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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: eXcelon, Handspring and Network Associates

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday’s most actively traded issues: eXcelon, Handspring and Network Associates.

  • eXcelon (Nasdaq: EXLN)

    eXcelon gave its investors some bad news after the bell Tuesday, warning that a “weak global economy” and slowing sales to telecommunications and dot-com customers would cause it to miss estimates in its fourth quarter.

    The business-to-business software maker now expects to post sales of between $14.5 million and $15.5 million and a loss of between 23 cents and 26 cents a share.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 4 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed off 44 cents to $2.69 Tuesday.

    As a result of the fourth-quarter adjustment, the company said fiscal 2000 revenues will be in the range of $69 million to $71 million, about 8 percent lower than previously expected.

    The company is expected to post a loss of 35 cents to 38 cents a diluted share, compared with Wall Street's consensus forecast for a loss of 17 cents.

    The company, formerly known as Object Design Inc., is scheduled to report fourth quarter results on Feb. 15.

  • Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND)

    The handheld computer maker will be active after announcing after the bell Tuesday it will acquire Web browser firm Bluelark Systems for up to 450,000 shares of common stock.

    Handspring shares closed off 19 cents to $35.88 Tuesday, placing the possible total value of the deal at more than $16 million.

    The deal is expected to close sometime in the first quarter.

    Bluelark's core product is BlueSky, a Web browser and proxy server system.

  • Network Associates (Nasdaq: NETA)

    Bad news for Network Associates after the bell Tuesday when it warned it will post a loss of between $130 million to $140 million in its fourth quarter due to a backlog in sales inventories.

    Its shares finished off 13 cents to $11.75 ahead of the warning.

    First Call Corp. consensus was looking for a profit of 31 cents a share in the quarter.

    In a statement, the company said the loss excludes noncash interest expense, amortization expense and compensation charges related to employee stock options.

    Network Associates said sales be between $55 million to $65 million because of decisions by key distributors to ``dramatically'' cut inventory levels due to concern over a broader economic slowdown.

    Because of that slowdown and the unpredictability of its distribution channel, the company will shift to recognizing revenue on a sell-through basis, accept distributor returns on software and will leave about $10 million of inventory in its sales channel, the company said.

    It also announced a number of senior management changes, naming Edwin Harper, a company director, chairman, and announcing the resignation of Peter Watkins as president and Prabhat Goyal as chief financial officer.

    Reuters contributed to this report.>