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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AT&T, Cisco Systems, Dell, Digital Island, Microsoft and Stamps.com

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: AT&T, Cisco Systems, Dell, Digital Island, Microsoft and Stamps.com.

  • AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T)

    AT&T announced late Friday that the Federal Communications Commission has approved the global joint venture with British Telecom (NYSE: BTY), completing the full regulatory process. AT&T and BT announced plans to form their global venture in July 1998. AT&T shares closed off 3/8 to 43 ahead of the announcement while British Telecom rose 6 3/8 to 177 3/8.

    AT&T shares peaked at 64 1/16 in February.

    Twenty of the 27 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

    Look for Cisco shares to see a ton of volume Monday on rumors the world's largest network-equipment provider might preannounce lower-than-expected first quarter earnings.

    This must sound like blasphemy to Cisco shareholders who have know only upside surprises and multiple stock splits in the past few years.

    Cisco's shares dropped sharply in the last hour of trading once the alleged bad news hit the Street.

    First Call consensus predicts Cisco will earn 23 cents a share in the quarter.

    Cisco shares closed off 2 5/8 to 66 9/16 Friday.

  • Dell Computer Corp.(Nasdaq: DELL) The computer maker outsold longtime leader Compaq Computer Corp. in the third quarter, according to studies by two market-research firms cited in the Wall Street Journal.

    The studies, to be released Monday, show a boom in PC sales led by Dell, with 58% unit-sales growth in the U.S. segment. Compaq only saw its unit shipments rise by 24%, and its market share remained roughly flat at 16%.

    On Friday, Compaq shares dropped 31.25 cents to close at $18.6875, a 52-week low, on concern its third-quarter earnings, due out Tuesday, could show an operating loss.

  • Digital Island Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLD) The Web hosting service said it has agreed to merge with another high-profile Web firm, Sandpiper Networks Inc., in a stock swap valued at $630.5 million.

    In the transaction, which is expected to be announced Monday, shareholders of closely held Sandpiper are to receive 27.4 million shares of Digital stock. Digital's shares closed at $23 Friday, up $1.875.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    The software giant should hop on news late Friday that it will pay $3 billion for a 30 percent stake in British cable operator Telewest Communications Plc.

    The purchase, which still requires regulatory approval, would be Microsoft's second-biggest investment after its related $5 billion investment in AT&T.

    Microsoft agreed to buy the shares in Telewest currently owned by cable operator MediaOne Group Inc. (NYSE: UMG) in May as part of a complex three-way deal under which AT&T would acquire MediaOne for $58 billion in cash and stock.

    Both the AT&T acquisition and the Microsoft investment still require federal approval, which could be a year away. The Microsoft investment in Telewest also requires the approval of the British company's shareholders.

    According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, MediaOne would get 0.05 share of Microsoft for each of the 638.3 million ordinary shares of Telewest it currently owns.

  • Stamps.com Inc. (Nasdaq: STMP)

    Stamps has agreed to acquire closely held iShip.com Inc. for stock worth $305 million, to create a single site for mailing and shipping.

    The combination of the companies' Web sites will give businesses one-stop access to mailing, shipping and tracking services. The deal comes on the heels of Stamps.com's launch of its Internet postal service.

    Reuters contributed to this report.>