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Tech Industry

Informix said to "outperform"

While Informix and Vtel are given the brush, Fore Systems and Advanced Fibre Communications attract analysts' interest.

Informix downgraded to "outperform"
Informix (IFMX) was downgraded by Smith Barney analyst Andrew Roskill to "outperform" from "buy."

The company's stock traded down at 17-11/16 from yesterday's close of 18-5/8.

"The company has yet to demonstrate its ability to rapidly solve sales execution issues," said Roskill in a report. He added: "Recent sales management changes could take time to produce improved sales visibility." Roskill lowered his earnings per share estimates to 82 cents a share from 97 cents a share for 1997, and to 82 cents a share from 90 cents a share for 1998. He added that Informix is well positioned in the industry, but improved year earnings per share growth are not likely until second half of 1997.

Earnings raised for Advanced
Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC) had its earnings estimate raised by Hambrecht & Quist analyst Joe Noel to 74 cents a share from 68 cents a share for fiscal 1997. Noel also raised his revenue projection to $234.7 million from $203.1 million.

The company's stock was up 1-1/2 from yesterday's close of 42.

"The numbers were raised because they came in with a strong December quarter," said Noel's research associate Reginal King. He also explained that the company's March quarter is on track and that domestic sales, which usually experience a seasonal downturn during the spring quarter, are being offset by "stronger than normal international sales."

The company is about to ship a new component to their ATM broadband backplane. "We expect that this will increase their revenues going forward," added King.

The new feature will allow the telecom carriers to cater to many different types of services, such as ATM, ISDN, and ADSL, based on a single platform as the carriers see demand for these services. "We believe that this feature will be difficult for AFC's competition to match," said the analyst, reiterating a "strong buy" for the company.

Fore gets "buy"
Fore Systems (FORE) was upgraded by Deutsche Morgan Grenfell analysts Noel Lindsay and Erik Suppiger to "buy" from "accumulate."

The company's stock was trading as high as 34, up from yesterday's close of 32-1/2.

Worldcom announced a $300 million plan to expand its capacity over the next six months, and "Fore will supply ATM switches for backbones, validating its entry into the market for wide-area ATM switches," the analysts said in a statement.

Vtel is downgraded
Vtel (VTEL) was downgraded by Cowen & Company analyst James Kedersha to "neutral" from "buy."

The company's stock lost almost five percent, from yesterday's close of 7-7/8.