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Tech Industry

The week ahead: Earnings galore

Investors, searching for encouraging signs of a business recovery, await earnings news from market-dominant tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, Intel and eBay.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of April 15 through April 19.

Wall Street will set most of its attention on the mass of companies that will report earnings this week.

Investors will particularly watch for earnings news from market-dominant tech companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, eBay and Nortel Networks for encouraging signs of a business recovery in the near future.

The government will also release data on Tuesday from the March Consumer Price Index, a report that economists use to gauge inflation pressure on consumer prices.

Finally, security-conscious IT professionals will gather in Chicago for the Information Security Conference hosted by consulting firms DCI and the Meta Group.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Sunday, April 14
  • CXO Media will host a conference for chief information officers and other IT professionals at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort in Bal Harbour, Fla., April 14 to April 16. Representatives from SBC Communications, Intel and Wal-Mart will make presentations.

Monday, April 15
  • The Institute for International Research will stage its In-Building Wireless conference in Las Vegas, April 15 to April 17. The gathering will focus on the opportunities and obstacles in adding wireless networks to indoor areas. Executives from companies such as Cingular Wireless, Nextel Communications, AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS and VoiceStream Wireless will participate in panel presentations.

  • NASA and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) will hold a joint conference on computer data storage at the University of Maryland in Adelphi, Md., April 15 to April 18.

Tuesday, April 16
  • The Computers Privacy & Freedom Conference takes place at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco, April 16 to April 19. The event will address issues on the use of the Internet as both a free and private forum. Topics to be discussed include consumer privacy, broadband issues, wireless privacy and security, the digital divide, critical, public records, filtering, and disabilities access. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris are scheduled to speak.

  • The MIT Enterprise Forum will host a panel for people involved in start-ups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., on April 16 at 7 p.m. EDT. The event, called "Cashing Out Successfully," is open to the public and will discuss ways entrepreneurs and VCs can run their companies to maximize the return for their investors. Panelists include representatives from law firm Hale and Dorr, investment bank Goldman Sachs and VC firm Highland Capital Partners.

  • The Information Security Conference takes place at the Hyatt Regency McCormick in Chicago, April 16 to April 18. The gathering will address computer security issues that businesses face today.

Wednesday, April 17
  • iWireless World kicks off at the Wyndham Bel Age Hotel in Los Angeles, April 17 to April 18. The event will address trends in the wireless content and applications sector and features speeches by Cingular Wireless CEO Stephen Carter and David Nagel, the CEO of Palm's platform solutions group.

Thursday, April 18
  • Research firm RHK will hold a seminar on optical equipment and components at the Corel Center in Kanata, Ontario, on April 18 that features presentations by RHK analysts.

Earnings

Monday, April 15

  • Handspring makes handheld computers for consumers that act as organizers. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 4 cents.

  • Hughes Electronics offers satellite TV service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 13 cents.

  • Novellus Systems makes chip manufacturing gear. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 9 cents.

  • Sprint provides long-distance phone service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 30 cents.

  • Sprint PCS provides wireless phone service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 20 cents.

  • Texas Instruments makes chips for computers, cell phones and other electronic products. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: zero cents.

  • Unisys provides IT consulting services to large businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 8 cents.

Tuesday, April 16
  • Cadence Design Systems develops software that aids the design of electronic hardware. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 22 cents.

  • Commerce One makes business-to-business e-commerce software. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 20 cents.

  • i2 Technologies makes e-commerce and management software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 8 cents.

  • Intel is a major manufacturer of chips for PCs, telecommunications gear and other electronic equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 15 cents.

  • Linear Technology makes chips for industrial and consumer equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 15 cents.

  • Motorola makes chips, cell phones, pagers and communications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 12 cents.

  • RealNetworks is an Internet media software developer. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 1 cent.

  • Teradyne is a maker of chip manufacturing equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 41 cents.

  • Veritas Software develops computer data storage software. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 13 cents.

Wednesday, April 17
  • Intel rival Advanced Micro Devices makes chips for PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 6 cents.

  • Apple Computer makes computers and consumer electronics. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 10 cents.

  • Broadcom makes chips for cable set-top boxes and other communications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 10 cents.

  • CDW Computer Centers is a distributor of computer and electronic products. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 45 cents.

