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STOCKS TO WATCH: Adobe, Oracle, Red Hat and Verity

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Adobe Systems, Oracle, Red Hat and Verity.

  • Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE)

    Adobe Systems should move higher Friday after it easily hurdled analysts' estimates in its third quarter, pocketing $78.3 million, or 61 cents a share, on sales of $328.9 million. It also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the desktop publishing software developer to earn 52 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 9/16 to 125 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $328.9 million in sales represents a 26 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter, when it earned $57.3 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $260.9 million.

    Company officials said the company is now targeting gross profit margins of 93 percent in the fourth quarter and throughout fiscal 2001. Operating margins are expected to come in around 31 percent.

    The 2-for-1 stock split will take effect Oct. 24 for all shareholders of record on Oct. 2.

  • Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL)

    Oracle shares will be worth watching Friday after the database software developer easily topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter.

    Oracle raked in $501 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $2.26 billion.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of only 13 cents a share in the quarter.

    It also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

    Oracle shares closed up 3 1/8 to 84 15/16 ahead of the strong earnings report.

  • Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT)

    Red Hat also beat the Street in its second quarter, losing $1.9 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $18.5 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 2 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1 1/8 to 25 1/4 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $18.5 million in sales represents a 76 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.3 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $10.5 million.

    On a reported basis, Red Hat lost $15.7 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter.

  • Verity (Nasdaq: VRTY)

    Verity figures to move higher Friday after it topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter, raking in $7.2 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $31.3 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 14 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 1/8 to 42 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $31.3 million in sales marks a 58 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $3.2 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $19.8 million.

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