Investors this morning didn't take too kindly to a company warning about flat and lower sales. Casella Waste Systems' (CWST) - Get Report shares were punished 5 13/16, or 41.7%, to 8 1/8 after it warned investors it expects to post third-quarter earnings between 11 cents and 13 cents a share, greatly missing the six-analyst estimate of 23 cents. Casella sees its fourth-quarter earnings at roughly 15 cents a share, also falling below the three-analyst estimate of 26 cents a share.

Bebe

(BEBE)

lost 1 7/8, or 14.6%, to 10 15/16 after it yesterday warned investors of flat or slightly negative same stores sales growth for the March quarter. The women's retailer posted a 2.5% negative same-store sales growth in January and said February sales have been flat so far.

TSC's

own Katherine Hobson wrote about Bebe's woes

in a story last week.

Elsewhere, a group of IPO's were showing serious strength out of the gate. (See Offerings and Stock Actions below).

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Aetna's

(AET)

chairman and CEO, Richard Huber, at a board meeting today, is expected by Wall Street to move ahead on the idea of selling part of the company to boost Aetna's stock price,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. Aetna fell 3/4 to 39 13/16.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

gained 1 1/4 to 44 7/8 after it offered to shed all of

Atlantic Richfield's

(ARC) - Get Report

Alaskan assets, a move that could avoid a showdown in court with the

Federal Trade Commission

,

USA Today

reported. Earlier this month, the FTC said it will seek a preliminary injunction in federal court to prevent the merger of the two oil companies. Atlantic Richfield rose 3 1/16, or 5.9%, to 68 1/8.

In response to several news reports, drugstore chain

CVS

(CVS) - Get Report

said this morning "it does not intend to purchase"

Rite Aid's

(RAD) - Get Report

PCS Health Systems

, Rite Aid's pharmacy benefit management division. Reports today said CVS could pay between $800 million to $1 billion for the business. CVS lost 11/16 to 36 5/16, while Rite Aid dropped 1 7/8, or 20.8%, to 7 1/8.

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

slipped 2 5/6, or 1.6%, to 135 after it said it has entered a global business deal with

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

. Deutsce Telekom dropped 2 5/16 to 88 1/4.

As

Mirage Resorts

(MIR)

contemplates a response to an unsolicited $3.4 billion bid for it by

MGM Grand

(MGG)

, some casino companies also are thinking about making offers for Mirage,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

The newspaper reported that

Park Place Entertainment

(PPE)

and

Harrah's Entertainment

(HET)

are both thinking about making a move to acquire Mirage. Mirage moved up 1 3/16, or 8.4%, to 15 3/8, MGM Grand slipped 3/8 to 41 1/16, Park Place Entertainment rose 3/8 to 11 1/8 and Harrah's rose 1/4 to 20 3/16.

Pacific Life Insurance

on Wednesday submitted a "shareholder-based proposal" to the board of

Prison Realty Trust

(PZN) - Get Report

"to invest in and restructure" the company. Pacific Life said the proposal "would involve additional value, less dilution and potentially higher returns for existing shareholders" than the pact Prison Realty currently has with

Fortress Investment Group

,

The Blackstone Group

and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

. Prison Realty Trust popped 15/16, or 25.4%, to 4 5/8 and Bank of America inched up 1/16 to 44 7/8.

Under the plan involving Fortress, Blackstone and Bank of America, the group would purchase $315 million in securities and commit to buy an additional $35 million in securities in a newly configured concern that would be created through the merger of Prison Realty and the companies operating under the name

Corrections Corporation of America

. That plan was announced in late December. Pacific Life said it owns about 4.5 million shares of Prison Realty.

Vical

(VICL)

jumped 9 1/4, or 16.2%, to 66 1/2 and

Human Genome Sciences

(HGSI)

dropped 5 to 213 1/16 after the companies said they have agreed to a deal with

Vascular Genetics

to make pharmaceuticals that use novel genes to treat diseases. The pharmaceuticals would combine Vical's DNA delivery technology and novel genes in Human Genome's database, along with other Vascular Genetics products.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Intuit

(INTU) - Get Report

shed 12 13/16, or 17.7%, to 59 7/16 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share excluding charges, in line with the 15-analyst estimate but a penny lower than the year-ago earnings. Intuit, which makes personal finance software, said U.S. tax returns filed via the Web were up fivefold from last year and also said it was on track for 20% operating income growth over fiscal 1999.

