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Tech Industry

The week ahead: Earnings breather

Investors will get some rest from earnings news this week, as the flood of first-quarter financial information that deluged Wall Street subsides to more manageable levels.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of April 29 through May 3.

Investors will get some rest from earnings news this week, as the flood of first-quarter financial information that deluged Wall Street subsides to more manageable levels.

However, the tech sector is not finished speaking its peace. Companies such as Priceline.com and FreeMarkets will give e-business aficionados a read on the sector, while established telecom carriers Genuity and Qwest Communications International will also speak up.

Technology watchers will get a chance to kick the tires of various parts of the tech sector. Merrill Lynch's Hardware Heaven conference in San Francisco this week features presentations from top executives of computer and chip companies. Research firm Gartner will hold its IT Symposium just down the California coast in San Diego and will cover many trends and topics that affect the tech industry.

As usual, data from the government will give economic watchers (and worriers) some more insight. Auto and truck sales on Wednesday will help determine the willingness of consumers to spend, while the Friday employment report from the Labor Department will indicate if the Americans who were casualties of the last recession are getting to work.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Sunday, April 28
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers will help kick off the International Conference on Communications at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, April 28-May 2. The IEEE helps set communications standards and the conference will cover topics including wireless, optical networking and satellite communications.

  • Storage software maker Veritas Software will hold its Veritas Vision conference at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas, April 28-May 2. Veritas Chief Executive Gary Bloom will deliver a keynote speech along with senior executives from Cisco Systems, Hitachi and IBM. Radio host Michael Krasny and Richard Noble, holder of the world land-speed record, will also speak.

Monday, April 29
  • Merrill Lynch will hold its Hardware Heaven conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, April 29-May 2. Chief executives from companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, Dell Computer, Ingram Micro and Analog Devices will make presentations.

  • Technology enthusiasts of all stripes will head to San Diego for the Gartner IT Symposium, which takes place at the San Diego Convention Center, April 29-May 2. Topics discussed include networking, storage, customer relationship management (CRM) software, security and wireless. Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, and Sanjay Kumar, CEO of Computer Associates, will make keynote speeches.

  • Chip junkies will congregate at the Embedded Processor Forum in San Jose, Calif., April 29-May 2, at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel. The event will focus on subjects related to chips for PCs, communications and other applications.

  • Handheld wireless device maker Research In Motion will host Wireless Symposium at the Hilton in Atlanta, April 29-May 2. The event will focus on wireless technology that businesses can use. Featured speakers include former General Electric CEO Jack Welch.

  • Joe Tucci, CEO of storage software and equipment maker EMC, will make a company product announcement at 8:30 a.m. EDT in New York at the Times Building on April 29. The event will also be Webcasted.

Tuesday, April 30
  • Wireless Ventures takes place at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame, Calif., April 29-May 1. The conference features presentations by privately held wireless technology companies along with keynote speeches by Palm CEO Eric Benhamou and Openwave Systems CEO Don Listwin.

  • Desktop publishing software maker Adobe Systems will give its usual mid-quarter business update on April 30.

Earnings

Monday, April 29

  • FreeMarkets provides business-to-business e-commerce services. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 3 cents.

  • ONI Systems makes optical telecom equipment and is planning to merge with fellow telecom equipment maker Ciena. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 26 cents.

  • United Microelectronics Corp. is a contract chipmaker. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: zero cents.

Tuesday, April 30
  • 24/7 Real Media provides advertising services to Web sites. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: no estimates were available.

  • CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, operates Web sites that provide technology information. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 16 cents.

  • Legato Systems makes software for computer data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 6 cents.

  • NetRatings monitors and ranks Web sites by usage. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 8 cents.

  • Perot Systems provides IT consulting services to businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 17 cents.

  • Qwest Communications International is a Baby Bell that provides local phone service in 14 states, and offers wholesale Internet access and data communication services. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 4 cents.

Wednesday, May 1
  • Comcast provides cable TV services to about 8.4 million subscribers in the United States, and is seeking to acquire AT&T Broadband. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 10 cents.

  • Priceline.com is a name-your-price Web site that offers consumers airline tickets, hotel accommodations and car rentals. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 2 cents.

Thursday, May 2
  • Cablevision Systems provides cable TV service to more than 3 million subscribers in the New York area. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of $1.45.

  • EchoStar Communications provides satellite TV service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 5 cents.

  • Genuity is a telecom carrier that provides Internet and data services to businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 28 cents.

  • Peregrine Systems makes network software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: loss of 6 cents.

  • Sapient offers Internet, business and technology consulting services to companies. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 13 cents.

Economic Reports

Monday, April 29

  • Personal income shows the monthly percentage change in household income from the Commerce Department. Economists expect income to rise 0.5 percent for March compared to the previous month's increase of 0.6 percent.

  • The Commerce Department will also release data on personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, which measures consumer spending. Analysts expect PCE to increase 0.4 percent in March versus a 0.6 percent gain in February.

Tuesday, April 30
  • Consumer Confidence will be reported by the Conference Board for the month of April. This figure, measured by an index, represents consumer sentiment toward the economy. Wall Street predicts confidence to slip to 108 from 110.2 in March.

Wednesday, May 1
  • The Institute for Supply Management index tracks how many hard goods were bought by purchasing managers. The ISM index is expected to drop to 54.6 percent from 55.6 percent. The ISM, formerly known as the National Association of Purchasing Management, regards index values above 50 as an indication of an expanding economy, while values below 50 signify contraction.

  • Construction spending tabulates the dollar amount of newly completed building structures in a month as reported by the Commerce Department. Wall Street sees a 0.1 percent fall in spending in March, while spending increased 1.1 percent in February.

  • Auto and truck sales represents the number of new cars sold in the United States as compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department. Analysts expect both April truck and auto sales to stay unchanged from the previous month, at 7.3 million and 6.0 million, respectively.

Thursday, May 2
  • 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 April 27.

Friday, May 3
  • The Non-Manufacturing ISM index tracks how many hard goods were bought monthly by purchasing managers in the services industry. Economists expect the April index to rise to 57.5 percent from 57.3 percent.

  • Unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed adults, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. This number is expected to be 5.8 percent for April, up from 5.7 percent in March.

  • Non-farm payroll data from the Labor Department represents the change in the number of workers in non-farm jobs. Economists expect payrolls to rise by 60,000 for April versus March's rise of 58,000.

  • The Labor Department also follows the monthly percentage change in Hourly Earnings in the private sector. Wall Street predicts hourly wages to rise 0.3 percent in April, the same increase as March.

  • Average workweek for April is the average amount of hours worked per week in the private sector, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. Economists expect hours worked to tick up to 34.3 hours from the previous month's 34.2 hours.