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STOCKS TO WATCH: Cisco, MicroStrategy, NetCentives

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday’s most actively traded issues: Cisco Systems, MicroStrategy and NetCentives.

  • Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO)

    The run finally came to an end for Cisco Systems Tuesday when it missed analysts’ estimates by a penny a share in its second quarter and warned that the next few quarters would be “challenging.”

    In the quarter, the network-equipment maker earned $1.33 billion, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $6.75 billion, up from a profit of $897 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $4.36 billion in the year-ago quarter.

    However, analysts were expecting a profit of 19 cents a share on sales of more than $7 billion.

    Chief Executive Officer John Chambers warned less than two weeks ago that January's business was ``more challenging than we anticipated,'' leading many analysts to question whether Cisco's and the telecommunications industry's growth are slowing.

    Including one-time items, Cisco said its net income for the quarter rose to $874 million, or 12 cents a share, from $816 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.

    The stock dropped to $33.44 in after-hours trading after closing up $1.19 to $35.75 in the regular session.

  • MicroStrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR)

    The e-business software developer will be active Wednesday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter but missed analysts’ sales targets.

    MicroStrategy posted a loss of $24.9 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $58.1 million in the quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged it for a loss of 40 cents a share on sales of $59.7 million.

    In the year-ago quarter, MicroStrategy lost $14 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $46.2 million.

    The stock closed up 81 cents to $16.94 before falling to $16.06 in after-hours trading.

  • NetCentives (Nasdaq: NCNT)

    NetCentives lost less than analysts’ expected in its fourth quarter and predicted a smaller-than-expected loss in fiscal 2001.

    The Internet marketing firm posted a loss of $17.8 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of 17.4 million.

    Analysts were expecting a loss of 49 cents a share on sales of $13.6 million.

    Company executives told analysts to expect 100 percent sales growth in 2001 and a loss of only $155 to $1.60 a share, slightly better than the $1.67 a share most analysts were expecting.

    In the year-ago quarter, NetCentives lost $9.5 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $2.8 million.

    The stock closed up 50 cents to $4.81 ahead of the earnings report.