STOCKS TO WATCH: Analog Devices, Intuit, Lattice Semiconductor, Microsoft and NetZero

4 min read

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Analog Devices, Intuit, Lattice Semiconductor, Microsoft and NetZero.

  • Analog Devices Inc. (NYSE: ADI)

    The maker of high-speed communications chips will replace Ameritech Corp. (AIT), which is being acquired, in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Sykes Enterprises Inc. (SYKE) will replace Analog Device in the S&P MidCap 400. Analog Devices fell 2 7/16 to 55 1/2 at THursday's close.

  • Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU)

    Personal finance software developer Intuit said Thursday that CEO Bill Harris resigned after he and the board decided it needed a more seasoned manager to lead the company as its annual sales near $1 billion.

    Chairman Bill Campbell will assume day-to-day operations of the company until a successor is found, who will come from outside the company. Harris, 43, will remain on the board and aid in the transition, the company said.

    Twenty percent of Intuit's revenues during the past six months came from the Internet, where Intuit is seeking to become a one-stop shopping source for online financial services. Buoyed by strong sales of its Quicken, TurboTax and other software, Intuit's sales surged 43 percent and profits doubled in its most recent fiscal year.

    "This is a good time for the company to search for someone who has deep experience running large companies," Harris told Reuters. "All of us have agreed this is the right thing for me and the right thing for the company."

    Intuit shares closed off 2 11/16 to 100 9/16 Thursday before falling to 95 in after-hours trading.

  • Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: LSCC)

    The chipmaker put its investors at ease late Thursday when it said it sees no impact on its financial results for the September or December quarters due to potential supply disruption following this week's earthquake in Taiwan.

    Lattice Semiconductor gets semiconductor products from wafer foundries in the United States, Japan and Taiwan.

    Lattice has a long-term deal with UMC Group in Taiwan from which it now gets about 10 percent of its products. For device package assembly, subcontractors in Taiwan account for less than 5 percent of all Lattice requirements, it said.

    Lattice shares closed off 2 1/2 to 28 15/16.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Leave it to Microsoft to wreck the technology market for a day.

    It's no coincidence that the bulk of the technology sell-off Thursday came after Microsoft President Steve Ballmer said valuations on technology stocks have reached ''absurd'' levels and even his own company's shares may be overvalued.

    "There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks, it is absurd," Ballmer said to a group of journalists at a technology conference being given by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. "I could put our own company and others in that category."

    Microsoft shares fell 4 7/8 to 91 3/16.

    Look for it to bounce back now once investors come to their senses.

  • NetZero Inc. (Proposed ticker: NZRO)

    NetZero priced its 10 million-share offering at $16 a share, the high end of its revised price range of $14 to $16 a share.

    The company originally priced its shares at between $9 to $11 a share.

    The underwriters, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Hambrecht & Quist, and Wit Capital Corp., have been allotted 1.5 million in extra shares in the event of heavy demand.

    The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company is hoping to offer free Internet service and make up the revenue shortfall on advertising. NetZero had about 613,000 users accessing its free connection to the Internet in June and delivered 830 million ads to those consumers.

    The company plans to use the proceeds raised in the IPO to expand its marketing and sales, boost business by enhancing its server and network infrastructure, fund operating losses and other general corporate purposes, the company said in regulatory filings.

    NetZero had about $15.2 million in net losses in the year ending June 30. For the three months ended July 30, 1999, NetZero had a net loss of $8.3 million on revenue of 3.7 million

    There are some risks banking the whole future on advertising revenue. "If we are not able to demonstrate to our advertisers that our registered users are actively using our service, advertisers may choose not to advertise," the company said.

    While about 1.68 million users had registered for the NetZero service as of August 31, roughly 891,000 used the service during that month.

    "We believe that a number of our users have Internet access accounts with our competitors," the company said. "As a result, these users may not use NetZero as their primary Internet service provider."