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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Micron Technology, AT&T, Sprint, and BellSouth

    Stocks to watch for Monday:

  • Micron Technology Corp. (NYSE: MU)

    The DRAM maker is scheduled after market close to report third quarter results. First Call consensus forecasts a loss of 18 cents per share, thanks to price declines in the memory chip market.

    Investors may also want to tune into the conference call to get Micron's take on the recent Taiwanese earthquake. Most DRAM plants, including all of Micron's, are outside Taiwan; but other PC-related components are manufactured there, which could affect PC supplies, which in turn affects demand for DRAMs.

  • AT&T (NYSE: T)

    The company is considering issuing tracking stocks according to people familiar with the matter cited in Monday's Wall Street Journal. Three distinct stocks would track the performance of the firm's wireless unit, cable and Internet ventures, and outsourcing unit for business.

  • Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON)

  • Chairman and CEO William Esrey on Friday declined to directly comment on rumors of a merger between his company and MCI Worldcom, but he left the door open for any number of merger partners. If Sprint-MCI Worldcom were to happen, it could pass regulatory muster and be completed within 18 months, Esrey said Friday.

    Esrey stressed that Sprint is not looking for a suitor, is not "in play" and prefers to remain independent. But, he said, "if anybody comes up and offers us a price or creates a situation where we think the future is better, we will pay attention and we would act on that."

    Speaking of other bidders...

  • BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS)

    According to Business Week Online, this regional Bell operating company is considering a play or Sprint. The news report cited unidentified sources.

    A Sprint deal would theoretically give BellSouth -- the only regional Bell operating company that hasn't had a major merger -- the all-in-one communications package craved by all telecom players. Federal regulators still haven't approved any Baby Bell for long distance sales, but with Qwest-US West already in the process of merging, who knows? Additional pressure from a Sprint-BellSouth combination could break the logjam. Assuming it's not just another rumor.

    While we're on the subject of Baby Bell mergers...

  • SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC)

    The Federal Communications Commission may delay approving SBC Communications Inc.'s (NYSE:SBC) $61 billion acquisition of Ameritech Corp. (NYSE:AIT) until a public meeting on October 8, agency officials said Friday.

    A majority of the five member FCC has already voted to approve the deal, subject to conditions, but wrangling over details by some officials has prevented the agency from formally closing its review, they said.>