company will run out of cash.

Goldman Sachs

is advising PSINet on possibilities, including a merger or bankruptcy.

TheStreet Recommends

Dresdner Klenwort Wasserstein

is examining ways to restructure the company's debt.

But even with all these joint efforts, PSINet executives see a bleak future. The company, which is based in Ashburn, Va., expects to appear in bankruptcy court. It is also unlikely that PSINet will remain on the

Nasdaq much longer. It closed flat at 19 cents. Hey, it's a buying opportunity!

Williams

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raised its first-quarter outlook by 15 cents a share today, citing the improved performance in its energy trading activities and natural gas exploration and production unit.

The energy company said it now expects first-quarter earnings of 65 cents to 75 cents a share, compared with 30 cents a share in the same period last year, and recurring 2001 earnings of $1.75 to $1.95 a share, up from $1.72 cents a share in 2000. According to Thomson Financial/First Call, nine analysts expect first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, while 15 analysts see 2001 earnings of $1.44 a share. Williams said it plans to report first-quarter earnings on April 26. Williams closed down $3.40, or 7.8%, to $40.15.

After Monday's Close

E-commerce software developer

BroadVision

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sharply lowered its first-quarter guidance, citing the slowing economy and reduced information technology spending, and the company set plans to terminate about 325 workers, or 15% of its workforce. BroadVision closed down $1.53, or 34%, to $2.97.

Inktomi

(INKT)

, a maker of Internet infrastructure software, announced that its second-quarter earnings would come in lower than expected. The company cited the current economic conditions as the cause. David Peterschmidt, the company's president and chief financial officer, said, "Economic conditions in the United States and Europe have declined more quickly than we had initially anticipated, forcing us to take strong cost-cutting measures for the continued health of our business."

The Foster City, Calif.-based company also said it would reduce its workforce by 25% through layoffs and attrition. It projected revenue for the quarter in the range of $36 million to $38 million, well below the $63.35 million estimate published by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Inktomi will report second-quarter results on April 19. The stock closed down $3.43, or 55.1%, to $2.70.

Redback Networks

(RBAK)

announced that it expects to post a first-quarter loss of 15 cents a share, as compared to a profit of 4 cents a share analysts were anticipating. Furthermore, the company said it's cutting 150 employees from its workforce due to current economic conditions and the decline of telecommunications spending.

For the first quarter ended March 31, the networking concern forecast revenue of $85 million to $90 million, well short of the consensus estimate of $132.4 million. The San Jose, Calif.-based company had a top line of $34.2 million in the year-ago period. The company earned a penny a share last year. Redback closed down $1.93, or 16.5%, to $9.77.

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Analyst actions

Lehman Brothers

analyst Steve Levy took a healthy whack at

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

, cutting his rating two notches, dropping the company from strong buy to market perform. Before the move, Levy thought that Sycamore could outperform the overall market by 15% or more -- the highest possible rating -- but now, he thinks the company will pretty much do what the rest of the market does.

Last night, Sycamore rival

Redback Networks

(RBAK)

announced that its first quarter would miss expectations and that it was laying off 12% of its workers. The news does not bode well for Sycamore, which sells optical networking products that speed up performance and widen capacity. Most of the company's clients are telecommunication and Internet service providers, where spending is slowing.

"The bulk of the cutback in service-provider spending should occur in the emerging carrier market, a large component of Sycamore's addressable market, and this poses an above-average threat to the company's ability to deliver on its business plan."

As a result, Levy made the ratings change and cut back his calendar 2001 outlook to sales of $635 million vs. a previous estimate of $778 million. Even more drastic was Levy's cut of 2002 estimates. Instead of booking sales of $1.255 billion, the Lehman analyst expects the company to come in with only $935 million -- 25% less.

Levy doesn't think that Sycamore is going to make as much money from service providers facing a tough economic environment. And unlike last year, when the Nasdaq was untouchable, this is the kind of risk that he'd rather not take.

"This is a suggestion on our part that the risks have risen to a much higher level than we are comfortable with and that near-term catalysts for upward movement of the stock are not likely to be apparent for some time," he wrote. Sycamore closed down $1.63, or 17.99%, to $7.41; see the last item in the Earnings/revenue reports and previews section for more information on Redback.

