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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Amazon, AOL and Juniper Networks

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, America Online, Juniper Networks, Larscom and MindSpring Enterprises.

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)

    Internet giant Amazon.com said on Thursday it named Joseph Galli as its president and chief operating officer.

    The e-commerce company said Galli would report to Amazon.com's founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, who is relinquishing his title as president. The position of chief operating officer is newly created.

    Galli comes to Amazon.com from Black & Decker, where he served as the president of Black & Decker's Worldwide Power Tools and Accessories unit, a $3.1 billion business.

    In Amazon's first quarter conference call, Bezos said the company was light in its management ranks and needed to beef up to managed the company's growth.

  • America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL)

    First all the PC makers want to become online services. That's wacky enough. But now AOL is reportedly interested in making AOL-branded PCs.

    According to an MSNBC report, the world's No. 1 Internet access company is in talks to produce PCs in conjunction with Microworkz Inc., a manufacturer of inexpensive computers.

    MSNBC also said a source familiar with the talks says AOL is interested in buying Microworkz outright.

    For its part, Microworkz denied acquisition talks, but did confirm talks related to its $199 iToaster machine. See the Microworkz full statement.

  • Juniper Networks Inc. (Proposed ticker: JNPR)

    Here's an initial public offering that already has momentum. When Juniper Networks does finally open get ready for a huge run-up.

    The network-equipment maker priced its IPO at $34 a share late Thursday, well above the $28 to $30 a share price it was bumped to Thursday afternoon.

    The 4.8 million-share offering is being underwritten by Goldman Sachs.

    Of the 4.8 million shares being offered, 2.8 million are being sold by existing shareholders. Crosspoint Venture Partners is selling about 1 million shares with Nortel selling 1.8 million.

    In regulatory filings, Juniper said it wants to take advantage of its technological headstart, while growing distribution and its product line.

    Revenue has jumped significantly from $3.8 million in 1998 to $10 million for the first quarter ending March 31. The net loss for 1998 was $31 million and $6.67 million in the first quarter.

    As of March 31, 1999, the had an accumulated deficit of $49.8 million.

  • Larscom Inc. (Nasdaq: LARS)

    Network-equipment maker Larscom has fallen on some really bad times of late, but it did name Lawrence Milligan as its new chairman Thursday.

    Milligan replaces Paul Graf who has resigned effective this morning.

    Milligan has been a member of Larscom's board since November 1998. He retired after 38 years of service from The Procter & Gamble Company in March 1998. At Procter & Gamble he was Senior Vice President responsible for the Company's worldwide sales and customer business development.

    Larscom shares closed unchanged at 2 9/32 Thursday.

    The stock moved up to a 52-week high of 7 5/8 last June before falling to a low of 15/16 in October.

    First Call consensus expects it to lose 3 cents a share in its second quarter and 4 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPG)

    What's going on with MindSpring? From the reaction of its stock and the comments it's making to the media, it's clear the Internet service provider is close to either merging with or acquiring another company.

    Its shares closed up 3 ? to 82 1/8 Thursday.

    Company officials said it was ``in discussions regarding possible business combinations'' and was mulling them and other alternatives.

    ``The company does not intend to comment further unless these or other discussions result in a definitive agreement,'' the statement said.

    MindSpring has more than 1 million subscribers and rivals EarthLink Network Inc (Nasdaq: ELNK) for the No. 4 spot among U.S. Internet service providers.

    MindSpring shares rose $5 on Wednesday, boosted in part by a Wall Street Journal report that computer maker Gateway Inc. was in talks to buy EarthLink.

    Maybe Gateway's interested in MindSpring? Or maybe there's a chance that MindSpring and EarthLink will get together?

    MindSpring shares moved up to a high of 133 in April.