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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Informix, Jabil Circuit, Luminant Worldwide and Vitesse Semiconductor

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Informix, Jabil Circuit, Luminant Worldwide and Vitesse Semiconductor.

  • Informix Corp. (Nasdaq: IFMX)

    Late Wednesday, the database software developer announced plans to buy Cloudscape Inc., developer of database and application management tools, for more than $83 million in stock.

    Informix officials said it would issue 10 million shares, worth a total of $83.4 million at Wednesday's closing price, to acquire privately-held Cloudscape Inc. The latter's Java-based products include software that lets remote users connect to corporate databases.

    Buying Cloudscape boosts Informix's offerings for networked e-business, the company said. "The market for distributed applications is experiencing explosive growth," said Tom Henn, president and CEO of Cloudscape. "The combination of Cloudscape and Informix provides a data management platform that spans the enterprise to the distributed desktop, and extends Cloudscape's market reach worldwide."

    Informix said the Cloudscape deal should help it better compete in the market for distributed electronic business applications, including e-commerce, supply chain management and content management.

    Shares of Informix fell 7/32 to 8 11/32 Wednesday.

  • Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE: JBL)

    Jabil met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Wednesday, earning $26.2 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $536.5 million.

    First Call consensus expected the electronics manufacturer for circuit board assemblies to earn 30 cents a share.

    Analysts were expecting bigger things from Jabil this quarter until company officials warned that some customer order delays would trim fourth-quarter sales and earnings by as much as 10 percent.

    For the fiscal year, Jabil raked in $91.5 million, or $1.12 a share, on sales of $2 billion. In fiscal 1998, it made $69.8 million, or 91 cents a share, on sales of $1.3 billion.

    Fourth-quarter sales of $536.5 million represents a 69 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it earned $13.4 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $317.6 million.

    Jabil officials said they expect a 60 percent increase in sales in fiscal 2000 and a 48 percent leap in operating income. Fiscal 1999

    "The business fundamentals are strong and we look forward to producing outstanding results for our customers and shareholders in fiscal 2000," Main said.

    Jabil shares hit a 52-week high of 55 3/8 in May after bottoming out at 14 1/2 last September.

    Twenty-five of the 26 analysts covering the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 32 cents a share in its first quarter.

  • Luminant Worldwide Corp. (Proposed ticker: LUMT)

    Luminant Worldwide priced its shares at $18 a share late Wednesday, slightly above its original price range of $15 to $17 a share.

    Luminant, which provides Internet and e-commerce services to Fortune 500 companies, cut the number of shares that will be offered in half from 10.5 million shares to 5 million shares.

    Former CBS honcho Michael Jordan serves as Luminant's chairman and will own about 4 percent of the company following Thursday's IPO.

    Formerly known as Clarant, Luminant Worldwide lost $111 million last year on sales of $54.8 million.

    Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown will serve as lead underwriter.

  • Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS)

    The maker of non- silicon chips that speed up telecommunications said it will split its stock 2 for 1 on Oct. 21, to shareholders as of Sept. 30. Its shares tripled in the last year. Vitesse closed up 1 1/16 to 86 1/8.