Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: ADC Telecom, Agilent Technologies, Ciena and Novell.
Keep an eye on ADC Telecom Friday after it posted a profit of $84 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $544.6 million in its first quarter.
First Call consensus expected the maker of telecommunications software and equipment to earn 17 cents a share in the quarter.
Its shares raced up 3 1/2 to a 52-week high of 45 1/8.
In the year-ago quarter, ADC Telecom earned $57 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $404.3 million.
In the quarter, the company's broadband connectivity sales improved 52 percent to $267 million from $175 million in the year-ago quarter. Broadband access and transport sales jumped 21 percent to $169 million.
Agilent will get its fair share of action Friday after it easily hurdled analysts' estimates in its first quarter, raking in $131 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $2.2 billion.
First Call consensus expected Agilent to earn 22 cents a share in the quarter.
The $2.2 billion in sales marks a 26 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $74 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $1.8 billion.
More impressive, Agilent officials said it now expects total sales growth of around 20 percent in fiscal 2000. It had expected sales to grow 13 percent to around $9.4 billion but it now predicts fiscal 2000 sales of around $10 billion.
Since spinning off from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) in November, Agilent shares have rallied from a low of 39 13/16 in November to a high of 83 earlier this month.
Ciena figures to take off after it met Street estimates in its first quarter, earning $9.1 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $152.2 million. Its shares closed off 4 1/8 to 113 9/16 ahead of the earnings report.
First Call consensus expected Ciena to earn 6 cents a share in the quarter.
The $152.2 million in sales marks a 52 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.9 million, or a penny a share, on sales of $100.4 million.
Company officials also announced that it had received a "substantial purchase order" for long-distance optical transport equipment from a new undisclosed customer that will result in a substantial jump in shipment during the second quarter.
Ciena said it expects these shipments will contribute materially to its sales and earnings in the second quarter, assuming its able to execute on the order.
France's Alcatel (NYSE: ALA) is in talks to buy Canada's Newbridge Networks Corp. for more than $6.5 billion in stock, according to people familiar with situation cited in Friday's Wall Street Journal.
The deal, which could be announced as early next week, would further Alcatel's strategy to update its technology through acquisitions, in order to keep up with networking giants such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Lucent (NYSE: LU). Last year, Alcatel bought U.S. data networking companies Xylan Corp., Assured Access Technology Inc. and Internet Devices Inc.
The miraculous rebirth of Novell continued Thursday when it met Street estimates in its first quarter, earning $45 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $316 million.
Revenue from Novell's flagship directory-enabled NetWare software gained 6 percent year-over-year to $154 million in the first quarter. Directory-enabled services applications generated 10 percent growth to $80 million. Services revenue grew 37 percent to $50. Older, pre-directory product revenue went up 4 percent to $32 million.
U.S. revenue rose to $166 million, up 6 percent from the year ago period. Revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa picked up 6 percent to $99 million. Asia Pacific revenue increased 22 percent to $27 million. Non-U.S. Americas revenue rose 72 percent to $25 million.
Its shares closed up 2 5/16 to 43 1/16 ahead of the earnings report.