THE DAY AHEAD: Stocks to Watch

3 min read

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Conexant Systems, Ericsson, MapQuest.com and StarMedia.

  • Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT)

    The up-and-coming maker of chips for wireless communications applications said Tuesday it will "significantly" exceed estimates in its third quarter.

    Company officials said third-quarter sales will more than 15 percent higher than the year-ago quarter, resulting in an unexpected boost to the Newport Beach, Calif. company's bottom line.

    First Call consensus expects the company to earn 11 cents a share in the quarter.

    Last quarter, Conexant shattered analysts estimates and reached profitability two quarters ahead of expectations.

    Back in April, Merrill Lynch chip analyst Joseph Osha identified Conexant as one of a handful of stocks that could soar in the next few quarters. "Conexant is one stock that's going to be on the move," Osha said. "It'll easily beat the Street number. It's one you're going to want to own."

    Conexant shares closed off 1 1/16 to 45 5/16 Tuesday. However, the stock peaked at an all-time high of 47 1/4 last week after slipping to a low of 13 shortly after its January initial public offering.

  • Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY)

    The wireless telecommunications equipment maker said Tuesday it would make a $13 million equity investment in OZ.com, a privately held Internet software developer based in Iceland.

    Company officials said the investment will help Ericsson develop simply and convenient Internet communication appliances. OZ.com specializes in services used for mobile phones, pagers and personal computers.

    In its release, Ericsson said the investment will "strengthen Ericsson's role in creation of software applications for innovative Internet voice and datacom services."

    Its shares closed off 1/8 to 29 13/16.

  • MapQuest.com Inc. (Nasdaq: MQST)

    MapQuest.com posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter Tuesday, losing $2.8 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $6.2 million. Its shares closed up 1/2 to 17 1/2.

    First Call consensus expected it to lose 11 cents a share in the quarter.

    In the year-ago period, MapQuest.com lost $900,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $5.6 million.

    In the first quarter, company officials said it tripled its advertising revenue to $1 million while expanding its sales channels to several local markets.

    In early May, MapQuest.com shares rocketed up 66 percent in its initial public offering. After peaking at 28, the stock soon rolled back to a low of 13 7/8 several weeks later.

    First Call consensus expects MapQuest.com to lose 12 cents a share in its second quarter and 44 cents a share in the fiscal year.

  • StarMedia (Nasdaq: STRM)

    Here comes the competition for StarMedia. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) said it launched Yahoo! Brazil, its first site targeting Latin America.

    Yahoo Brazil will feature a directory of Internet sites in Portuguese, organized by native Brazilian Web surfers. Last June, Yahoo launched a Spanish-language portal.

    StarMedia had a successful IPO last month because it had a big lead in the Latin American market. Now it has some company.