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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Compaq, Egghead.com, MindSpring and Marimba

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Compaq, Egghead.com, Marimba, MindSpring Enterprises, Mylex and TheStreet.com.

  • Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ)

    Compaq will be hopping Wednesday after its second-quarter earnings hit the wire shortly after the opening bell.

    After warning of a certain loss this quarter, First Call consensus now expects the PC maker to post a loss of 11 cents a share in the quarter.

    Last quarter, it earned 16 cents a share. Analysts are expecting Compaq to rebound a bit in its second half and post a profit of 29 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    Its shares closed up 7/16 to 25 3/8 Tuesday.

  • Egghead.com Inc. (Nasdaq: EGGS)

    Egghead.com reported a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Tuesday, losing $10.5 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $40.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected the online software retailer to lose 42 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $40.6 million in sales represents a 37 percent improvement versus the year-ago period when it lost $12.8 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $29.5 million.

    Earlier this quarter, Egghead.com announced it would merge with Onsale Inc. (Nasdaq: ONSL) in a stock swap valued at $400 million.

    In the quarter, Egghead.com said logged more than 1 million customer accounts.

    The stock, which is rated a "buy" by four of the six analysts covering it, peaked at 40 1/4 in November. In October, it was trading at a paltry 4 5/16.

    First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.66 a share in the fiscal year.

  • Marimba Inc. (Nasdaq: MRBA)

    Marimba met analysts' estimates in its second quarter Tuesday, losing $1.5 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $6.9 million.

    First Call consensus pegged the Mountain View, Calif. company for a loss of 8 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $6.9 million in sales was an 87 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.2 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $3.7 million.

    In the quarter software licensing sales grew to $4.9 million, up 56 percent from the $3.2 million it recorded in the year-ago period. Service revenue jumped 272 percent to $2 million versus $526,000 in the year-ago quarter.

    Gross profit margins settled in around 88 percent, down slightly from 89 percent in the second quarter of 1998.

  • MindSpring Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPG)

    MindSpring topped analysts' estimates in the second quarter, but don't expect much profit growth over the next few quarters.

    In results released after market close Tuesday, the nationwide Internet service provider posted net income of $7.5 million, or 11 cents a share, excluding amortization costs. First Call's survey of 10 analysts predicted a profit of 9 cents for the quarter ended June 30.

    Second quarter revenue rose to almost $85.7 million, a 39 percent gain sequentially and a 242 percent increase year-over-year. MindSpring's customer base increased to nearly 1.23 million customers, up from almost 1.16 million at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter customer total includes 55,000 Web hosting clients, up from 47,000 in the previous quarter, and 3,000 dedicated Internet access accounts.

    Including acquisition-related amortization costs, MindSpring lost $7.1 million, or 11 cents a share. The second quarter was the first full quarter of writedowns related to the purchase of Netcom earlier this year.

  • Mylex Corp. (Nasdaq: MYLX)

    The computer-storage device maker agreed to be acquired by International Business Machines Corp.(IBM) for about $240 million in cash, a premium of 17 percent over Mylex's closing price Tuesday. MYLX rose 1/4 to 10 1/4.

  • TheStreet.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TSCM)

    TheStreet.com reported a second-quarter loss of $6.8 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $3.3 million.

    First Call consensus expected TheStreet.com to lose 37 cents a share in the quarter.

    Excluding some charges related to executive compensation, TheStreet.com lost $6.2 million, or 30 cents a share.

    On the bright side, the $3.3 million in sales represents a 192 percent jump versus the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.7 million, or 61 cents a share, on sales of $1.1 million.

    In the quarter, advertising sales jumped to $1.7 million, a 197 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it recorded sales of $586,000.

    Subscription sales grew to $934,000, a 108 percent gain versus the $448,000 it recorded in the same period last year. At the end of June, TheStreet.com had a subscription base of 66,000 users.

    As far as traffic is concerned, TheStreet.com said it averaged 1 million unique visitors in the quarter, up from 661,000 in the first quarter.