Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most heavily traded issues: Allaire, Computer Associates, Dell, InfoSpace and Ticketmaster-CitySearch.
Allaire figures to pick up momentum Thursday after it topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter and set a 2-for-1 stock split.
In the quarter, Allaire pocketed $478,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $18.3 million.
First Call consensus pegged the e-business platform provider for a profit of 2 cents a share in the quarter.
Allaire shares closed up 11 9/16, or 7 percent, to 171 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.
The $18.3 million in sales represents a 164 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4.3 million, or 54 cents a share, on sales of $7 million.
For the fiscal year, Allaire lost $2.6 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $55.2 million compared to a loss of $17.1 million, or $2.20 a share, on sales of $21.4 million in fiscal 1998.
CA topped analysts' estimates by a penny a share in its third quarter Wednesday, earning $425 million, or 76 cents a share, on sales of $1.81 billion.
Its shares closed off 1/8 to 74 9/16 ahead of the earnings report.
First Call consensus expected it to earn 75 cents a share in the quarter.
The $1.81 billion in sales marks a 33 percent improvement versus the year-ago quarter when it earned $354.6 million, or 64 cents a share, on sales of $1.36 billion.
Separately, the company inked a distribution pact with Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT.
Red Hat has agreed to distribute Computer Associate's network management software with its Linux operating system. In addition to software distribution, the deal encompasses marketing and support.
Expect Dell shares to take a beating Thursday after it warned that its fourth-quarter sales and earnings will fall significantly short of analysts' estimates.
Citing an "inconsistent" flow of key semiconductor components, Dell said it will likely post a profit of $430 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $6.7 billion.
First Call consensus expected the PC maker to earn 21 cents a share in the quarter.
Dell shares closed off 1 3/4 to 40 3/8 ahead of the announcement.
It also said a slower-than-expected rebound in sales to corporate and institutional customers related to the Y2K rollover was responsible for the shortfall.
For the year, Dell expects to earn $1.8 billion, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $25 billion.
Last quarter, Dell met lowered estimates after issuing a similar profit warning. In the quarter, it made $483 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $6.78 billion.
InfoSpace.com should gain ground after it cruised past the consensus estimate in the fourth quarter.
After market close Wednesday, the provider of Web portal services reported fourth quarter earnings of $5 million, or 9 cents per fully diluted share, not counting amortization and special charges. First Call's survey of 10 analysts predicted a break-even quarter.
The company earned $3.6 million in non-operating income. InfoSpace's operations earned $1.4 million, or 2 cents per share. Including all items, the company lost $2.7 million, or 3 cents per share.
Fourth quarter revenue grew to $14.4 million, a 250 percent improvement year-over-year and a 41 percent gain sequentially. Wireless services are the fastest-growing segment of InfoSpace's business, followed by merchant services. But InfoSpace's consumer services unit still generates the bulk of the company's revenue.
Ticketmaster-CitySearch will see heavy action after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter, losing $48.9 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $36.4 million.
First Call consensus expected it to lose 60 cents a share in the quarter.
Its shares closed off 13/16 to 42 13/16 ahead of the earnings report.
The $36.4 million in sales represents a 168 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $16.8 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $13.6 million.
For the year, it lost $121.4 million, or $1.59 a share, on sales of $105.3 million compared to a loss of $72.6 million, or $1.16 a share, on sales of $40.2 million in fiscal 1998.
In the quarter, Ticketmaster-CitySearch recorded a 204 percent jump in traffic from the year-ago quarter and 69 percent from the third quarter.