THE DAY AHEAD: Stocks to Watch

3 min read

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Adobe, Autobytel.com, Compaq, GTE, Micron Technology and Qwest.

  • Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE)

    Adobe is scheduled to report its second quarter earnings after the bell. First Call consensus is 65 cents a share.

    There shouldn't be any major surprises in the report. Adobe said June 2 that it expected its results to beat expectations.

  • Autobytel.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL)

    The online auto broker said Wednesday it would form an electronic commerce joint venture in Japan to help jumpstart the country's e-commerce industry. It also stands to make some nice inroads for itself.

    Japanese media outlets report that Autobytel will form the venture with six companies including Japan's leading trade house, Itochu Corp.

    Japan is far behind the U.S. in terms of using the Internet as a low-cost sales emporium. That's something they want to change in a hurry. The deal can be seen not only as a positive development for Autobytel.com and its shareholders, but also those companies that help provide the infrastructure and software critical to online transactions.

    Japan is expected to see its e-commerce sales grow to more than 3.16 trillion yen by 2003.

    Autobytel.com shares closed up 2 to 20 1/8 Wednesday.

    The stock was trading as high as 58 in April.

  • Compaq Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CPQ)

    Compaq Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: CPQ) will declare a loss of up to 15 cents per share in the second quarter, the company said today. Compaq officials said the company was hurt by PC pricing pressures. The company said it is planning a major organizational overhaul, which it hopes will save it $2 billion in operating costs.

  • GTE Corp. (NYSE: GTE)

    Watch GTE shares Thursday after it became the first company with a national wireless network in Argentina after its $301 million purchase of a PCS license in the Buenos Aires area Wednesday.

    ``They are basically the first with national coverage,'' said Roger Heale, an analyst with Raymond James Argentina, told Reuters. "They are the first to take the big step in the country."

    Argentines for the first time will have the option of choosing their local and long-distance telephone operators, after years of being assigned to either Telefonica de Argentina (NYSE: TAR) in the southern half of the country or Telecom Argentina (NYSE: TEO) in the north.

    GTE already has wireless telephone operations and about 700,000 customers in the northern and southern halves of Argentina.

    GTE shares closed up 7/16 to 69 5/8 Wednesday.

  • Micron Technology Inc. (NYSE: MU)

    Micron Technology got a nice boost after ABN AMRO upgraded the stock from an "outperform" to a "buy" recommendation Wednesday, surging 3 1/4 to 46 1/2.

    But this stock has still has lots of room for growth.

    Its shares were trading at 80 9/16 in February before slumping below $40 a share in April. Now, the stock is starting to recovery with the rest of the semiconductor industry.

    More important memory chips are finally snapping out of what had been a horrendous free fall in worldwide pricing. That's Micron's bread and butter.

    ABN AMRO set a 12-month price target of $60 a share and an 18-month target of $100 a share.

    Maybe now's the time to get in.

  • Qwest Communications International Ltd. (Nasdaq: QWST)

    The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Qwest executives met with Fidelity and some of its largest shareholders to convince them that its bid for US West (NYSE: USW) and Frontier Corp. (NYSE: FRO) is justified following Qwest's 25 percent plunge Monday. Both US West and Frontier had agreed to merge with Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX).

    Meanwhile, Frontier's board is weighing the Qwest offer.

    For its part, Global Crossing said its offer is better. And following Qwest's recent decline, Global Crossing has a point. Stay tuned.