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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AMD, Apple, IBM, KLA-Tencor and Redback Networks

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday’s most actively traded issues: AMD, Apple, IBM, KLA-Tencor and Redback Networks.

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

    AMD will be active after it missed analysts’ estimates by a couple cents a share in its fourth-quarter, earning $178 million, or 53 cents a share, on sales of $1.18 billion.

    Analysts had lowered their estimate to 55 cents a share after the chipmaker warned of weaker sales and earnings earlier this quarter.

    For the fiscal year, AMD earned $793.8 million, or $2.36 a share, excluding a one-time gain from the sale of a business, on sales of $4.6 billion. That compared with a loss of $88.9 million in 1999, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $2.9 billion.

    The stock closed up $1.38 to $18.50 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $19 in after-hours trading.

  • Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL)

    Apple posted a loss of $195 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $1.01 billion, a dramatic decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $183 million, or 51 cents a share, on sales of $2.34 billion.

    Analysts lowered their consensus view to a loss of 65 cents a share following the company’s profit warning earlier in the quarter.

    Apple expects sales of $6 billion this fiscal year, the low end of a range of $6-6.5 billion predicted in December, CFO Fred Anderson told Reuters.

    He said the quarterly results were in line with his previous forecast and that Apple still had more than $4 billion in cash.

    Apple shares closed off 31 cents to $16.81 ahead of the earnings report.

  • IBM (NYSE: IBM)

    IBM slipped past analysts' expectations for fourth-quarter earnings by 2 cents a share.

    Big Blue earned $2.7 billion, or $1.48 a share, compared with $2.1 billion, or $1.12 a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by First Call expected earnings per share of $1.46.

    On a conference call with analysts, CFO John Joyce admitted he didn't have much visibility into 2001, but said IBM was comfortable with analyst estimates for the year. For the first quarter, analysts are expecting a profit of 99 cents a share. For 2001, IBM is expected to report earnings of $4.99 a share on sales of $95.6 billion.

  • KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC)

    The chip-equipment maker joined Novellus Systems (Nasdaq: NVLS) in topping analysts’ estimates in its second quarter. It also raised its sales and earnings estimates for the third quarter.

    After the bell, KLA-Tencor posted a profit of $109 million, or 57 cents a share, topping the Street view by 2 cents a share.

    Company officials said it now expects to earn 58 cents a share in its third quarter, above the current First Call Corp. consensus estimate of 51 cents a share.

    It expects sales of between $570 million to $580 million.

    Its shares closed up $3.19 to $40.38 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $42.25 in after-hours trading.

  • Redback Networks (Nasdaq: RBAK)

    Redback will be worth watching Thursday after it beat analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, posting a profit of $7.8 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $114.6 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 4 cents a share on sales just north of $100 million.

    Redback shares closed up $2 to $48.56 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $114.6 million in sales represents a 339 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $2 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $26.1 million.

    For the fiscal year, Redback pocketed $6.8 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $278 million compared to a loss of $3.8 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $64.3 million in fiscal 1999.

    International sales accounted for 38 percent of total sales in the quarter and improved 123 percent from the prior quarter.

    “Bookings are strong across all product lines,” CFO Craig Gentner said. “We’re projecting sequential revenue growth of 20 percent through the rest of the year.”

    Gentner said the declining gross margins were mainly a result of a shifting product mix, more international customers and a higher mix of large customers.