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Tech Industry

The week ahead: Chips chirp up

Rival chipmakers Intel and AMD host separate events regarding the tech industry, and the Commerce Department releases preliminary data on Gross Domestic Product.

    Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Feb. 25 through March 1.

    Two gatherings by rival chipmakers will compete for attention this week.

    Intel will stage a conference in San Francisco for developers who work with its chips, an opportunity the chip juggernaut will use to make product announcements and trumpet its technology.

    Not to be outdone, Intel nemesis Advanced Micro Devices will host a gathering down the road at its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., for senior executives who want to learn about and discuss trends that will effect the technology industry.

    Investment bank Robertson Stephens will also host its annual technology conference in San Francisco, which features presentations by major heavyweights like Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Juniper Networks.

    The event will vie for audience attention with the analyst meetings held by Hewlett-Packard and Gateway that are also happening this week.

    Finally, investors will get a better idea of how the U.S. economy performed in the fourth quarter of 2001 when the Commerce Department releases preliminary data on Gross Domestic Product.

    An "advance" release showed economic growth during the fourth quarter--a welcome change from the 1.3 percent shrinkage U.S. industry experienced in the third quarter.

    The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

    Other events scheduled this week:

    Tech Events
    Sunday, Feb. 24
    • Software maker BEA Systems will kick off BEA eWorld at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif., Feb. 24-27. The conference is for developers of BEA e-business Internet software.

    Monday, Feb. 25
    • Robertson Stephens will host a technology conference at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Feb. 25-28. Companies scheduled to present include Nokia, Cisco, Dell Computer, Palm, Microsoft and Juniper Networks.

    • Chipmaker Intel will host its Developer Forum at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Feb. 25-28. The event is for technology professionals at companies who use Intel chips and it features keynote speeches by many Intel executives, including CEO Craig Barrett and CTO Patrick Gelsinger.

    • VoiceCon takes place in Washington, D.C., Feb. 25-28. The conference is for people at large businesses looking to learn about telecom services and technology. Companies scheduled to exhibit include Siemens, Nortel Networks, Cisco, Sprint, Ericsson and others.

    • The TeleMessaging Industry Association will hold its annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 25-26. TMIA was founded in 1998 to advance and promote voicemail technology and services.

    Tuesday, Feb. 26
    • Computer maker Hewlett-Packard will hold a meeting for financial analysts at the Hilton in New York on Feb. 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PST. Scheduled to present are HP Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina and CFO Bob Wayman. HP is seeking shareholder approval to merge with Compaq Computer, a deal that has garnered criticism from some investors.

    • Storage networking gear maker Brocade Communications will announce on Feb. 26 a new lower-end storage networking product designed to lower the cost of installing storage area networks, a useful but expensive technology.

    • Chipmaker AMD will host the CXO Summit at its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., Feb. 26-27. The event is for information-technology managers and AMD's customers who want to share and learn about ideas and issues that will affect the computer industry.

    • The American Film Marketing Association will hold a panel at the American Film Market conference at the Santa Monica Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., on Feb. 26. The panel will discuss the future of digital cinema and is comprised of executives from Qualcomm, Microsoft, Eastman Kodak and others.

    Wednesday, Feb. 27
    • The World Congress on information technology takes place at the Adelaide Convention & Exhibition Centre in Adelaide, Australia, Feb. 27-March 1. The event will focus on a wide range of issues from biotechnology to the effect of wireless communications on society. Australian Prime Minister John Howard and former U.S. President Bill Clinton will make speeches.

    • PayPal and MasterCard will sponsor Electronic Payments Forum at the Sheraton Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 27-28. The gathering will discuss topics related to completing financial transactions over the Internet.

    • PC maker Gateway will hold an analyst meeting at the Sheraton Harbor Island in San Diego on Feb. 27.


    Monday, Feb. 25

    • Focal Communications offers telecom services to businesses in 22 metropolitan U.S. markets. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 67 cents.

    • Rural Cellular offers cellular, paging, long-distance, Internet and wireless services to rural markets in 14 U.S. states. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of $2.28.

    Tuesday, Feb. 26
    • American Tower operates more than 14,000 towers in the United States, Mexico and Canada that provide broadcast, Internet or wireless communications services. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 61 cents.

    • Asia Global Crossing operates a telecom network in the Asia-Pacific region that provides voice and data services. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 28 cents.

    • Global Crossing, the parent company of Asia Global Crossing, operates a telecom network that reaches 27 countries and more than 200 cities. The company recently filed for bankruptcy and is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. No estimates were available.

    • Terra Lycos runs the Internet portal which competes against Yahoo, AOL and MSN. Per-share consensus estimate from two analysts for the fourth quarter: loss of 5 cents.

    • Western Wireless provides wireless phone service in 19 states. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 75 cents.

    Wednesday, Feb. 27
    • Finisar makes equipment for computer data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 5 cents.

    • Scient offers technology and Internet consulting services to large businesses. No estimates were available.

    Thursday, Feb. 28
    • EchoStar Communications provides satellite TV service to about 6.5 million subscribers and is seeking regulatory approval to merge with rival Hughes Electronics. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 2 cents.

    • Net2Phone lets customers make phone calls with their PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 35 cents.

    Economic Reports

    Monday, Feb. 25

    • The National Association of Realtors reports Existing Home Sales for the month of January, representing the number of previously built homes sold nationwide. The data indicate the strength of demand in housing and in the overall economy on the premise that the economy heats up as more consumers buy homes, cars and other high-ticket items. No estimates were available, but December sales fell to 5.19 million from 5.23 million in November.

    Tuesday, Feb. 26
    • Consumer Confidence will be reported by the Conference Board for the month of February. This figure, measured by an index, represents consumer sentiment toward the economy. No forecasts were available, but the January index rose to 97.3 from 94.6 in the previous month.

    Wednesday, Feb. 27
    • Durable Goods Orders represents the percentage increase or decrease of big-ticket items purchased, such as washing machines and refrigerators, as reported monthly by the Commerce Department. Economists use the number to measure demand in the economy. No estimates were available for January, but orders rose by 1.7 percent in December.

    • The Commerce Department will release New Home Sales figures for January, which represents the number of new homes sold in the United States, and serves as another measure of demand in the economy. In December, the government reported 946,000 homes were sold, up from November's 895,000.

    Thursday, Feb. 29
    • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ending Feb. 23.

    • The Commerce Department will report preliminary Gross Domestic Product numbers for the fourth quarter of 2001. GDP represents the value of U.S. goods and services produced within a certain time frame and is a measure of the nation's overall economic health. In an "advance" release, the government reported that fourth-quarter GDP rose 0.2 percent vs. a drop of 1.3 percent in the third quarter.

    • The Help Wanted Index for the month of January is a monthly survey by the Conference Board of the volume of help-wanted advertising in major national newspapers. Wall Street uses the index to measure trends in job growth. In December, the index ticked up to 46 from November's 45. The index was at 78 during December 2001.

    • Auto and truck sales represents the number of new cars sold in the United States as compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department. No estimates were available for February.

    Friday, March 1
    • The Commerce Department will also release data on personal consumption expenditures in January, or PCE, which measures purchases of goods and services. Personal spending fell $17.8 billion, or 0.2 percent, in December.

    • Personal income shows the monthly percentage change in household income from the Commerce Department. Income rose $34.6 billion, or 0.4 percent, in December.