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STOCKS TO WATCH: eBay, Gateway, Microsoft, Sun

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: eBay, Gateway, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

  • eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY)

    The online auctioneer will be hopping Friday after it beat the Street in its first quarter.

    In the quarter, it pocketed $30.6 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $154.1 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of between 8 cents and 9 cents a share in the quarter.

    In the year-ago quarter, it earned $4.4 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $85.9 million.

    eBay shares closed up $4.24 to $49.99 ahead of the earnings report.

  • Gateway (NYSE: GTW)

    Gateway still expects to break even in the first half of this year, but it will come after a furious bout of cost-cutting in the first quarter, executives said Thursday.

    "We're making a lot of progress as to the health of our operations," CEO Ted Waitt said, during a conference call with analysts.

    The PC maker reported a pre-tax operating loss of $6 million, or a penny per share after taxes, excluding special charges on first-quarter revenue of $2.03 billion. Those results were essentially in line with the consensus forecast of earnings tracking firm First Call.

    Shares of Gateway traded at $17.75 in after-hours activity on the Island ECN, following the report. Gateway rose 72 cents to $18.02 in Thursday's regular trading ahead of the news.

    Executives stuck to their earlier forecast of break-even results for Gateway's first half, with unit sales falling year-over-year. The company sees a profit in the second half, with unit sales increasing from the year-ago period.

  • Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    The software giant topped analysts' estimates in its third quarter Thursday, earning $2.45 billion, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $6.46 billion.

    First Call consensus pegged it for a profit of 42 cents a share in the quarter.

    After closing at $68.02 in the regular session, the stock shot up to $72 in after-hours trading.

    In the year-ago quarter, it earned $2.39 billion, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $5.66 billion.

  • Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW)

    Sun will be active Friday after topping analysts' lowered estimates by a penny a share, earning $263 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $4.1 billion.

    Analysts were projecting a profit of 7 cents a share following its mid-quarter profit warning.

    In the year-ago quarter, it earned 14 cents a share on sales of $4 billion.

    Chief Financial Officer Mike Lehman said spending appears to be slowing down somewhat outside the United States.

    "Our results reflected the sharp decline in capital spending in the information technology sector, principally in the United States, although we did see some moderation of demand in Europe and Asia-Pacific," he said in a statement.