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STOCKS TO WATCH: H-P, Oracle and Sun

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

  • Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP)

    H-P shares will be extremely active Monday after announcing that it has set a record date of May 2 for its spin-off to shareholders of its 84 percent stake in Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A).

    The company said that 0.37 shares of Agilent will be distributed on June 2 for each HP share.

    Hewlett-Packard announced in March 1999 a strategic realignment, creating two separate companies, one retaining the company's name and the other named Agilent.

    HP focused on computing and the Internet while the some other parts of the company including semiconductor products, test and measurement products, chemical analysis and healthcare products became Agilent.

    Agilent shares closed up 18 4/16 to 123-1/16 while HP shares ended up 5 1/16 at 153 1/16 Friday.

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

    Oracle made news Friday, announcing plans to more than double its number of shares outstanding.

    Oracle said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would put to shareholder vote on May 10 a plan to boost shares outstanding to about 11 billion from the current 4 billion.

    Oracle said in the filing its board believes ``the proposed increase is desirable so that, as the need may arise, the company will have the flexibility to issue shares of common stock without additional expense or delay, in connection with possible future stock dividends of stock splits,'' among other needs.

    Oracle recently split its high-flying stock 2-for-1.

    Its shares rose 4 15/16 to 87 1/8 Friday.

  • Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE)

    Shares closed up 18 percent, or 9 to 59 1/2 Friday after the Internet incubator gor a series of upgrades praising its plans to focus on infrastructure.

    Safeguard, which has funded Internet Capital Group Inc. and other business-to-business firms, says it will now focus on companies that provide software, services and communications technology for the Internet, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

    Safeguard is expected to announce its shift away from B2B Monday. Keep an eye on other B2B companies, including Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE), VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT) and (Nasdaq: PPRO) among others.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

    Sun should see heavy action after saying it is ``carefully studying'' last Monday's ruling in the landmark antitrust case against PC software company Microsoft Corp. to determine whether to file a private antitrust suit against the Washington-based firm, a Sun spokesman said on Friday.

    "The company is obligated to look at the situation, but we may well do nothing," said Sun spokesman Penny Bruce.

    Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson concluded Microsoft violated antitrust laws and the company's conduct regarding Sun's Java language had retarded its progress.

    If Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun were to file a lawsuit, it would be in addition to an ongoing suit Sun filed against Microsoft in 1997 that alleges Microsoft violated licensing agreements by improperly altering the Java programming language.

    On Friday, Sun closed up 6 1/8 to 98 13/16.