  • E*Trade Financial provides online banking and stock trading services. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 7 cents.

  • Extreme Networks makes communications equipment for telecom carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 2 cents.

  • IBM is a major manufacturer of computers and offers IT consulting services. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 68 cents.

  • Knight Trading Group provides online stock trading services. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 3 cents.

  • PayPal offers a service that allows subscribers to send cash to each other via e-mail. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 4 cents.

  • Nextel Communications offers wireless phone service. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 40 cents.

  • Siebel Systems makes e-business and customer relationship software for large businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 12 cents.

  • Tellabs makes voice and data gear for telecom companies. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 1 cent.

Thursday, April 18
  • Atmel makes chips for electronic and communications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 7 cents.

  • Compaq Computer makes PCs and servers. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 1 cent.

  • eBay operates an auction Web site. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 16 cents.

  • Gateway manufactures PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 20 cents.

  • KLA-Tencor makes manufacturing equipment for chipmakers. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 15 cents.

  • Microsoft makes software for PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 51 cents.

  • Nokia builds cell phones and wireless communications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 15 cents.

  • Nortel Networks produces telecommunications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 14 cents.

  • PMC-Sierra fabricates chips for communications equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: loss of 12 cents.

  • SAP develops CRM (customer relationship management) software for large businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 10 cents.

  • SBC Communications is a so-called Baby Bell phone company that offers local phone service in 13 states, mostly in the Midwest and the West Coast. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 51 cents.

  • Scientific-Atlanta makes cable set-top boxes. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 26 cents.

  • Sun Microsystems makes servers and created the Java programming language. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 2 cents.

  • Xilinx makes chips for consumer products as well as communications gear. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 9 cents.

Friday, April 19
  • BellSouth is a Baby Bell that offers local phone service in nine southern states. Per-share consensus estimate for the first quarter: profit of 56 cents.

Economic Reports

Monday, April 15

  • Business Inventories represents the percentage change of the amount of goods in inventory in the United States as reported by the Department of Commerce. Wall Street predicts inventories will remain unchanged in February versus a 0.2 percent rise in January.

Tuesday, April 16
  • The Consumer Price Index is expected to rise 0.4 percent in March from a 0.2 percent gain during the previous month. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to rise 0.2 percent from the 0.3 percent increase in February. This keenly watched Labor Department index measures price changes at the consumer level and helps economists track inflation.

  • The commencement of construction on new homes, known as Housing Starts, is expected to fall to an annual rate of 1.7 million for March from 1.769 million in February, as reported by the Department of Commerce. Economists use this statistic to gauge the health of consumer spending on large items in the economy.

  • The Commerce Department tracks the number of Building Permits granted each month. Permits allow developers to begin construction on a site and are monitored as an indicator of future housing trends. Economists expect permits issued to fall to an annual rate of 1.685 million in March from 1.774 million in February.

  • The monthly Capacity Utilization report from the Federal Reserve indicates the percentage of industrial capacity in use. Economists expect this measurement of industrial activity to rise to 75 percent in March from the previous month's 74.8 percent.

  • Industrial Production represents the monthly percentage change in industrial output as measured by the Federal Reserve. The number measures the physical quantity of items produced, unlike sales value, which combines quantity and price. Production is expected to increase 0.4 percent in March, the same gain as February.

Wednesday, April 17
  • The Trade Balance, or the value of U.S. imports subtracted from exports, is expected to widen to a deficit of -$29 billion in February from -$28.5 billion in January as reported monthly by the Commerce Department.

Thursday, April 18
  • 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 13.

  • The index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) is expected to climb 0.4 percent for March as compiled by the Conference Board, a business group. In February, the LEI stayed unchanged. The index, designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle, is a combination of 10 indicators, including consumer expectations, money supply data, and the change in housing permits issued. A falling index generally indicates an oncoming recession, while a climbing index signals an expansion.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's monthly Business Outlook Survey is a survey of manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District that tracks the direction of change in overall business activity at their plants. Wall Street expects the April index to rise to 13.4 from the previous month's 11.4

  • The Treasury Budget is a monthly report of the surplus or deficit of the U.S. government from the Department of Treasury. No estimates were available, but the March budget stood at a deficit of -$50.7 billion.