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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Acxiom, DoubleClick, EDS, Symantec

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Acxiom, DoubleClick EDS and Symantec.

  • Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM)

    Acxiom shares are expected to fall Monday after it warned that sales and earnings for the next two quarters will fall short of analysts' estimates.

    Acxiom now expects to earn between 10 cents and 12 cents a share in the fourth quarter on sales of between $250 million and $260 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 36 cents a share.

    Acxiom estimated it could earn between 8 cents and 13 cents per share in the first quarter, below the consensus forecast of 27 cents per share.

    The company said that because of the business environment, it is making changes in contract terms for its AbiliTec software product. In the future, AbiliTec revenue recognition will more closely match cash flow and in general revenue will be recognized on a subscription model or as payments are due.

    Acxiom shares ended up 19 cents to $20.88 Friday.

  • DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK)

    DoubleClick shares will be worth watching Monday after a U.S. judge dismissed all privacy lawsuits against the Internet advertising company Friday, finding its ad serving and data collection practices did not violate any federal laws.

    The decision follows a move by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year to drop an inquiry into the company as part of an agreement in which DoubleClick agreed to revise its privacy statement.

    "We are delighted with the court's decision," said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Ryan in a prepared release. "DoubleClick has always maintained that its business practices are in compliance with the law and this decision confirms that."

    DoubleClick's privacy practices initially came under fire last year, after the company announced plans to link the names of its anonymous users with personal data from one of its database divisions. The plans caused an uproar and were later abandoned.

    DoubleClick shares closed up $1 to $11.56 Friday.

  • EDS (NYSE: EDS)

    U.S. computer services firm Electronic Data Systems Corp. said on Monday it plans to buy its German peer Systematics AG in a stock-and-cash deal valued at about $570 million, adding that the move will double its presence in Germany.

    Plano, Texas-based EDS, which last month agreed to pay $670 million for airline data centers and other technology assets from Sabre Holdings Corp., said it expected the deal to be neutral to its earnings for the remainder of 2001, and add to its bottom line in 2002.

  • Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC)

    The software developer said Friday that it will hit sales targets for the fiscal year even though the economy continues to decelerate.

    Symantec remains confident that it will record revenue of between $1.1 to $1.2 billion this calendar year, said John Thompson, Symantec's CEO said in a briefing at Symantec's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

    "We're not immune to a macroeconomic downturn," Thompson said. "But we think security remains a 'top of mind' issue with executives and IT directors."

    Best-known for its Norton line of antivirus software for personal computer users, more than half of Symantec's revenues come from sales to businesses, the fastest growing area of its business.

    Corporate sales represented 52 percent of Symantec's $219.3 million in revenue for the third quarter, which ended Dec. 29. Enterprise sales were also up 30 percent year-over-year, much faster than the 7 percent growth in consumer sales.

    Its shares finished up $1.56 to $41.81 Friday.

    Reuters contributed to this report. >