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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Amazon.com, drkoop.com and Sprint

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, Drkoop.com, Sprint and Liberty Media.

  • Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN)

    Amazon.com will be very active Monday after company officials vehemently denied a report from a Lehman Brothers bond analysts suggesting the online retailer was on the verge of running out of cash.

    Lehman warned in the report that investors avoid the convertible bonds of Amazon.Com, the world's leading Internet retailer.

    Amazon.com spokesman Bill Curry called the comments ``absolute, pure unadulterated hogwash.''

    ``We are nowhere near running out of cash,'' Curry said. ``Anyone who understands the cash flow dynamics of this business knows this.''

    Curry noted that the company ended the first quarter with more than $1 billion in cash, and expects to become cash flow positive later this year.

    He declined to speculate whether the company would need to raise additional cash before it became profitable.

    Amazon.com shares closed off 8 1/8 to a 52-week low of 33 7/8 Friday.

  • Drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP)

    The sage lives on. Dr.koop.com got $1.5 million in financing from a merchant bank Friday, but the embattled company also said it's going to need more cash to stay afloat.

    Its shares closed up 29/32, or 56 percent, to 2 17/32 Friday.

    It also announced it will extend its branding agreement with co-founder Dr. C. Everett Koop, giving the embattled Internet health company a boost amid job cuts and takeover rumors.

    Company officials said it got a bridge loan with a merchant bank that provides $1.5 million in funding to meet short-term capital needs in advance of a permanent financing which could be in place in the next several weeks.

    The company said that it requires ``significant additional funds to meet its obligations, which will have to be raised through the contemplated permanent financing, or otherwise.''

    Last quarter, drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP) posted a loss of $24.8 million, or 80 cents a share, on sales of $4.7 million.

    Its shares fell to a low of 1 earlier this month after peaking at 45 3/4 in July.

  • Sprint (NYSE: FON)

    Nothing like adding another potential buyer to the mix to spark your stock price.

    Sprint, which was already set to merge with WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM), could be the target of a takeover by Deutsche Telekom.

    The German phone giant would like to buy Sprint if its merger plans fail with WorldCom, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

    Quoting a senior executive from the German national carrier, the Washington Post said Deutsche Telekom wanted to find an American enterprise with a substantial Internet transmission and telephone network.

    Company board member, Jeffrey Hedberg, told the Post Deutsche Telekom also aimed to buy into the fast-growing U.S. market for wireless communications.

    Hedberg declined to say whether Deutsche Telekom would make a bid for Sprint if its $120 billion merger fell through with WorldCom but the Post said he did nothing to dispel the impression that his company would be a natural buyer if Sprint went back on the market.

    Sprint shares closed up 3/16 to 59 13/16.

  • Liberty Media Group (NYSE:LMGa)

    Liberty Media Group is expected to announce plans to become the biggest shareholder in UnitedGlobalCom Inc. (Nasdaq:UCOMA), a European cable TV and telephone company, under a deal valued at about $3.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

    The deal calls for United to acquire most of Liberty's international distribution and programming assets in exchange for $200 million in cash and 75.3 million shares of United's Class B common stock, the newspaper said.

    The arrangement would give Liberty, which already had an stake in United, with a 45 percent ownership. Liberty will also have an 82 percent voting interest, according to the newspaper.