Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Cabletron Systems, Excite@Home, Exodus Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Metricom and Microsoft.
Cabletron has agreed to sell its Internet-equipment business to Efficient Networks (Nasdaq: EFNT) in an all-stock deal valued at about $860 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said Cabletron will receive 13.5 million shares of Efficient. Efficient closed at 63 3/4 Friday. Cabletron's move might spark another round of takeover speculation.
The company, which provides Internet access through cable-TV lines to almost 1 million homes, said it plans to establish a tracking stock for its Internet media assets. Excite@Home's new tracking stock will be governed by a separate board of directors.
The provider of Internet system and network management solutions will see plenty of action Monday after company officials announced a 2-for-1 stock split after the bell Friday.
Exodus officials said the split will be in the form of a stock dividend and will occur on or after Dec. 14 for shareholders of record as of Nov. 30. Under terms of the split, shareholders will receive one additional share for each share held.
Exodus will have an estimated 170 million shares outstanding after the split.
Exodus shares closed off 5 1/2 to 101 1/2 Friday. Its shares peaked at 111 7/8 last week after trading at a paltry 8 1/8 last November.
H-P said late Friday it had authorized the repurchase of up to $2 billion worth of its outstanding common stock.
Company officials said it okayed $1 billion for its "systematic share-repurchase program," meant to offset dilution caused by employee stock plans. That amount included about $700 million left over from earlier authorizations.
Hewlett-Packard also gave an additional green light to a different plan to buy back up to $1 billion in common stock on the open market or in private transactions. About $750 million was remaining from a previous plan, it said, but gave no further details on the programs.
It could also suffer from a Barron's report Sunday suggesting that the bulk of its recent fourth-quarter earnings surprise was derived from lower taxes rather than improving margins or sales.
H-P shares closed off 11/16 to 93 5/8 Friday.
Metricom filed on Friday to sell from time to time up to $1.2 billion in debt securities and common stock.
The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital spending, according to the shelf registration filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company manufactures Rocochet mobile data service that allows users to access the Internet and electronic mail without telephone modems.
Metricom shares closed off 1 3/8 to 52 3/4 Friday.
Microsoft shares closed up 1 1/16 to 86 Friday but took off in after-hours trading after U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson announced he has appointed a mediator in the landmark Microsoft antitrust trial after the markets closed on Friday.
Jackson appointed Richard Posner, chief judge of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, to serve as mediator. The move gives new life to speculation that a settlement may be reached in the case.
Microsoft shares quickly moved up to $90 a share on the Island ECN.
Reuters contributed to this report.