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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Broadcom, Compaq, LSI and Siebel Systems

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday’s most actively traded issues: Broadcom, Compaq, LSI Logic and Siebel Systems.

  • Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM)

    The high-speed communications chipmaker will be active Wednesday after it topped analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter and raised sales estimates for the first quarter of 2001.

    In the quarter, Broadcom earned $86.7 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $376.1 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 31 cents a share.

    The company estimated revenue growth of between 22 and 23 percent in its current first quarter from fourth quarter levels, citing strong demand for its products. Quarterly pro forma earnings per share were seen at 33 cents a share.

    Chief Financial Officer Bill Ruehle said he expects earnings per share of between $1.50 and $1.60 a share on a forecast revenue increase of 100 percent from the previous full year.

    Broadcom shares finished up $4.63 to $133.44 ahead of the earnings report.

  • Compaq (NYSE: CPQ)

    The PC maker will be worth watching Wednesday after its shares moved up 20 percent in after-hours trading following its fourth-quarter earnings report.

    After closing at $20.05 in the regular session, Compaq shares moved up to $24 a share after the bell.

    Compaq reported a profit of 30 cents a share in the quarter, 2 cents ahead of the 28-cent estimate from Wall Street. Net income came in at $515 million.

    The company also took a previously announced $1.8 billion charge for the CMGI stock it acquired in a swap for AltaVista. Including this charge, Compaq lost 39 cents a share.

    The Houston-based PC maker reported fourth-quarter revenue of $11.5 billion vs. $10.5 billion in the year-ago quarter.

    The company said it's comfortable with the estimated earnings growth rate of 20 to 25 percent for 2001.

  • LSI Logic (NYSE: LSI)

    LSI could be in for some rough trading Wednesday after it met analysts’ reduced estimates in its fourth quarter but warned that it will fall short of estimates in its first quarter.

    The chipmaker said an inventory buildup among its customers combined with a slowing economy will water down sales and earnings in the first half of 2001.

    LSI Logic said that it expects first-quarter sales to fall about 12 percent from the $751 million reported in the fourth quarter -- close to the 15 percent sequential decline that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) warned of in its own first quarter.

    It also expects first-quarter net income of 21 cents a share, well below the 34 cents a share now expected by analysts. It added that first-quarter gross margin -- the percentage of revenue left after subtracting product costs -- would be comparable with the 43.8 percent it had in the fourth quarter.

    LSI shares ended down 94 cents to $24 ahead of the news.

  • Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL)

    Siebel shares will likely take off Wednesday following its blowout fourth-quarter earnings report and an improved outlook for 2001.

    In the quarter, it earned $106 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $581.6 million. It also raised its first-quarter sales estimate and confirmed that it was comfortable with analysts’ estimates for fiscal 2001.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to earn 15 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $536 million.

    Its shares closed up 88 cents to $78.50 ahead of the earnings report but rocketed up to $84.31 in after-hours trading.

    The $581.6 million in sales represents a 111 percent surge from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $39.2 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $275.9 million.

    Siebel told analysts the company was comfortable with fiscal 2001 estimates calling for sales of $2.6 billion, up from $1.8 billion in 2000, and earnings of 67 cents a share, up from 24 cents a share this year.

    “Market conditions for our products appear to be robust heading into 2001,” Siebel said. “We see no evidence of budget cuts or declining demand from our customers. In fact, we see spending increasing substantially mainly because we are perceived as a safe buy in these challenging economic times.”

    During the conference call, Siebel told analysts it will likely surpass the current First Call Corp. consensus sales estimate of $557 million.