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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Amazon.com, i2 Technologies, Quokka and SeeBeyond

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday’s most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, i2 Technologies, Quokka Sports and SeeBeyond.

  • Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN)

    The online retailer will be on the move Tuesday after announcing its closely watched fourth-quarter sales improved more than 40 percent to $960 million. However, that’s still about $40 million below most analysts’ expectations.

    “This holiday season customers purchased record amounts from our electronics, kitchen and tools stores,” said CEO Jeff Bezos in a prepared release.

    Gross profit for the quarter is expected to exceed $210 million, a surge of more than 140 percent. Operating loss is expected to be less than 7 percent of net sales.

    First Call Corp. consensus expects Amazon.com to lose 26 cents a share in the quarter.

    The stock closed up 38 cents to $14.94 before surging up to $16.33 in after-hours trading.

  • i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO)

    The B2B software maker will be on the rise Tuesday after it told investors that its fourth-quarter sales and operating income will easily top analysts’ estimates.

    Its shares closed up $1.19 to $41.94 ahead of the news.

    Company officials now expect to record fourth-quarter sales of at least $370 million, well above the First Call Corp. consensus estimate of $343 million.

    It also sees operating income “strongly exceeding” analysts’ estimates of $51 million in the quarter.

    Licensing sales for the quarter and the fiscal 2000 are expected to more than double from the year-ago period mainly on the strength of its e-business software sales.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged i2 for a profit of 8 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

    “It looks like more good news and I expect there will be even more good news from B2B guys this quarter,” said Bob Johnson, an analyst at ABN AMRO. “I think a lot of companies had use-it or lose-it ultimatums in their budgets and they used it.”

    i2’s sales for fiscal 2000 are now expected to eclipse the $1.1 billion threshold.

  • Quokka Sports (Nasdaq: QKKA)

    Things won’t be as rosy for Quokka Tuesday after it warned that its fourth-quarter loss will be wider than expected while sales in the quarter will fall well short of analysts’ estimates.

    Quokka Sports said it now expects sales between $8.5 million to $9 million in the quarter, below the $11.9 million most analysts’ had predicted.

    Company officials said the fourth-quarter loss will fall somewhere between $19.5 million to $21.5 million, excluding one-time charges, rather than the $14 million to $15 million it had previously anticipated.

    Its shares finished up 3 cents to 63 cents a share ahead of the warning.

    Company officials blamed delays in the timing of sponsorships and other agreements for upcoming events including the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season.

    “Looking ahead, our exciting business opportunities give us confidence in an uncertain marketplace,” said CEO Alvaro Saralegui in a prepared release. “We are developing new sponsorship products and continuing to improve operating efficiencies as we focus our efforts on achieving profitability and position ourselves competitively in the sporting events we plan to cover in 2001.”

    Quokka will report its fourth-quarter results Jan. 25.

    Last quarter, it posted a loss of 19.8 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $16 million.

  • SeeBeyond (Nasdaq: SBYN)

    SeeBeyond will also be on the move Tuesday after it followed i2 Technologies’ lead when it said its fourth-quarter sales will top analysts’ estimates and that its loss will be smaller than expected.

    SeeBeyond shares closed off 41 cents to $7.50 ahead of the news before picking up 6 cents in after-hours trading.

    The B2B software developer said it expects fourth-quarter sales of between $40 million to $42 million, well above the $36 million expected by most analysts.

    It’s also predicting a loss of between 6 cents to 8 cents a share in the quarter, slightly better than the 10-cent-a-share loss currently predicted by a First Call Corp. consensus.

    Company officials said licensing sales in the quarter will come in between $26 million to $27 million in the quarter, higher than the $21 million it previously expected.

    SeeBeyond also raised its sales forecast for the 2001 fiscal year to $200-$210 million, up from a previous forecast of $175-$180 million and said it now expects to break even in the second quarter of 2001, earlier than had been projected.

    Last quarter, it lost $9.9 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $31.3 million.