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STOCKS TO WATCH: Books-A-Million, General Semiconductor and Modem Media

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Books-A-Million, General Semiconductor, Modem Media and Maxtor.

  • Books-A-Million Inc. (Nasdaq: BAMM)

    Books-A-Million might pick up a bit Thursday after it tiptoed past analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $6.5 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $138 million.

    First Call consensus expected the online bookseller to earn 35 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1/4 to 7 3/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $138 million in sales represents an 18 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it also earned $6.5 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $117 million.

    For the year, Books-A-Million (Nasdaq: BAMM) raked in $5.9 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $404 million, up 16 percent from fiscal 1998 when it earned $4.5 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $348 million.

    In the quarter, comparable store sales improved 10 percent.

    Both analysts covering the stock maintain a "hold" recommendation.

  • General Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE: SEM)

    General Semiconductor named a new CFO Wednesday evening.

    Robert Gange, a 10-year General Semiconductor veteran, will take the reins after serving various positions in the company's finance division.

    It also promoted W. John Nelson, president of Asia/Pacific operations, to chief operating officer.

    Its shares closed off 1 7/16 to 16 5/16 Wednesday.

  • Modem Media Inc. (Nasdaq: MMPT)

    Modem Media will generate some volume Thursday after it filed late Wednesday to sell about 1.56 million shares of Class A common stock while some of its stockholders plan to sell approximately 2.93 million shares.

    The company, which provides marketing programs that are delivered over the Internet to facilitate two-way communication between clients and their customers, said it would net about $73.1 million based on an assumed $49.75 per share offering price.

    It will use the proceeds for working capital and capital spending as well as possible acquisitions, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Modem Media shares closed off 3 1/8 to 46 5/8 Wednesday.

    It split 2-for-1 earlier this month.

  • Maxtor Corp. (Nasdaq: MXTR)

    The disk-drive maker said it expects earnings for its first quarter ended April 1 to be 10 cents to 20 cents a share. The company was expected to have a loss of 27 cents, according to the consensus estimate of 9 analysts surveyed by First Call. Maxtor fell 1/16 to 11 13/16 at Wednesday's close.