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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: LookSmart, Media Modem, Network Solutions, Oracle and Solectron

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: LookSmart, Modem Media, Network Solutions, Oracle and Solectron.

  • LookSmart Ltd. (Nasdaq: LOOK)

    The Internet search/directory company should see more than its usual level of volume Tuesday when its quiet period expires. In all likelihood, underwriters Goldman Sachs, Hambrecht & Quist and BancBoston Robertson Stephens will seize the opportunity to start the stock with "buy" recommendations.

    Following its strong initial public offering, LookSmart shares moved up to an all-time high of a 43 5/16.

    In the quarter ended March 31, LookSmart reported a loss of $6.7 million on sales of $6.6 million.

    LookSmart shares closed off 2 to 35 15/16 Monday.

  • Modem Media Poppe Tyson (Nasdaq: MMPT)

    A late and decidedly upbeat research report Monday should help carry Modem Media Poppe Tyson in Tuesday trading.

    BancBoston Robertson Stephens analyst Steven Birer reiterated it "strong buy" rating on Modem Media Poppe Tyson (Nasdaq: MMPT).

    "We are reiterating our strong buy rating on Modem Media following recent meetings with the company's management team," Birer said in a research note. "We believe that business momentum remains strong and that the company will report an excellent September quarter. We are seeing tremendous demand for the company's services and hiring and project execution remain strong."

    First Call consensus expects the developer of interactive marketing programs to earn 3 cents a share in its third quarter.

    "Shares of Modem Media are currently trading near 5 times our 2000 revenue estimate, while other Internet enabling companies, such as Viant, Razorfish and iXL are trading at 19 times, 11 times, and 9 times estimated 2000 revenues, respectively," Birer said. "A broader peer group trades around 9 times estimated 2000 revenues."

    Following its sparkling initial public offering in February, Modem Media shares moved to a high of 55 1/8 in April.

    The stock closed up 2 5/16, or 7 percent, to 36 13/16 ahead of the research report.

  • Network Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: NSOL)

    Network Solutions, the leading Internet domain registrar, was also reiterated with a "buy" recommendation by BBRS.

    On Friday, Network Solutions and the Department of Commerce announced that the testbed phase of the Shared Registration System has been extended until Sept. 30. The extension was agreed upon to allow additional time for Network Solutions, the DOC and ICANN to finalize their agreement.

    "While there have been several extensions to date of the testbed period, Network Solutions management communicated greater confidence that this would be the last extension," Birer said in a research note. "It should be noted that even if an agreement is signed, it could potentially go out for public comment for a period of 30 days or so."

    Birer said he expects Network Solutions, which has registered more than 5.4 million domains, to meet or beat First Call's third-quarter earnings projections of 18 cents a share.

    Last quarter, Network Solutions hurdled Street estimates, earning $5.8 million, or 17 cents a share, on record sales of $47.5 million.

    Network Solutions shares closed up 2 5/16 to 67 13/16 Monday.

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

    The world's leading database software developer will be hopping Tuesday ahead of its first-quarter earnings report.

    First Call consensus is predicting a profit of 16 cents a share, up from 13 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

    Most analysts are convinced Oracle will at least meet the Street estimate, thanks to strong sales in Japan and to large corporate clients.

    Oracle shares closed off 5/8 to 45 3/4 Monday, just a fraction off its 52-week high.

  • Solectron Corp. (NYSE: SLR)

    Solectron continued its excellent performance Monday, earning $88.8 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $2.4 billion.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 32 cents a share in the quarter.

    But the real news is its announcement to shell out $2 billion in stock to buy Smart Modular Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: SMOD), a move geared toward expanding its reach into memory components and embedded computers.

    Solectron will issue 23.1 million shares -- or 0.51 shares of stock for every Smart share -- to buy Smart, a maker of memory modules and cards, embedded computers, and input/output products. The companies said it would be the largest ever seen in the contract electronics manufacturing industry.

    The deal requires shareholder approval. It will add 9 cents per share to Solectron's earnings in fiscal 2000, excluding one-time charges, the company said.

    "The acquisition will significantly enhance Solectron's current technology capabilities," said Saeed Zohouri, Solectron's senior vice president and chief operating officer.

    Solectron shares closed off 2 1/2 to 75 Monday.