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Tech Industry

THE DAY AHEAD: Stocks to Watch

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Applied Materials, Cirrus Logic, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lycos and Ultradata.

  • Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT)

    The world's largest semiconductor-equipment manufacturer will report its second-quarter earnings Tuesday with analysts expecting a profit of 27 cents a share.

    If history is any guide, Applied should do just fine. It has topped analysts' estimates in each of the last three quarters.

    Last quarter, Applied (chart) earned $52.8 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $724 million. In the second quarter of fiscal 1998, Applied Materials earned $141 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $1.17 billion.

    The chip industry finally seems to be emerging from its slump, with non-Japan Asia leading the way, said Min Pang, analyst with Salomon Smith Barney. Taiwanese companies, in particular, along with South Korea's Samsung, are driving demand for wafer fab equipment.

    Applied shares closed up 2 9/16 to 63 1/4 Monday.

  • Cirrus Logic Inc. (Nasdaq: CRUS)

    The graphics chipmaker won its patent infringement lawsuit against three companies. But it seems too little, too late, since Cirrus has lost a great deal of its stature in the computer graphics market. Shares dropped 1/4 to 7 5/16.

  • Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL)

    Investors are banking on another stellar earnings report Tuesday from Dell. First Call consensus expects the PC maker to earn 16 cents a share in its first quarter.

    Much like Applied Materials, Dell doesn't disappoint too often.

    In the year-ago quarter, it made $305 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $3.92 billion.

    Back in February, Dell shares were battered after it its fourth-quarter earnings report. While it did earn $425 million, or 31 cents a share, the $5.17 billion wasn't quite what Wall Street expected. The $5.17 billion in sales was only a 38 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter.

    Most analysts are convinced Dell will top the Street estimate, mainly due to improved market share at Compaq's expense and an economic rally in Asia.

    Dell shares closed up 2 1/16 to 43 1/4 Monday.

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP)

    Another technology behemoth should see a nice stock improvement Tuesday. H-P easily topped analysts' estimates in its second quarter, earning $918 million, or 88 cents a share, on sales of $12.4 million.

    Company officials credited strong sales in its PC, printer and imaging products for the upside surprise.

    First Call consensus expected H-P to earn 80 cents a share in the quarter.

    "The numbers were very strong," said Stephen Dube, an analyst at Wasserstein Perella Securities in New York. "They're doing well in PCs."

    H-P shares closed up 3 3/16 to 88 Monday before moving up several more ticks in after-market trading.

  • Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS)

    The last big independent Web portal is scheduled to report its April quarter results after the bell today. The First Call Corp. consensus is expecting a loss of 3 cents a share. It should be interesting to see how Lycos fares, since many thought that this quarter's results would be glossed over because of the now failed merger with USA Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: USAI). Shares of Lycos rose 1 3/8 to 108 1/2.

  • Ultradata Corp. (Nasdaq: ULTD)

    The information management software company agreed to be acquired by CFI ProServices Inc. (NYSE: CFI) for $7.50 a share, a 25 percent premium to Monday's close. Ultradata rose 3/4 to 6.

    Eric C. Fleming and Sergio Non contributed to this report.