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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Check Point, First Data, Inktomi, LSI, NaviSite, Sapient and Viant

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Check Point Software, First Data, Inktomi, LSI and NaviSite.

  • Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

    Check Point's going to be hopping Friday after it stormed past analysts' estimates in its third quarter, raking in $24.7 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $57.7 million.

    The stock closed up 5 1/4 to a 52-week high of 98 1/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    First Call consensus expected Check Point to earn 56 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $57.7 million in sales marks a 64 percent jump compared to the year-ago period when it pocketed $16.9 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $35.2 million.

    "Business was strong in the third quarter as we continued to ride the growth in the Internet, extranet and intranet markets," said CEO Gil Shwed in a prepared release.

    Check Point shares hit a 52-week low of 17 7/8 last October.

    First Call consensus expects it to return a profit of $2.20 a share in the fiscal year.

  • First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC)

    First Data tiptoed past Street estimates in its third quarter Thursday, earning $208 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 billion.

    First Call consensus expected the computer services provider to earn 47 cents a share in the quarter.

    First Data shares closed off 13/16 to 41 1/4 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago period, First Data earned $187 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.28 billion.

  • Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq: INKT)

    Inktomi posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter Thursday, losing $4.9 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $26.2 million.

    First Call consensus expected the Foster City, Calif. company to lose 10 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $26.2 million in sales represents a 217 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $8.5 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of only $8.3 million.

    For the fiscal year, Inktomi lost $24.2 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $71.2 million. That's a 248 percent jump in sales versus fiscal 1998 when it lost $24.5 million, or 63 cents a share, on sales of $20.4 million.

    In the quarter, Inktomi's search engine processed more than 2.9 billion queries, up 20 percent from the third quarter when it handled more than 2.4 billion queries.

  • LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI)

    LSI figures to rally Friday after it blew away analysts' estimates in its third quarter Thursday, raking in $55 million, or 35 cents a share, on record sales of $540 million.

    First Call consensus pegged LSI for a profit of 30 cents a share in the quarter.

    LSI shares closed up 3 1/4 to 50 ahead of the earnings report.

    At this time last year, LSI shares were trading at a paltry $11 a share.

    The $540 million in sales represents a 36 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it earned $23 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $397 million.

    In the quarter, LSI's gross profit margin improved to 39.7 percent, up from 37.2 percent in the second quarter and 34.9 percent in the first quarter.

  • NaviSite Inc. (Proposed ticker: NAVI) NaviSite takes its crack at the IPO market Friday after pricing its offering at $14 a share late Thursday, at the high end of its revised range of $12 to $14 a share.

    NaviSite offer 5.5 million shares of common stock to the public in the offering and has allotted the underwriters an extra 550,000 shares in the event of heavy demand.

    NaviSite said it plans to use the net proceeds from the IPO, now an estimated $64.9 million, to improve and expand its network infrastructure, expand sales and marketing activities including hiring new personnel, enhance application management and technical expertise, for working capital and general corporate purposes.

    The underwriters include Robertson Stephens, Hambrecht & Quist and FAC/Equities.

  • Sapient Corp. (Nasdaq: SAPE)

    The company, which helps companies build software and Internet systems, said its fiscal third- quarter profit was in line with expectations as demand for its services increased. Net income was 29 cents a share compared with a loss of 5 cents a year earlier. Analysts polled by First Call Corp. expected earnings of 28 cents. Sapient fell 5/8 to 101 3/8 at Tuesday's close.

  • Viant Corp. (Nasdaq:VIAN)

    The Internet services consultant reported a surprise profit of $1.6 million more than one-year ahead of the schedule forecast by Wall Street analysts who follow the company.

    Net income of $1.6 million translated into a profit of 6 cents per share compared with a net loss of $1.7 million, or 12 cents per share on a pro forma, fully-taxed basis for the third quarter of last year. Viant had its IPO just this past June.