Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Corel, MP3.com, NaviSite and Read-Rite

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Corel, MP3.com, NaviSite and Read-Rite.

  • Corel (Nasdaq: CORL)

    The Canadian software developer might actually gain ground Friday after detailing the first part of its extensive cost-cutting plans, announcing the elimination of 320 jobs.

    Its shares closed off 7/32 to 5 1/32 ahead of the announcement but moved up fractionally in after-hours trading.

    Investors probably saw this coming in late May, however, when Corel officials said it was looking for investors after its proposed merger with Inprise/Borland Corp. (Nasdaq: INPR) unraveled.

    At the time, Corel said it would need to reduce about $40 million in annual expenses.

    "I wouldn't say this is bad news because the bad news was already out," said Jean Orr, an analyst at BlueStone Capital Partners. "They're a software company. Where else are they going to cut costs other than through layoffs?"

    CEO Michael Cowpland said he plans to not take a salary this year to help cut costs.

    "This was not an easy decision to make," Cowpland said in a prepared release. "After much careful deliberation, the company concluded that these steps were necessary."

  • MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP)

    Online music provider MP3.com said Friday it has entered into a settlement of claims with Warner Music Group under the copyright-infringement suit brought by affiliates of five major record companies.

    Time Warner Inc.'s (NYSE:TWX) Warner Brothers Music Group and MP3.com said they had entered into a North American license agreement for use of Warner Music Group-controlled recordings on some of My.MP3.com's software services.

  • NaviSite (Nasdaq: NAVI)

    The Web hosting and applications services provider should move higher Friday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its third quarter, losing $16.4 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $14.2 million.

    A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. pegged NaviSite for a loss of 39 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, NaviSite shares closed off 13/16 to 54 1/8.

    The $14.2 million in sales marks a 376 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $11.4 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $3 million.

    In the quarter, NaviSite's customer base grew 44 percent, jumping from 196 in the year-ago period to 283. Average annualized sales per customer increased to $201,000 from $187,000 in the second quarter.

  • Read-Rite (Nasdaq: RDRT)

    Read-Rite might finally see some positive movement Friday after resolving its management issues.

    The maker of magnetic recording heads for the hard disk drive industry named Alan Lowe, currently the company's president and COO, as its new president and CEO.

    Lowe will replace Cyril Yansouni who will continue as the company's chairman of the board.

    Company officials said the change in responsibilities will permit Yansouni, in his role as company chairman, to focus on the long-term strategic opportunities available to the company.

    Its shares closed up 1/16 to 2 3/8 ahead of the announcement.