Internet Capital Group

(ICGE)

dropped 9 3/8, or 7.8%, to 109 3/4 after it reported a fourth-quarter loss of 9 cents a share, compared with year-ago earnings of 2 cents. The stock was trading down before the open following remarks by the company that it sees losses in many quarters for the foreseeable future, and volatility in quarterly results based on e-commerce interests.

VA Linux

(LNUX)

was sliding 10 3/4, or 8.6%, to 114 after it posted a second-quarter pro forma loss of 36 cents a share, wider than the four-analyst expected loss of 21 cents and the year ago loss of 26 cents. The company went public in December with a record-setting first-day percentage gain of almost 700%. Despite the increased loss, revenue rose more than six fold to $20.2 million from $3.17 million, the company said.

Terex

(TEX) - Get Report

dropped 3 3/8, or 19%, to 14 3/8 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.04 a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate.

Offerings and stock actions

Credence Systems

(CMOS)

climbed 5 7/8, or 5.1%, to 121 1/4 set a 2.3 million-share secondary offering at $115 a share.

Credit Suisse First Boston

priced a 4.4 million-share offering for

Digitalthink

(DTHK)

at $14. Digital Think was jumping 10 3/8, or 74.1%, to 24 3/8.

Evercel

(EVRC)

said it set a 2-for-1 stock split. Evercel gained 4, or 8.7%, to 49 1/2.

Flextronics

(FLEX) - Get Report

gained 1 3/32 to 62 5/16 after it set an 8.6 million-share secondary offering at $59 a share.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

priced a 5.4 million-share IPO for

Hotel Reservations

(ROOM)

at $16 a share. Shares were popping 9 1/4, or 57.8%, to 25 1/4.

First Boston and

Merrill Lynch

priced a 20 million-share IPO for

Intersil

(ISIL)

at $25 a share. Intersil was lately soaring 20, or 80%, to 45.

Analyst actions

Banc of America

rolled out coverage of

Art Technology

(ARTG)

with a buy rating and a price target of 180. Art Technology slumped 7 13/16, or 5.3%, to 137.

Credit Suisse First Boston raised its earnings estimates on

Applied Micro

(AMCC)

and set a price target of 300. Applied Micro shot up 21, or 8.5%, to 266 1/4.

Goldman Sachs

raised its fiscal 2001 earnings estimate on

Autodesk

(ADSK) - Get Report

to $2.00 a share from $1.80. Autodesk popped 2 1/8, or 5.1%, to 43 3/16.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

upgraded

Bausch & Lomb

(BOL)

to strong buy from buy. Bausch & Lomb declined 1/16 to 59 1/8.

Warburg Dillon Read

rolled out coverage of

Crown Castle International

(TWRS)

with a strong buy rating and set a price target of 50. The firm also gave

Pinnacle

(BIGT)

a buy rating and

American Tower

(AMT) - Get Report

with a hold rating.

Crown Castle bounced 1 1/2 to 33 5/8 and Pinnacle hopped 4 1/2, or 8.3%, to 55 1/4, while American Tower skidded 3/16 to 42 13/16.

Goldman initiated coverage of

Checkfree

(CKFR)

with a market outperform rating. Checkfree climbed 2 7/8 to 91 7/16.

First Boston upped

Dallas Semiconductor's

(DS) - Get Report

price target to 85 and reaffirmed the buy rating on the stock. Dallas Semiconductor's edged up 2 5/16 to 75 5/16.

Salomon Smith Barney

recommended that investors use

DoubleClick's

(DCLK)

recent weakness to added to their positions. DoubleClick jumped 10 1/8, or 12.3%, to 92.

Lehman Brothers

raised

Eaton's

(ETN) - Get Report

price target to 130 from 115. Eaton skidded 5 9/16, or 7.1%, to 72 7/16.

Credit Suisse First Boston raised its rating on

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

to buy from hold. Gap lifted 2 1/16 to 45.

