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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Great Plains Software, Silicon Labs and 3Com

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Great Plains Software, Silicon Labs and 3Com.

  • Great Plains Software (Nasdaq: GPSI)

    Hard to predict how investors will react to Great Plains Software's fourth-quarter results.

    It did beat analysts' reduced estimates by a couple cents a share Tuesday, earning $1.6 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $59.6 million.

    Its shares closed off 5/8 to 19 13/16.

    First Call Corp. consensus predicted it would earn 7 cents a share in the quarter.

    Earlier this quarter, Great Plains warned that sluggish sales would result in lower-than-expected sales and earnings.

    At the time, company officials said it would earn between 5 cents to 10 cents a share.

    The $59.6 million in sales marks a 48 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $4.6 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $40.1 million.

    For the year, it earned $13.3 million, or 80 cents a share, on sales of $195 million.

  • Silicon Laboratories (Nasdaq: SLAB)

    Silicon Labs shares should get boost after Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) said it has withdrawn its patent infringement lawsuit against the company.

    The lawsuit, which was withdrawn before Silicon Labs could file a response, was originally filed in the U.S District Court for the District of Massachusetts on May 22.

    Austin, Texas-based Silicon Labs said Analog withdrew its counter-suit following a communication from Silicon Labs explaining that the asserted patent claim was invalid and that there was no infringement on the part of Silicon Labs.

    Its shares closed off 4 1/4 to 52 Tuesday.

  • 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS)

    3Com will be heavily traded Wednesday after it checked in with a fourth-quarter loss of $146.8 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $763.7 million.

    A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. predicted the network-equipment maker would lose 44 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, 3Com shares closed off 1 11/16 to 48 11/16.

    Last quarter, 3Com announced an ambitious restructuring plan that would result in an operating loss in the quarter.

    This quarter's results also marks the first quarter it has not include the results from its Palm Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM) spin-off.

    Company officials braced the Street for this quarter's lackluster results, predicting sales of between $675 million to $750 million and an operating loss of between $450 million to $500 million.

    While the $763.7 million in sales was slightly above its previous estimate, it still represents a 38 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $88 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $1.23 billion.

    In the fourth quarter, 3Com's sales of personal connectivity products such as network interface cards and broadband modems fell 26 percent from the year-ago quarter to $410 million.

    Sales of its network systems products, which include hubs, switches and LAN telephony gizmos, fell 48 percent from the year-ago quarter to $353.7 million.