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The week ahead: Amazon faces its critics

As earnings season tapers off, investors will have a chance to see the e-tail giant face questions about its finances at its shareholders meeting.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of May 21 through May 25.

Earnings season is tapering off, but investors will get a few more reports to scope out as they head into the week. They'll also have a chance to see Amazon.com face questions about its finances when the company hosts its shareholders meeting.

Though shareholders meetings are ordinarily dry affairs consisting of a hybrid of number-crunching and PR, Amazon's, scheduled for Wednesday, could bring some interesting sparks.

A group of securities analysts has been meeting over the past few months, urging the company's board members to answer a series of questions about its finances. The agency also questions whether the slate of directors, who have nominated themselves to be re-elected to the board at the meeting, has the experience needed to run the company.

On Tuesday analysts expect Intuit to report earnings of 53 cents per share and revenue of around $435 million when it posts third-quarter results. The quarter is generally a strong one for the maker of financial software, as sales of its tax software pick up.

Other companies in line to issue quarterly reports this week include Agile Software, VA Linux Systems, Nvidia and TiVo.

Investors will also be watching out for statistics on new housing construction and existing home sales, which are general indicators of consumer confidence and economic strength.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, May 21
  • The Cable & Satellite Mediacast takes place in London at the ExCel convention center, May 21-23. The event is geared toward professionals in the entertainment, media, telecommunications and technology industries.

  • ECC 2001 also takes place in London at the ExCel convention center, May 21-23. The conference is for professionals in the broadband communications industry.

  • Apple Computer will kick off its Worldwide Developers Conference at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., May 21-25, with an opening address by CEO Steve Jobs on May 21. The conference is for software developers interested in making software to run with OS X, the company's new operating system, as well as with other Apple products.

  • Giga Information Group will launch its GigaWorld IT Forum at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, May 21-24. The conference will focus on trends in the e-business sector. Keynote speakers include former U.S. President George H. Bush.

  • Forrester will host a Telecom Forum at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., May 20-22. The event will feature exhibits from companies like Genuity and Convergys and keynote speeches from Sycamore Networks CEO Daniel Smith, Yipes Communications CEO Jerry Parrick, Exodus Communications CEO Ellen Hancock, and Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Jupiter Media Metrix will hold its Retailing Forum at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago, May 21-22. The event is for online retailers and will address how to better use the Internet in the retailing industry. Speakers will include Toysrus.com CEO John Barbour.

  • Lehman Brothers will host the Next Generation Wireless Conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, May 21-22. The event will explore trends in the wireless industry. Keynote speeches will feature representatives from Verizon Wireless and Openwave Systems.

  • The Yankee Group will host Mobile Commerce 2001 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in New York, May 21-22. The event will address how people make commercial transactions using wireless devices now and in the future. Keynote speakers will include executives from Fidelity Investments, Nokia, Oracle, Visa International, Sprint PCS and Nextel Communications.

Tuesday, May 22

  • Jupiter Media Metrix will host the Ground Zero conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, May 22-23. The event will focus on trends within the business-to-business e-commerce industry. Featured speakers will include executives from Ingram Micro, Xerox and Boise Cascade.

  • BattleBots will hold its next competition at Treasure Island near San Francisco, May 22-28. The event features homemade robots fighting in elimination-round tournament play for prize money.

  • The Clio Festival will take place at the Loew's Miami Beach Hotel in Miami, May 22-25. The event is the advertising industry's annual award ceremony, which also has a category for online advertising.

Wednesday, May 23

  • Amazon.com will hold its annual shareholders meeting in the Metropolitan Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle.

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will host a public roundtable on the online stock trading business at SEC offices in Washington, D.C. The discussion will focus on the relationship between stock brokers/dealers and Web sites. Acting SEC Chair Laura Unger will host the event, which will also be Webcast live at StreamOnSite.com and will be archived at the SEC's Web site.

  • The Communications Solutions Expo will take place at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., May 23-25. The conference will provide information on communications technology such as wireless, videoconferencing and online training. Keynote speakers will include former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

  • Electronic Data Systems, a consulting company that deals with information technology and computer issues, will hold its shareholders meeting in Plano, Texas. People interested in catching the live Webcast can go to www.eds.com/shareholder.

Thursday, May 24

  • SpamCon will take place at the Canterbury Hotel in San Francisco, May 24-25. The conference is for Internet system administrators, Webmasters, attorneys and e-mail marketing companies to meet and discuss the effects of unsolicited e-mail, or spam, and other forms of e-mail abuse. Participants will include BellSouth, Genuity and RCN.

Earnings

Monday, May 21

  • Crossroads Systems makes software for data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal second quarter: loss of 17 cents.

  • Savvis Communications provides Internet services, such as Internet access and data transport, to businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 63 cents.

Tuesday, May 22
  • Nvidia builds chips for processing graphics. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal first quarter: profit of 39 cents.

  • Computer Associates develops network software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 46 cents.

  • Intuit makes personal finance software like Quicken and TurboTax. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 53 cents.

  • VA Linux Systems produces software for the Linux operating system. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 40 cents.

  • Novell makes network software. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal second quarter: profit of 3 cents.

  • Agile Software makes supply-chain software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: loss of 5 cents.

Wednesday, May 23
  • Deutsche Telekom is Germany's largest phone company and is in the process of acquiring VoiceStream Wireless. No estimates were available.

Thursday, May 24
  • ADC Telecommunications makes equipment for phone companies and other communications service providers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal second quarter: loss of 13 cents.

  • TiVo makes digital video recorders and offers a subscription-based TV service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of $1.23.

Economic Reports

Thursday, May 24

  • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week of May 19.

  • The Commerce Department will release New Home Sales figures, which represents the number of new homes sold in the United States and serves as another measure of demand in the economy. Analysts expect sales to drop to 990,000 in April from 1.02 million in March.

Friday, May 25
  • The Commerce Department will report preliminary Gross Domestic Product numbers for the first quarter of 2001. GDP represents the nation's total output of goods and services. In an advance release, GDP rose 2 percent for the first quarter, an improvement on the fourth quarter's 1 percent rise, but a significant drop from 4.8 percent during last year's first quarter. Final numbers will come out June 29.

  • Orders of Durable Goods represents the percentage change of big-ticket item purchases, such as washing machines and refrigerators, as reported monthly by the Commerce Department. Economists use the number to measure demand in the economy. Wall Street expects orders to fall 3.5 percent in April from the previous month's rise of 3.5 percent.

  • The National Association of Realtors reports Existing Home Sales for the month of April, representing the number of previously built homes sold nationwide. The data indicate the strength of demand in housing and in the overall economy on the premise that the economy heats up as more consumers buy homes, cars and other high-ticket items. Economists expect sales to fall to 5.25 million from 5.44 million in March.