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STOCKS TO WATCH: Comverse Technology, Microsoft and Net2Phone

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Comverse Technology, Microsoft and Net2Phone.

  • Comverse Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: CMVT)

    Comverse shares may gain ground Thursday after it beat Street estimates by a couple cents a share in its first quarter.

    The maker of communications and multimedia systems earned $56.4 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $261.3 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected a profit of 31 cents a share.

    Its shares closed up 1 11/16 to 91 3/8 ahead of the earnings report but slipped to 89 1/2 in after-hours trading.

    First quarter revenue increased 30 percent year-over-year to $261.3 million. Wireless network operators continued to generate the majority of Comverse's sales.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    The software giant made its last plea Wednesday night, calling the government's plan to break-up the company "defective, vague and ambiguous."

    "When an injunction is so vague and ambiguous that it 'defies comprehension' it is void and unenforceable," Microsoft told District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, in a filing that commented on the government plan.

    Microsoft shares edged up 11/32 to 62 29/32 after closing down 13/16 to 62 9/16.

    Despite Microsoft’s objections, it's widely expected that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who found last month that Microsoft committed sweeping violations of federal antitrust laws, will order a breakup of the world's largest software company.

  • Net2Phone Inc. (Nasdaq: NTOP)

    Net2Phone also beat the Street in its third quarter, posting a loss of $11.4 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $18.9 million.

    Analysts were looking for a loss 22 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1 1/2 to 29 1/2.

    The $18.9 million represents more than a 100 percent improvement compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $830,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $9 million.

    Gross profit margins were 42 percent down from 46 percent in the second quarter.

    In the quarter, Net2Phone's total minutes of use grew to 121 million minutes, up 89 percent from 64 million minutes in the year-ago quarter. By quarter's end, Net2Phone had more than 825,000 active customers who had paid for and used Net2Phone's services during the past three months, a 43 percent increase over the prior quarter's 575,000.