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The week ahead: Sun sheds some light

Wall Street can expect a light week of trading, but technology investors will closely watch Sun Microsystems' mid-quarter update.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of May 28 through June 1.

Wall Street can expect a light week of trading ahead, but technology investors will closely watch Sun Microsystems' mid-quarter update.

The stock markets will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday in the United States. That may be a relief to investors, who have been on a wild ride during the past few weeks. The second quarter has brought about 18 percent more earnings warnings than the first quarter so far, according to data from earnings tracking firm First Call. Nevertheless, stocks have made gains recently, courtesy of the Federal Reserve's fifth interest-rate cut this year.

On Tuesday, Sun Microsystems is expected to comment on its upcoming fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report in a conference call. Wall Street expects the company to report earnings of 6 cents a share on revenue of $4.59 billion on July 19, according to First Call.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said Sun will most likely say it's comfortable with the current targets. Bernstein's checks suggest that Sun's U.S. business has improved even though inventories are still high, Sacconaghi said.

Vodafone Group will post fourth-quarter results Tuesday. The one analyst who gave a prediction for the quarter expects the wireless phone company to report a profit of 21 cents per share. The company said earlier this month that it would buy British Telecommunications' investments in Japan and Spain.

Other than news from Sun and Vodafone, economic reports will dominate the calendar.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Tuesday, May 29
  • The California ISP Association and Lucent Technologies will kick off their first-ever conference for California ISPs at the Hilton Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, Calif., May 29-May 31. The event will offer executives who run Internet service providers the opportunity to learn and talk about trends in the industry.

  • The Electronic Commerce World 2001 will take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif., May 29-June 1. The conference will focus on how companies can grow and operate in the business-to-business e-commerce sector. Keynote speakers will include BroadVision CEO Pehong Chen and GE Global eXchange CEO Harvey Seegers.

  • Wireless One will take place at the Hilton New York, May 29-June 1. The conference will cover issues related to mobile commerce and wireless technology.

  • EuroFinance will host a conference titled "Treasury Management in the Asia Pacific Region" at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, May 29-June 1. The event is for corporate finance executives who want to explore the best practices for running a company that does business in Asia. Keynote speakers will include Kai Nargolwala, group executive director, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore.

Wednesday, May 30

  • Chipmaker Broadcom will hold its annual shareholders meeting at the Irvine Marriott in California.

  • Telecom services provider McLeodUSA will hold its annual shareholders meeting at the Collins Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

  • XO Communications, a telecom carrier, will conduct its annual shareholders meeting at the Sheraton Premiere Tysons in Vienna, Va.

  • Active Communications International will host Content-Aware Networking at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, May 30-31. The conference will provide information on how IT professionals can design their Web sites and e-business networks to handle various obstacles like heavy Internet traffic and security violations. Participating companies will include Cisco Systems, Inktomi, Nortel Networks and Exodus Communications.

  • The Strategic IT Staffing Conference will take place at the Hilton New York, May 30-31. The event is for tech companies who want to learn more about recruiting and retaining employees.

Thursday, May 31

  • DoubleClick, a provider of advertising services for Web sites, will hold its annual shareholders meeting at 80 Fifth Ave. in New York.

  • Web hosting provider Exodus Communications will host its annual shareholders meeting at the Westin Santa Clara in Santa Clara, Calif.

  • MP3.com, a Web site that distributes music, will hold its annual shareholders meeting at its corporate headquarters in San Diego.

  • Communications equipment chipmaker PMC-Sierra will host its annual shareholders meeting at the Allentown Hilton in Allentown, Penn.

  • The EU Information Society will kick off the e-Mobility 2001 conference at the Congress Hall of Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Goteborg, Sweden. The conference will focus on the effect of mobile communications on citizens of Europe and other continents. Featured speakers will include Johan Siberg, an executive vice president at Ericsson.

  • Microsoft will formally introduce Office XP, a collection of new software for businesses, at the Manhattan Center in New York. Speakers will include Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

Friday, June 1

  • Ingram Micro, a distributor of computer products, will hold its annual shareholders meeting at its offices in Williamsville, N.Y.

Earnings

Tuesday, May 29

  • Ansoft makes software that helps design computer systems. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 19 cents.

  • Vodafone operates a mobile phone network. No estimates were available.

Wednesday, May 30
  • VTEL makes videoconferencing equipment. Per-share estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 18 cents.

  • Alloy Online runs a Web site for teenagers. Per-share estimate for the first quarter: loss of 22 cents.

  • Optio Software develops business administration software. No estimates were available.

  • Tech Data distributes computer products. Per-share estimate for the first quarter: profit of 50 cents.

Thursday, May 31
  • Utilicom makes software for wireless communications networks and equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 9 cents.

  • Finisar makes equipment for computer data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: 0 cents.

Economic Reports

Tuesday, May 29

  • Personal income shows the monthly percentage change in household income from the Commerce Department. This number is expected to rise 0.3 percent for April vs. the previous month's rise of 0.5 percent.

  • The Conference Board will report Consumer Confidence for the month of February. This figure, measured by an index, represents consumer sentiment toward the economy. Economists expect the index to rise to 110.3 for May from April's 109.2.

Thursday, May 31
  • 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 26.

  • The Help Wanted Index for the month of April is a monthly survey by the Conference Board of the volume of help-wanted advertising in major national newspapers. Wall Street uses the index to measure trends in job growth. In March, the index fell 5 points to 66 from the previous month. The index was at 88 during March 2000.

  • Auto and truck sales represents the number of new cars and trucks sold in the United States during May. Analysts expect truck sales to hold steady at 7 million for May and car sales to dip to 6.3 million from 6.4 million.

Friday, June 1
  • Unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed adults, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. This number is expected to be 4.6 percent for May, up from 4.5 percent in April.

  • Hourly earnings is the percentage change in hourly earnings in the private sector as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. Wall Street watchers expect earnings to tick up 0.3 percent for May compared with last month's rise of 0.4 percent.

  • Average workweek for May is the average amount of hours worked per week in the private sector, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. Economists expect the hours worked per week to hold at 34.3 hours, the same as April.

  • Nonfarm Payrolls represents the change in total non-farm employment. Payrolls fell by 223,000 workers in April, and Wall Street expects a decrease of 25,000 for May.

  • The Non-manufacturing NAPM index tracks how many hard goods were bought monthly by purchasing managers in the services industry. Analysts forecast the index to rise to 43.5 percent in May from 43.2 percent in April.

  • Construction spending tabulates the dollar amount of newly completed building structures in a month as reported by the Commerce Department. In March, spending increased by 1.3 percent, and industry observers predict a 0.3 percent increase in April.