Merrill Lynch

took a sizable chunk off its earnings and revenue estimates for

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

today, citing the company's backed-up inventory.

Shares of Micron shook off the move and recently rose $1.92, or 5%, to $40.20 in afternoon trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

.

TST Recommends

Merrill analyst Joe Osha cut his 2001 earnings estimate for Micron to $1.42 from $2.86, and slashed his 2001 revenue estimate to $6.2 billion from a previous estimate of $8.2 billion. Micron posted full-year 2000 earnings of $2.52 a share, along with revenue of $7.3 billion. Analysts on average, according to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, expect earnings of $1.67 a share and revenue of $6.7 billion for 2001.

Osha said Micron, a Boise, Idaho, maker of memory chips, has "nearly a quarter's worth of inventory that it needs to take off its balance sheet." Osha also said the company "appears to be offering 128 megabit memories for $4.50 to $4.80," which he said represents "an abrupt decline" from the "mid-$5.00 levels" present in the market.

Osha maintained his buy recommendation on the stock, which was

upgraded by

Prudential Securities

last month.