STOCKS TO WATCH: Intel, Microsoft and Vodafone

3 min read

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Intel, Microsoft, Priceline and Vodafone.

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

    Intel figures to see its typically high volume Monday after Friday's downgrade from Merrill Lynch.

    The chipmaker's shares fell 3 1/4 to 76 3/16 Friday after analyst Joseph Osha cut the stock from a "buy" recommendation to a near-term "accumulate" rating, citing increased competition from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) and the possibility of slower-than-expected adoption of its Itanium chip next year.

    "AMD was the straw that broke the camel's back," Osha told Reuters. "There have been problems, problems and more problems gathering that made it harder for me to defend the rating."

    He cut his price target on the stock to $90 from $100. He also trimmed the outlook for fiscal 2000 earnings per share to $2.55 from $2.69.

    With the arrival of AMD's Athlon chip, Intel will now have competition for its Pentium III at the high-end of the consumer and corporate PC sector. Up until now, AMD's Intel-compatible chips have targeted the low-cost PC market.

    Intel shares hit a 52-week high of 89 1/2 in September.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Microsoft shares will be moving as usual Monday, especially after Bill Gates was quoted as saying he insisted on the right to determine what goes into the company's widely used Windows operating system.

    Gates was interviewed by Time news magazine after a federal judge ruled last week Microsoft was a monopoly that had bullied rivals and hurt consumers by stifling competition, a ruling that analysts said could have drastic consequences including a possible break-up of the company.

    "We'd love to resolve this thing, and we're going to be pragmatic about it," Gates told Time when asked if he was ready to settle.

    But Gates said he could not agree to a settlement that restricted what new applications could be added to Windows.

    "Let's face it. Without innovation, given the intense competition out there, Windows would become irrelevant. Not only would that be a tragedy for the shareholders, it would be a tragedy for consumers.''

    But Gates refused to be drawn into discussing details of a possible settlement.

    "The only thing that we know for sure that would be ad for consumers is anything that blocked us from being able to innovate Windows or anything that made is so that when people buy Windows they don't know what is in it.

    "Beyond those two principles, we'll be as pragmatic as we can," Gates said.

    Its shares closed off 7/16 to 89 3/16 Friday.

  • Priceline.com Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN)

    Ford Motor Co. will announce plans to let visitors to its Web site negotiate prices for new cars using Priceline.com's online bidding system, in the first deal of its kind between the Internet company and a car manufacturer, the Wall Street Journal said Monday.

    Ford will direct Internet users who look up prices for new Ford automobiles on its Web site to Priceline, where they can bid on the vehicles. Ford will pay Priceline an undisclosed amount to conduct the test, Priceline said.

  • Vodafone Airtouch Plc. (NYSE: VOD)

    Vodafone made a hostile takeover bid for German telecommunications and engineering company Mannesmann AG. So far, it's been unsuccessful.

    Sources close to the company said the all-stock bid was valued at more than $100 billion.

    Mannesmann AG said on Sunday it had rejected the unsolicited offer, saying it had turned down a Vodafone share exchange offer in which Vodafone proposed swapping 43.7 of its shares for a single Mannesmann share. It described the proposed deal as "financially extremely unattractive."

    Vodafone shares closed off 4 and change Friday to 47 3/8.>