Loudcloud

(LDCL)

has seen its stock price struggle since it debuted on March 9. In fact, the stock has not closed above the $6.15 it hit on that first day. Maybe today's news that

Goldman Sachs

analyst Matthew Janiga initiated coverage of the company by putting it on the buy list with a price target of $10 will help out a bit. Janiga had nice things to say. Loudcloud closed down 91 cents, or 16.7%, to $4.53.

"The company differentiates itself by using software to automate the integration, deployment and management of complete infrastructure solutions," he wrote in a note to investors this morning. "Loudcloud's automation technology, Opsware, allow for far superior quality, scalability and financial leverage than providers who primarily rely on manual solutions."

Been holding on to those oil service stocks, companies that build the equipment, provide the services and do the drilling in the ever-lovin' search for more black gold? Well, if that's the case, then you've watched in horror as the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Oil Service Index

has dropped about 20% in the last three weeks.

Fear not, however. Terry Darling, an analyst over at Goldman Sachs, said he remains bullish on the sector.

"We remain bullish, given oil industry reinvestment is half of normal levels, strong precedent for group decoupling from commodity prices in earnings-driven phase of the cycle and strong visibility that earnings momentum is building," he wrote to investors this morning.

Downgrades

Entrust Technologies

(ENTU)

: DOWN to market perform from market outperform at Goldman Sachs. Entrust closed down $3.03, or 41.6%, to $4.25.

PurchasePro

(PPRO)

: DOWN to buy from strong buy at

Credit Suisse First Boston

. The stock closed down $2.69, or 41.8%, to $3.75.

Sherwin-Williams

(SHW) - Get Sherwin-Williams Company Report

: DOWN to hold from buy at Credit Suisse First Boston. Sherwin-Williams closed down $5.33, or 20.8%, to $20.31.

Initiations

Catalytica Energy Systems

(CESI)

: NEW market outperform at Goldman Sachs. Catalytica ended the trading day down $1, or 4.9%, to $19.56.

Radio One

(ROIAK)

: NEW buy at Lehman Brothers; price target: $19. Radio One closed down $1.38, or 9.2%, to $13.56.

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Offerings and stock actions

Orbital Sciences

(ORB)

will delay the filing of its annual report with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, in part because the company is trying to determine if the

National Aeronautics and Space Administration's

decision to terminate a launch vehicle contract will have any effect on its financial results. The company's fiscal year ended Dec. 31. Orbital, a maker of satellite systems and launch vehicles, expects to file its annual report with the SEC by April 16.

In addition, the company is continuing with its efforts to complete two major transactions involving the sale of certain noncore businesses. Orbital closed down 70 cents, or 12.3%, to $5.

After Monday's Close

Copier king

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Xerox Holdings Corporation (XRX) Report

on Monday delayed filing its annual report with regulators to review its books.

The Stamford, Conn.-based Xerox has been dogged over the last year by liquidity problems, a botched reorganization and accusations of shoddy accounting, particularly in its Mexican operations. The Securities and Exchange Commission has said it would investigate Xerox's accounting practices in Mexico.

Monday afternoon, Xerox said it believes a fuller review of its financials is "appropriate," given the SEC probe, and that the audit committee of its board started an internal review last week, along with auditor

KPMG

. As a result, the company will file its 10-K as "quickly as possible," though Xerox didn't provide a date. Xerox closed today down $1.05, or 17.5%, to $4.95.

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Miscellany

After Monday's Close

Drug kingpin

Bristol-Meyers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report

named veteran Frederick Schiff its new chief financial officer.

Schiff has worked for the Big Apple-based company for nearly 20 years, most recently as both comptroller and senior vice president of finance. Bristol-Meyers said that current CFO Michael Mee has retired from his post but will work as a consultant for the remainder of the year. The stock closed down $2.75, or 4.7%, to $55.50.

USEC

(USU)

, which produces enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power plants, announced that it will trim its workforce by 526 employees, as it shuts down operations at the

Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

, effective June 1. USEC closed down 15 cents, or 1.8%, to $8.30.

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