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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: drkoop.com, Applied Materials, Lycos, Razorfish and TheStreet.com

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Applied Materials, drkoop.com, Lycos, Network Appliance, Razorfish and TheStreet.com.

  • Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT)

    Applied shares will be flying Wednesday after the chip-equipment maker beat Street estimates by 3 cents a share in its first quarter and set a 2-for-1 stock split.

    In the quarter, Applied earned $328 million, or 80 cents a share on sales of $1.67 billion.

    Applied expects continued growth in the second quarter, CFO Joseph R. Bronson said during a Tuesday afternoon conference call. Bronson told analysts to expect revenue ranging between $2 billion and $2.1 billion, and

    First quarter gross margin of 50.1 percent was flat sequentially, but up from 43.2 percent a year earlier.

    New orders of $2.36 billion represent a 43 percent increase from the fourth quarter, and easily surpassed most analyst estimates. A dozen customers placed orders of at least $50 million, including six orders each greater than $100 million, Bronson said during the conference call.

  • drkoop.com Inc. (Nasdaq: KOOP)

    drkoop.com might see heavy action Wednesday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter, losing $19.9 million, or 65 cents a share, on sales of $5.1 million.

    First Call consensus expected the online healthcare network to lose 68 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 3/16 to 12 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $5.1 million in sales represents a 75 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $18 million, or $2.10 a share, on sales of $2.9 million.

    For the year, drkoop.com lost $82.5 million, or $2.70 a share, on sales of $9.4 million compared to a loss of $23.4 million, or $2.86 a share, on sales of $43,000 in fiscal 1998.

    In the quarter, drkoop.com exceeded pushed its registered user base to more than 1 million users. It recorded 11.8 million unique visitors in the quarter and posted 49.4 million page views.

  • Lycos Inc. (Nasdaq: LCOS)

    Lycos easily topped analysts' estimates in its second quarter, raking in $3 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $68.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected the Internet portal to earn 1 cent a share in the quarter.

    Lycos shares closed off 1 1/4 to 69 1/16 ahead of the earnings report but surged up to 73 5/8 in after-hours trading.

    The $68.6 million in sales marks a 120 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.6 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $31.1 million.

    Company officials said advertising revenue more-than-doubled from the year-earlier quarter to $44.3 million, while electronic commerce and licensing revenue also more-than-doubled, to $24.2 million.

    Worldwide traffic grew to 122 million page views per day in the quarter while U.S. traffic improved 23 percent to 101 million page views a day.

  • Network Appliance Corp. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

    Network Appliance will be on the move after it topped Street estimates by a penny a share in its fourth quarter, earning $19.8 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $151.3 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 10 cents a share in the quarter.

    Company officials also announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

    Its shares closed up 3 1/4 to 151 9/16 ahead of the earnings report.

  • Razorfish Inc. (Nasdaq: RAZF)

    Razorfish slipped past Street estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $5.8 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $52.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected the e-business consultant to earn a nickel a share in the quarter.

    Razorfish shares closed off 3 1/8 to 51 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $52.7 million in sales marks a stunning 1,015 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $1.9 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $4.7 million.

    For the year, Razorfish pocketed $19 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $170.2 million compared to a profit of $7 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $13.8 million.

    Including a series of merger-related costs and non-cash compensation charges, Razorfish lost $23 million, or 26 cents a share in the quarter. For the year, it lost $14.5 million, or 17 cents a share.

    Separately, chief financial officer Larry Begley resigned and will be replaced by Sue Black on an interim basis.

  • TheStreet.com Inc. (Nasdaq:TSCM)

    The financial news and commentary site has hired investment bank Wasserstein Parella & Co. to explore strategic alternatives which may include the sale of the company, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

    A person familiar with the matter told the Journal that TheStreet.com has been shopped around to other Internet companies, the Journal reported. Another told the Journal that the company has a market valuation of nearly $400 million and had been approached by a prospective buyer.

    The company is now underwater from its initial offering price of $19 a share in May, after it reached $60 a share during its first day of trading.