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STOCKS TO WATCH: Macrovision, Motorola, Rational and Yahoo!

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday’s most actively traded issues: Macrovision, Motorola, Rational Software and Yahoo!.

  • Macrovision (Nasdaq: MVSN)

    Macrovision shares will be on the move Thursday after it raised its revenue and earnings estimates for 2001 and the first quarter.

    The video security technology company said in a statement it projected pro forma earnings per share of at least 80 cents, compared to current consensus estimates of 73 cents a share, according to research firm First Call/Thomson Financial.

    Macrovision said it revised its revenue outlook to $105 million to $110 million, compared with the revenue outlook of $103.42 million, as compiled by First Call.

    It said revenues for the first quarter were seen in the range of $20 million to $22 million. Pro forma earnings were estimated to be at least $40 million, with earnings per share from 15 to 16 cents.

    Macrovision shares closed up $7.30 to $65.50 Wednesday.

  • Motorola (NYSE: MOT)

    Motorola will be worth watching after it met analysts’ reduced estimates in its fourth quarter, earning $355 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $10.1 billion.

    After issuing two profit warnings earlier in the quarter, Wednesday’ results were rather anticlimactic.

    For the fiscal year, it posted a profit of $1.9 billion, or 84 cents a share, on sales of $37.6 billion.

    Motorola shares closed up 50 cents to $21.19 ahead of the earnings report.

    While sales improved 11 percent from the year-ago quarter, profits fell 41 percent from $564 million, or 25 cents a share.

  • Rational Software (Nasdaq: RATL)

    Rational Software will be on the move after the maker of online software development applications posted a profit of $40.2 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $215.5 million in its third quarter.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 18 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $215.5 million in sales marks a 47 percent jump from the year-ago quarter when it earned $25.6 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $146.2 million.

    The company said net income -- including unusual items -- was $26.5 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with $25.4 million or 13 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

    Rational shares added $2.31 to $39.13 ahead of the earnings report.

  • Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO)

    Let the speculation begin.

    After the bell Wednesday, Yahoo posted a fourth-quarter profit of $80.2 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $310.8 million after the bell Wednesday. First Call Corp. consensus pegged Yahoo for a profit of 13 cents a share on sales of $315.1 million.

    But the earnings were almost an afterthought because Wall Street was awaiting the company's outlook. Yahoo officials told investors to expect sales of only $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion in fiscal 2001, below previous estimates of $1.42 billion.

    It's now expecting a profit of between 33 cents to 43 cents a share in the fiscal year, well below the First Call estimate of 57 cents a share. The first quarter looks to be the worst of the year. Company officials said Yahoo expects to post a profit of between 4 cents to 7 cents a share in its first quarter, dramatically lower than the current consensus estimate of 13 cents a share.

    Sales in the first quarter will likely come in around $220 million to $240 million, below the $303 million most analysts were expecting.

    Yahoo shares closed up 38 cents to $30.50 ahead of the earnings report before falling more than 20 percent in after-hours trading.