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Tech Industry

THE DAY AHEAD: Stocks to Watch

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: CMGi, Harbinger, National Semiconductor and Phone.com.

  • CMGi Inc. (Nasdaq: CMGI)

    If the early precincts are any indication, CMGi might be in for a big slide Friday. The Internet incubator posted a wider-than-expected operating loss in its third quarter, losing $27.7 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $43.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose only 13 cents a share.

    CMGi shares closed off 3 3/4 to 101 1/2 ahead of the earnings report but fell another 5 points in after-market trading.

    But, as many an Internet analysts will tell you, earnings don't mean a whole lot -- yet.

    The $43.7 million in sales was a 12 percent improvement versus the second quarter when it earned $13 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $38.9 million.

    Third-quarter sales of $43.7 million represent a 141 percent jump versus the year-ago quarter when it made $7.9 million, or 9 cents a share.

    CMGi shares moved up well above $320 a share ahead of a 2-for-1 split in May after trading at just $17 a share in October.

    Eight of the nine analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

  • Harbinger Corp. (Nasdaq: HRBC)

    Harbinger should get some positive spin after saying it expects to meet or beat analysts' estimates in its second quarter.

    Its shares closed off 3/32 to 10 7/16 ahead of the announcement.

    After blowing away analysts' estimates in its first quarter, Harbinger now says sales from its core products and services are continuing to soar.

    Last quarter, it raked in 2.3 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $33.5 million. Analysts had expected a profit of 3 cents a share.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 7 cents a share in the second quarter and 31 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    "The strong growth in core products and services that we realized in the first quarter is continuing in the second quarter," said CEO Tycho Howle in a prepared release.

    It also said its working forecast for the third quarter was ahead of analysts' estimates, which now stand at 9 cents a share, according to First Call.

    Total sales in the second quarter are expected to grow more than 15 percent.

    Harbinger shares moved up to a 52-week high of 25 1/2 in June after falling to a low of 3 1/2 in August.

    Still, nine of the 17 analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

  • National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM)

    The troubled chipmaker met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday but still lost $40 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $486 million.

    Its shares closed up 1 3/16 to 22 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    First Call consensus expected National Semi to lose 24 cents a share in the quarter.

    Including a one-time charge of $688.4 million for dumping the Cyrix processor business, the company lost $783.5 million, or $4.65 a share, in the quarter.

    On the bright side, company officials now expect to return to profitability by the second quarter.

    For the year, National Semi lost $220.6 million, or $1.32 a share, on sales of $2 billion, a far cry from the previous year when it earned $72.7 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $2.5 billion.

    National shares hit a 52-week high of 22 3/4 in May after falling to a low of 7 7/16 in October.

    Last quarter, National lost $27.2 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $500 million.

    In the fourth quarter, National Semi said bookings grew 17 percent from the third quarter and 23 percent compared to the year-ago period.

  • Phone.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PHCM)

    Phone.com Inc. was priced at $16 a share late Thursday for its initial public offering Friday. The stock was originally expected to the hit the trading floor at between $10 to $12 a share.

    Earlier Wednesday, the IPO price range was bumped up to $14 to $15 from $10 to $12 a share.

    CS First Boston is the lead underwriter for the 4 million share offering.