STOCKS TO WATCH: Agilent, Avnet and Pumatech

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Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Agilent Technologies, Avnet and Pumatech.

  • Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A)

    Agilent will be active Tuesday after it easily topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, earning 66 cents a share on sales of $3.37 billion.

    Analysts were forecasting a profit of 53 cents a share in the quarter on sales of around $3.1 billion.

    Its shares finished off $2.75 to $44.63 ahead of the earnings report.

    CEO Ned Barnholt said in a statement that he was comfortable with a guidance of at least 20 percent net growth in fiscal 2001 and that earnings per share in the first fiscal quarter of 45 cents, which is what First Call said analysts expect, was realistic.

  • Avnet (NYSE: AVT)

    Avnet will be in for a rough day of trading after it warned that it will miss analysts' earnings estimates in its second quarter.

    Its shares closed off $4.75, or 17 percent, to $22.69 ahead of the announcement.

    CEO Roy Vallee told analysts during the firm's annual shareholders meeting that it now expects to post a profit of between 75 cents to 80 cents a share in its second quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus was expecting a profit of 85 cents a share in the quarter.

    "The cyclicality of the semiconductor industry is no secret," Vallee said in a prepared release. "It seems that the industry is now experiencing an inventory correction, a result of excess buffer inventories and backlogs that were built up over the last several quarters, triggered by the earlier severe shortages that characterized the industry through our fiscal 2000."

    Vallee went on to say that the correction is likely temporary and could correct itself with the next few quarters.

    "Because we believe this correction is temporary, our expectations for the second half of fiscal 2001 EPS performance have not changed; however, this will lower the annual EPS consensus estimate of $3.46 by $0.05 or $0.10," he said.

    Last quarter, Avnet posted a profit of $75.6 million, or 81 cents a share, on sales of $2.96 billion.

  • Pumatech (Nasdaq: PUMA)

    Pumatech posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter, dropping $3.3 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $9.9 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to lose 9 cents a share in the quarter.

    Ahead of the earnings report, Pumatech (Nasdaq: PUMA) shares fell 94 cents to $12.06.

    The $9.9 million in sales marks a 55 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $72,000 on sales of $6.4 million.

    The stock moved as high as $102.44 in March before falling to a low of $11.63 earlier this month.