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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: CompUSA, Komag and VerticalNet

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: CompUSA, e-Net, iVillage, Komag, Microsoft and VerticalNet.

  • CompUSA Inc. (NYSE: CPU)

    The computer retailer said Wednesday sales in its fourth quarter rose to $1.46 billion, up 23 percent from the $1.19 billion it recorded in the year-ago period. Its shares closed up 1/8 to 7 7/16.

    A survey of analysts by Zack's Investment Research Inc. predicts CompUSA will lose 23 cents a share in the quarter.

    Last quarter, it lost $4.9 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $1.69 billion.

    Company officials said comparable store sales inched up 1 percent in the quarter for its 155 retail outlets.

    For the fiscal year, CompUSA said it sales improved 20 percent from the year-ago period to $6.32 billion. "sell."

    CompUSA will announce its fourth quarter and year-end results on Aug. 18.

  • e-Net Inc. (Nasdaq: ETEL)

    The communications-equipment provider reported a fourth-quarter loss of $3 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $555,000. Its shares closed off 3/8 to 4 _ ahead of the earnings report.

    There was no First Call consensus estimate for this quarter.

    In the year-ago period, it lost $1.5 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $344,000.

    For the year, e-Net lost $9.2 million, or $1.17 a share, on sales of $1.6 million. Last year, it lost $3.9 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $723,000.

    "During the 1999 fiscal year, we had to confront one of the most difficult issues a technology start-up company has to face," said CEO Robert Veschi in a prepared release. "As we conclude the first quarter of our fiscal year 2000, we now have real opportunities in new market areas."

    The stock peaked at 20 in August before falling to a low of 1 7/8 in October.

  • iVillage Inc. (Nasdaq: IVIL)

    IVillage Inc. (IVIL) said it bought Online Psychological Services Inc. for $25 million in cash and stock to strengthen its health-related sites.

  • Komag Inc. (Nasdaq: KMAG)

    Komag became the latest disk-drive manufacturer to warn that its second quarter results are going to be much worse than previously anticipated. Its shares closed up 1/8 to 3 5/16 ahead of the warning.

    Company officials said weak sales and sagging average selling prices are responsible for yet another dismal quarter.

    First Call consensus expected Komag to lose 55 cents a share in the quarter.

    Komag said its second-quarter loss will be wider than the first quarter loss of $21.5 million, or 40 cents a share.

    It expects its net sales to be approximately even compared to the first quarter's $90 million, while product unit sales should grow 5 percent. The company had recently forecast product unit sales growth of 20 percent to 35 percent.

    Komag said it will close one of its manufacturing plants in June, 15 months ahead of schedule, and will layoff some 400 people, or about 20 percent of its U.S. workforce. It added that it will take a second quarter charge of an unspecified amount for the work force reduction and closure.

    On Tuesday, Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: SEG) warned that it would meet analysts' estimates this quarter. And Western Digital Corp. (NYSE: WDC) sprung the same news on its investors on June 17.

    Komag shares hit a 52-week high of 15 5/8 in January.

    Three of the five analysts following the stock rate it a "hold."

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Securities regulators are looking at financial records of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) regarding its reserves, the company said Wednesday.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing Microsoft's financial records, CFO Greg Maffei said, during an afternoon conference call with analysts, investors and news media. "We don't know everything the SEC will look into," he said. "Our understanding is ... it's related to reserves and reserve policy."

    Investors, however, won't care. Microsoft said it was comfortable with Wall Street estimates.

  • VerticalNet Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT)

    The Web site operator said Wednesday it acquired three new Web site communities, bringing the total number of sites that offer industries information and business-to-business transactions over the Internet.

    The company did not disclose the terms of the acquisitions.

    The new sites are TechSpex, for the machine tools industry; lectricNet, for electrical power industry professionals; and Oil-Link, for members of the oil and gas industry.

    VerticalNet shares closed up 15 1/2 to 105 Wednesday.