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STOCKS TO WATCH: Agency.com, CMGI, Microsoft, Oracle and Red Hat

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday’s most actively traded issues: Agency.com, CMGI, Microsoft, Oracle and Red Hat.

  • Agency.com (Nasdaq: ACOM)

    The Internet consultant could be in for a rough day after warning after the bell that it will miss analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter and lay off 190 employees.

    Its shares closed unchanged at $3.88 ahead of the warning.

    Company officials said it now expects to earnings of between 4 cents to 7 cents a share in the quarter, meaning it will likely miss the current First Call Corp. consensus estimate of 7 cents a share.

    It will also take a restructuring charge of between $11 million to $14 million in the quarter.

    It expects sales for the fourth quarter to total $56 million to $58 million, compared with $31.3 million in the year earlier period.

  • CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI)

    CMGI managed to post a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Thursday and said it has more than $800 million in cash to keep it afloat for the next 30 months.

    In the quarter, it lost $74 million, or 25 cents a share, excluding charges, on sales of $366.1 million.

    Including a variety of charges, the Internet holding company posted a loss of $636.6 million, or $2.07 a share in the quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged CMGI for a loss of $2.13 a share in the quarter.

    CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) shares fell 56 cents to a 52-week low of $9.06 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $366.1 million in sales represents a 184 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $122 million, or 54 cents a share, on sales of $129.1 million but off 3 percent sequentially.

  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Even mighty Microsoft couldn’t escape the sour technology market this quarter.

    For the first time in its history, the software giant warned that its second-quarter sales would fall short of its earlier forecast by 5 to 6 percent due to slowing spending on technology by consumers and businesses.

    It now expects to earn between 46 cents to 47 cents a share in the quarter, below the Street view of 49 cents a share.

    Sales are expected to come in between $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion. It also cut its sales forecast for the full fiscal year to between $25.2 billion to $25.4 billion, about 5 percent lower than its previous estimate.

    It’s expecting earnings of $1.80 to $1.82 a share for the full fiscal year, below the average Wall Street forecast of $1.91 per share as monitored by First Call.

    Its shares fell $2.63 to $52.88 in after-hours trading after closing off $1.75 ahead of the warning.

  • Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL)

    Oracle will be active after topping the Street estimate in its second quarter, thanks to strong sales of its database and Internet application software.

    In the quarter, it pocketed $623 million, or 11 cents a share, for its second quarter, up from $384 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 10 cents a share.

    Total sales rose to $2.7 billion from $2.3 billion.

    Oracle's sales of business management, or application software -- closely watched by Wall Street -- rose 66 percent to $279 million, coming in ahead of expectations. Analysts had expected sales to grow between 48 percent and 58 percent.

    The stock fell 88 cents to $27.50 ahead of the earnings report but moved up to $28.50 in after-hours trading.

  • Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT)

    Red Hat will be on the move after it beat the Street in its third-quarter, losing $899,532, or a penny a share, on sales of $22.4 million.

    In the year-ago quarter, it dropped $5.4 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $10.5 million.

    Analysts were expecting a loss of 2 cents a share.

    The stock closed off 63 cents to $8.69 ahead of the report.

    The company said it was on track to achieving profitability, which analysts had anticipated by the second quarter of fiscal 2002, ending in August next year.