DB Alex. Brown upgraded

Foundry Networks

(FDRY)

to strong buy from buy. Foundry Networks leaped 13, or 10.7%, to 134.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

Integra LifeSciences

(IART) - Get Report

with a buy rating. Integra LifeSciences tacked on 1/4 to 15 1/2.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

lifted its price target on

Kent Electronics

(KNT)

to 45 from 35. Kent Electronics bounced 4 7/16, or 14.6%, to 34 1/4.

US Bancorp Piper Jaffray

rolled out coverage of

LookSmart

(LOOK)

with a strong buy rating and set a price target of 94. LookSmart advanced 3 1/4, or 8.6%, to 42 3/8.

Merrill Lynch

analyst Joe Osha reiterated buy ratings on

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

,

CNBC

reported. Micron Technology popped 2 9/16 to 72 11/16 and Intel tacked on 5/16 to 114 5/8.

Merrill initiated coverage of

MyPoints.com

(MYPT)

as a near-term accumulate, long-term buy. MyPoints.com fell 1 7/8 to 50.

Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown

upped

Oxford Health Plans

(OXHP)

to strong buy from buy. Oxford Health tacked on 1/4 to 15.

US Bancorp Piper Jaffray raised its rating on

Sylvan Learning

(SLVN)

to buy from neutral. Sylvan Learning was off 19/32 to 15 1/8.

First Boston reinstated coverage of

USInternetworking

(USIX)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 100. USInternetworking hopped 8 13/16, or 14.1%, to 71 1/4.

Lehman Brothers upgraded

Western Wireless

(WWCA)

,

Sprint PCS

(PCS)

and

Triton PCS

(TPCS)

. Western Wireless bounced 4, or 8.3%, to 50 7/8.

Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of

Wit Capital

(WITC)

with a market outperform rating. Wit Capital advanced 1 3/8, or 10%, to 15 1/8.

Miscellany

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

Ford

(F) - Get Report

and

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

said they have entered a joint venture that would consolidate their Internet supply businesses into one We portal. The supply network would be available to auto makers and their suppliers, and dealers. General Motors climbed 1 3/8 to 76 5/8, Ford lifted 1 3/16 to 43 11/16, and DaimlerChrysler rose 2 11/16 to 64 5/8.

Sotheby's Holdings

(BID) - Get Report

is acting quickly to resolve potential criminal and civil exposure in regard to alleged price-fixing in art auctions, the

Journal

reported. Sotheby's is in settlement talks with the

Justice Department

and held a meeting last week with plaintiffs in civil cases who claim they were overcharged in commission because of the alleged conspiracy, the newspaper reported. Sotheby's added 1 1/8, or 6%, to 19 5/8

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

, written by Gene Marcial, offers up bullish stories on

America Online

(AOL)

, whose stock for the most part has been under severe pressure since announcing its planned get-together with

Time Warner

(TWX)

last month, and another positive piece on

Source Information Management

(SORC)

.

Elsewhere, Marcial writes, citing an investment banker familiar with the situation, that

CBS

(CBS) - Get Report

, which is being bought by

Viacom

(VIA) - Get Report

, is understood to be interested in buying a big stake in

SFX Entertainment

(SFX)

.

AOL rose 1/8 to 60 1/8, while Time Warner was unchanged at 86 3/8.

The Heard on the Street column in the

Journal

takes a look at the recent bond trading of

Pimco

, which it said provided the spark for the bond market's recent turmoil. With the

Treasury Department

planning to sell fewer 30-year Treasury bonds going forward, and with the

Fed

raising interest rates, notable Pimco bond fund manager William Gross got an idea that proved to be quite profitable, the column said.

Because of those factors, Gross' idea was that the long bond could rally dramatically, while prices for shorter-dated Treasuries and riskier corporate and mortgage-backed bonds could remain depressed, according to the column. In a series of giant trades devised by Gross, his $180 billion portfolio bought huge amounts of long-term Treasuries and sold off mortgage bonds, surprising traders who expected Treasuries to remain depressed and roiling the market, the column stated. The column said Gross' strategy scored $200 million in profits.