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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Autobytel, Autoweb, E-Loan, TheGlobe.com and Veritas

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, E-Loan, TheGlobe.com and Veritas Software.

  • Autobytel.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL)

    The online car dealer should see some action Friday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter, losing $4.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $12.4 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 32 cents a share in the quarter.

    Autobytel.com shares closed up 1/16 to 12 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $12.4 million in sales represents a 70 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $3.9 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $7.3 million.

  • Autoweb.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AWEB)

    Much like Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, losing $8.4 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $11.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 36 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, Autoweb.com shares closed up 1/16 to 10 1/2.

    "This year was important for Autoweb.com," said CEO Dean DeBiase in a prepared release. "We experienced record traffic in the fourth quarter, which grew more than 76 percent over the prior quarter."

    For the year, Autoweb.com lost $18.2 million, or 56 cents a share, on sales of $32.8 million compared to a loss of $12.4 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $13 million in fiscal 1998.

  • E-Loan Inc. (Nasdaq: EELN)

    E-Loan might finally revive its floundering stock price Friday after it slipped past Street estimates in its fourth quarter, losing $11.8 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $7.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected the online mortgage broker to lose 31 cents a share in the quarter.

    E-Loan shares closed off 13/16 to 15 15/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $7.7 million in sales represents a 155 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $3.9 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $3 million.

    In the quarter, purchase mortgage fundings grew to 63 percent of total mortgage fundings, an increase from just 4 percent of total mortgage revenues in the first quarter. The auto portion of E-Loan's product line contributed 32 percent of overall revenues during the fourth quarter.

    For the year, E-Loan lost $39.9 million, or $1.08 a share, on sales of $22.1 million compared to a loss of $9.9 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $6.8 million in fiscal 1998.

  • TheGlobe.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TGLO)

    Stephan Paternot and Todd Krizelman, co-CEOs, will be stepping aside. The company said it is looking for a CEO and named Dean Daniels, a former CBS exec, as chief operating officer.

    Theglobe.com saga is a tale of how quickly the tide can turn on the Internet. Theglobe.com made a big IPO splash, but now has been reduced to an afterthought.

    On Thursday, it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter, losing $11.1 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $6.4 million.

    Analysts were expecting it to lose 48 cents a share in the quarter.

    TheGlobe.com shares inched up 5/8 to 9 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $6.4 million in sales marks a 131 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.5 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $2.8 million.

  • Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS)

    Veritas figures to take off Friday after it easily surpassed analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, raking in $50.7 million, or 18 cents a share, on record sales of $226.2 million. It also announced a 3-for-2 stock split.

    First Call consensus expected the developer of storage management software to earn 15 cents a share.

    Veritas shares closed up 5/8 to 157 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $226.2 million in sales represents an 80 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $23.9 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $126 million.

    For the year, Veritas pocketed $146.7 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $700 million compared to a profit of $69.8 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $410 million in fiscal 1998.

    The 3-for-2 stock split marks the company's third split in the past six months. It split 3-for-2 in November and 2-for-1 in July.