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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AT&T, Compaq and PSINet

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: AT&T, Ask Jeeves, Compaq, PSINet and StarMedia.

  • Ask Jeeves Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ)

    Ask Jeeves posted a narrower-than-expected loss in its second quarter Wednesday, losing $9 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $2.7 million.

    First Call consensus pegged the search engine site for a loss of 45 cents a share in the quarter.

    In the year-ago quarter, Ask Jeeves lost $573,000, or 9 cents a share, on sales of only $35,000.

    In June, the stock got off to a fantastic start in its initial public offering, soaring up to a high of 77 13/16.

    First Call consensus expects it to lose $1.46 a share in the quarter.

  • AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T)

    The telecommunications giant will report earnings Thursday.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 48 cents a share in the quarter.

    Last quarter, it made 67 cents a share.

    AT&T shares closed off 1/16 to 54 15/16 Wednesday.

    Its shares peaked at 64 1/16 in February after falling to a low of 32 1/4 in August.

  • Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ)

    The PC maker did manage to beat reduced estimates in its second quarter Wednesday, losing $184 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $9.4 billion.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 11 cents a share in the quarter. Prior to an earnings warning, analysts were expecting a profit of 20 cents a share.

    Compaq said Wednesday it will take a third-quarter charge of between $700 million to $900 million for restructuring. Between 6,000 to 8,000 Compaq employees will soon be looking for work.

    Gross margins fell to 20.5 percent from 24.7 percent as Compaq dealt with the PC industry's ongoing price war.

    Compaq boosted its share of the U.S. market to 16.6 percent from 14.4 percent, according to International Data Corp. Worldwide, Compaq's market share increased to 14.6 percent. The company's commercial channel inventory now averaged 3.5 weeks, compared to 3.9 weeks in the first quarter.

    Shares of Compaq rose 9/16 to 25 15/16 in regular trading prior to the quarterly report.

  • PSINet Inc. (Nasdaq: PSIX)

    PSINet might get some action Thursday after BancBoston Robertson Stephens reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock late Wednesday.

    PSINet shares closed of 3/4 to 52 9/16.

  • StarMedia Network Inc. (Nasdaq: STRM)

    The network of Web sites serving Latin America reported a narrower than expected loss after the bell Wednesday. StarMedia said loss more than doubled to 41 cents a share from 39 cents in the year-earlier quarter. It was expected to lose 49 cents by First Call. StarMedia rose 3 1/8 to 42 7/8.