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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Gateway, Ingram Micro, Lam and 3Com

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Gateway, Ingram Micro, Lam Research and 3Com.

  • Gateway (NYSE: GTW)

    More bad news for the PC maker after the bell Wednesday when it warned that it will miss analysts' sales and earnings estimates for the second consecutive quarter.

    CEO Ted Waitt said the company lost its direction with its "beyond the box" business model selling peripherals and services at the expense of its core PC business and would return to its roots selling computers directly to consumers.

    Gateway shares closed up 48 cents to $17.20 ahead of the warning before falling to $15.63 in after-hours trading.

    Gateway said it would take charges of between $150 million and $275 million in the first quarter, including a previously announced estimate of $50 million for job cuts and other items.

    The restructuring could include closing under-performing retail stores and possibly exiting some international markets. Executives also said they were scrapping plans to open 60 new stores this year.

    It now expects to break even in the first quarter and first half of fiscal 2001.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected Gateway to earn 17 cents a share in the first quarter.

  • Ingram Micro (NYSE: IM)

    The technology equipment and services distributor will be active Thursday after it slipped past analysts' estimates in its fourth-quarter but scaled back its first-quarter estimates.

    In the quarter, it earned $57.9 million, or 39 cents a share, on sales of $8.07 billion.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 38 cents a share in the quarter.

    However, it told analyst to prepare for first-quarter earnings of only 15 cents to 18 cents a share, well below the consensus estimate of 32 cents a share.

    Its shares closed off 40 cents to $13.80 ahead of the earnings report and warning.

  • Lam Research (Nasdaq: LRCX)

    And here's another profit warning.

    The chip-equipment maker said it will not meet analysts' sales estimates in its third quarter, citing lagging orders from chipmaking customers.

    Analysts were expecting sales of between $480 million to $490 million in the quarter and earnings of 49 cents a share.

    Things are so bleak that the company will take five mandatory shut-down days each quarter and company executives will take a 10 percent pay cut. Layoffs, some analysts say, are not far behind.

    The stock closed off $1.50 to $21.50 Wednesday before slipping to $20.50 in after-hours trading.

  • 3Com (Nasdaq: COMS)

    The network-equipment maker followed suit, warning that it will miss sales and earnings targets in its third quarter.

    This bad news comes just two days after announcing it would lay off 1,200 employees.

    Based on current order rates, the company said third-quarter revenues were expected to be between $625 million to $640 million, down sharply from the $725 million to $750 million forecast late last year.

    The company also expects its operating loss for the period to be between $235 million and $245 million, double its previous estimate of a $80 million to $100 million loss.

    3Com shares ended up 13 cents to $9.13 in the regular session Wednesday before falling to $7.75 in after-hours trading.