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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Atmel, C-Cube, Gateway, Inktomi, Lucent and Sun Microsystems

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Atmel, C-Cube, Gateway, Inktomi, Lucent and Sun Microsystems

  • Atmel Corp. (Nasdaq: ATML)

    Atmel should rally Friday after it beat Street estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, pocketing $33 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $388.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 13 cents a share in the quarter.

    Atmel shares closed up 15/16 to 34 15/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, Atmel earned $9.9 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $288.7 million.

    For the year, Atmel earned $82.4 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $1.33 billion compared to a loss of $50 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $1.11 billion in fiscal 1998.

  • C-Cube Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: CUBE)

    C-Cube also topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, raking in $18.6 million, or 40 cents a share, on sales of $115.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 37 cents a share in the quarter.

    C-Cube shares closed up 4 to a 52-week high of 73 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, C-Cube made $12.4 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $95.8 million.

    For the year, it earned $57.2 million, or $1.30 a share, on sales of $407.6 million compared to a profit of $46.3 million, or $1.11 a share, on sales of $351.8 million in fiscal 1998.

    C-Cube shares hit a 52-week low of 17 1/4 in March.

  • Gateway (NYSE: GTW)

    The PC maker may gain ground Friday after matching analysts' reduced estimates in its fourth quarter.

    Gateway pocketed $139.3 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $2.45 billion.

    That was in line with the company's earlier warning and consensus estimates.

    Including a charge of $26 million related to an ISP deal with America Online (NYSE: AOL), Gateway earned $126 million, or 38 cents a share.

    Shares of Gateway slid to 57 5/8 in after-hours activity. The stock closed Thursday's regular trading at 61, up 3 1/2 for the session.

    Fourth quarter revenue increased 6.3 percent to $2.45 billion from $2.3 billion in the year ago period. Shipments of 1.36 billion units represented an 18.3 percent rise, but the company saw supply problems and a slowdown for business-to-business sales that Gateway blamed on Y2K concerns.

    Gross margins rose to 22.3 percent from 21.6 percent in year-ago period. Average unit prices for Gateway increased to $1,801.

  • Inktomi Corp. (Nasdaq: INKT)

    It may not be in the black, but don't tell Inktomi shareholders it's not a solid investment.

    Its shares figure to rise Friday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter, losing $2.4 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $36.1 million.

    First Call consensus expected Inktomi to lose 4 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1 11/16 to 100 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the quarter, Inktomi's portal service business, which includes search, directory and shopping engines, accounted for $14 million of its total revenue, a 166 percent jump from the year-ago quarter and a 30 percent improvement from the fourth quarter.

    Its network products unit made up $22.1 million in sales, a 297 percent gain from the year-ago quarter and a 36 percent sequential increase over the prior quarter.

    Inktomi's search engine processed more than 3.4 billion queries in the quarter, up 89 percent from the year-ago quarter and up 17 percent from the prior quarter.

  • Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU)

    Lucent shares may be in trouble after its first-quarter earnings came in on the low end of analysts' reduced estimates.

    Lucent checked in with a profit of $1.175 billion, or 36 cents a share, excluding non-recurring events.

    Earlier this month, Lucent warned it would report net income ranging between 36 and 39 cents per share.

    Net income remained below consensus expectations. First Call's survey of 29 analysts predicted a profit of 37 cents a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

    Including a one-time gain of $115 million from a stock sale and charges of $40 million related to several acquisitions, Lucent earned $1.25 billion, or 38 cents per share.

    First quarter revenue rose slightly to $9.91 billion from $9.84 billion a year earlier, when Lucent earned $1.523 billion, or 48 cents a share.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

    With each passing quarter, Sun Microsystems reaffirms its status as the leader of the next generation of blue-chip technology stocks.

    On Thursday, Sun snuck past analysts' estimates in its second quarter, earning $353 million, or 21 cents a share, on better-than-expected sales of $3.55 billion.

    First Call consensus expected Sun to earn 20 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 3 5/8 to a 52-week high of 86 9/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $3.55 billion in sales represents a 27 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it raked in $261.4 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $2.8 billion.

    Sun said it exited the quarter with $4.5 billion in cash and short-term investments.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 89 cents a share in the fiscal year.