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STOCKS TO WATCH: Ariba, DoubleClick, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday’s most actively traded issues: Ariba, DoubleClick, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard.

  • Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA)

    Ariba will be on the rise Friday after it beat the Street in its first quarter and raised estimates for the second quarter and the rest of fiscal 2001.

    The B2B software developer earned $14 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $170.2 million, beating the consensus estimate by 3 cents a share.

    The company, which helps companies move their purchasing process online, said its net loss was $347.6 million or $1.48 a share, compared with a loss of $10.3 million or 7 cents a share in first quarter of 2000.

    It now expects second-quarter earnings to be 6 cents per share on revenue in the range of $180 million to $185 million.

    For the fiscal year 2001, it is forecasting earnings of 25 cents to 26 cents per share on revenues of $780 million to $790 million.

    Ariba shares closed up $3.31 to $43.38 ahead of the earnings report before moving up

  • DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK)

    DoubleClick will be active Friday after it topped its own reduced estimates in the fourth quarter and essentially left its lowered guidance for fiscal 2001 alone.

    The online advertising and services firm earned $216,000, or breakeven on a per share basis, on sales of $132.3 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus lowered its original estimate from a profit of 3 cents a share to a loss of 2 cents a share following its December profit warning.

    Ad server sales improved to $61.5 million, up 114 percent from the year-ago quarter. It served more than 185 billion ads in the quarter, up from 77 billion ads in the same period last year.

    Company officials said ad server sales were especially strong in Asia.

    Its media sales, essentially advertising sales to traditional and so-called “new economy” companies, came in at $60.4 million, up 19 percent from the year-ago quarter but down 6 percent sequentially.

    DoubleClick’s data services business improved 5 percent from the year-ago quarter to $17.8 million.

    CEO Kevin Ryan was upbeat about 2001, saying DoubleClick will continue to grow its technology and data services businesses while relying less and less on advertising sales.

    DoubleClick shares closed off $1.19 to $11.25 ahead of the results before moving up to $12.94 in after-hours trading.

  • Gateway (NYSE: GTW)

    It could get ugly for the PC maker Friday after it announced a fourth-quarter loss of $94.3 million, or 29 cents, on sales of $2.37 billion a week ahead of schedule and announced it will cut at least 3,000 jobs.

    Oh by the way, it cut its 2001 forecast—again.

    Analysts had been expecting Gateway to earn 37 cents a share, excluding charges, on sales of $2.64 billion.

    In regular trading Gateway shares gained $2.96 to close at $22.90. In after-hours trading, the shares slipped to about $20.

    In the fourth quarter of 1999, Gateway reported a profit of $126 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $2.55 billion.

    CFO John Todd said in a conference call that much of the shortfall came from even weaker-than-expected consumer sales, which also led to the lower operating earnings.

  • Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP)

    H-P will be worth watching after it warned that it will miss analysts’ first-quarter estimates for all the same reasons that virtually every other technology company has warned of this quarter.

    It now expects to earn between 35 cents to 40 cents a share in the quarter, below the First Call Corp. consensus estimate of 42 cents a share.

    CEO Carly Fiorina said consumer spending has been even lower than the company had expected, “and our enterprise customers -- responding to the growing economic uncertainty -- have become increasingly cautious about (information technology) spending.”

    H-P shares closed up 63 cents to $32.38 ahead of the news.