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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Commerce One, eBay, Inktomi and Microsoft

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday’s most actively traded issues: Commerce One, eBay, Inktomi and Microsoft.

  • Commerce One (Nasdaq: CMRC)

    Commerce One shares will be on the move Friday after it easily topped estimates in its fourth quarter, losing $10.8 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $191.4 million. It also raised estimates for fiscal 2001 and predicted profitability by the second quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged the B2B software and services provider for a loss of 7 cents a share on sales of $175.6 million.

    Its shares closed off 25 cents to $21.69 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $25.13 in after-hours trading.

    The $191.4 million in sales represents an impressive 1,033 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $11.7 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $16.9 million.

    CFO Peter Pervere told analysts to expect sales of between $205 million to $210 million in its first quarter, well above the current estimate of $184 million and a loss of between $7 million to $9 million.

    By the second quarter, Pervere said, the company will post its first quarterly profit.

    It also raised its fiscal 2001 sales target to between $900 million to $950 million, up from the consensus estimate of $822.7 million.

  • eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY)

    eBay will be active Friday after it topped analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $23.9 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $134 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged the online auctioneer for a profit of 7 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up $3.63 to $46.88 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $52 in after-hours trading.

    Company officials also raised fiscal 2001 sales estimates to $665, up from previous guidance of $630 million.

  • Inktomi (Nasdaq: INKT)

    It won’t be as pleasant a day for Inktomi after it met analysts’ reduced estimates but warned of lower sales and an unexpected loss in its second quarter.

    In the quarter, it earned $1 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $80.5 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 1 cent a share on sales of $80.2 million following its profit warning earlier this month.

    Analysts originally pegged Inktomi for a profit of 3 cents a share.

    Its shares closed up 6 cents to $17.50 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $18.06 in after-hours trading.

    The $80.5 million in sales marks a 123 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $4 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $36.1 million.

    Inktomi also said it would sell its commerce business to e-centives Inc., an online direct marketing company, for up to 19.9 percent of e-centives outstanding shares of common stock.

    During a conference call with analysts, CEO David Peterschmidt said the company now expects to post a loss of between 3 cents to 5 cents a share in the second quarter on sales of between $63 million to $67 million.

    Analysts were forecasting a profit of 2 cents a share in the second quarter on sales of $86.8 million.

  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    The software giant will be active following its lackluster second-quarter earnings report. It also said third-quarter earnings will be lower than previously anticipated.

    In the quarter, Microsoft earned $2.62 billion, or 47 cents a share, in line with analysts’ reduced estimates.

    Microsoft blamed the poor quarter and third-quarter shortfall on softening growth in personal computer sales and slower corporate spending on technology.

    Microsoft is ``looking for the fiscal year 2001 PC unit growth rate to be ... 10 percent at best,'' CFO John Connors said.

    Its shares closed up $2.56 to $55.50 before moving up to $58.63 in after-hours trading.

    Microsoft warned that it expects earnings per share to be between 42 cents and 43 cents a share in the current quarter, down from current analyst estimates of 44 cents a share. It reported 43 cents a share a year earlier.

    It repeated that earnings for the full fiscal year, which ends on June 30, are expected to be in the range of $1.80 to $1.82.