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The week ahead: Bellwethers take the earnings stage

Investors will be bracing themselves for a flurry of earnings reports this week that could signal slowing growth among the leading technology companies--or a much-hoped-for recovery.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Jan. 15 through Jan. 19.

Investors will be bracing themselves for a flurry of earnings reports this week that could signal slowing growth among the leading technology companies--or a much-hoped-for recovery.

Several high-profile technology companies are scheduled to report earnings this week, including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Intel, Apple Computer and Advanced Micro Devices.

Each of the companies mentioned above, with the exception of Sun, have either failed to meet recent earnings projections or warned that they will not do so for the fourth quarter of 2000. All eyes will be on these bellwethers.

Also this week, Sun Microsystems will debut new servers designed to be stacked up by the dozen, including the first sub-$1,000 Sun server. The company also will detail plans for products stemming from its acquisition of Cobalt Networks.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events

Monday, Jan. 15

  • The E-Learning Summit will take place at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix from Jan. 15-17. The conference will address key aspects of e-learning including education of new employees, communication with partners and the generation of revenue.

  • SuperNet will take place at the Santa Clara County Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif., Jan. 14-17. The exhibit and IEC conference will explore core technology advancements driving broadband deployment and will highlight growth areas such as optical networking, wireless, broadband access and IP networks.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

  • E-Bonding and the ASPwill take place at the Radisson Hotel in New Orleans. The conference will focus on outsourcing "back office" functions.

  • The WCA Tech Symposiumwill take place at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 17-19. Technology leaders in the fixed wireless broadband industry will convene for paper presentations, product displays and networking.
Thursday, Jan. 18
  • The MIT Forum will take place at the University of Texas at Dallas, featuring five experts. The program will include a satellite feed from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., on company valuation.

  • The AAAA/ANA e-Business Conference will take place at the Hilton Hotel in New York. The American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Association of National Advertisers plan to investigate what new Internet advertising strategies are working.

  • The Sundance Institute is hosting its first Sundance Online Film Festival. The festival begins Jan. 18, coinciding with the opening of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. People who are not attending the festival in Park City, Utah, will be able to watch the entries at the festival's Web site.

  • Scanner Technology & Versatile Web Portals will take place in Las Vegas. The event will discuss how to incorporate scanning technologies and physically scan-able links with existing business infrastructures.

  • SAN Solutions will take place at the Sheraton San Marcos Golf Resort in Phoenix. The two-day event will explore how storage area networks can benefit organizations and solve problems.


Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • Adavanced Micro Devices is the second-largest maker of semiconductors after Intel. Per-share consensus estimate: 55 cents.

  • Handspring makes handheld computers based on the Palm operating system. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 16 cents.

  • Intel is the world's largest semiconductor maker and makes the Pentium and the low-end Celeron, which have powered IBM-compatible PCs since 1981. Per-share consensus estimate: 38 cents.

  • Juniper Networks makes routers that move data through a network. Per-share consensus estimate: 18 cents.

  • RF Micro Devices makes mixers, modulators, cellular phones, wireless LANs, and wireless security systems. Per-share consensus estimate: 5 cents.

Wednesday, Jan. 17
  • General Electric operates myriad businesses from its financial arm, GE Capital Services, to the NBC television network. Per-share consensus estimate: 36 cents.

  • Ameritrade operates an online brokerage firm. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 13 cents.

  • Eastman Kodak makes both digital and traditional cameras, film and related products. Per-share consensus estimate: 68 cents.

  • i2 Technologies makes supply chain management software. Per-share consensus estimate: 8 cents.

  • Macromedia makes Web design software including Flash. AOL Time Warner, Apple Computer and Microsoft have all integrated Macromedia graphics and animation software into their products. Per-share consensus estimate: 27 cents.

  • Scient provides Internet and technology consulting services, from designing Web sites to developing e-commerce applications. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 16 cents.

  • Xilinx is the No. 1 maker of programmable logic chips. Per-share consensus estimate: 32 cents.

  • Apple Computer makes the Macintosh computer. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 65 cents.

Thursday, Jan. 18
  • Inktomi sells software designed to boost the network speed of its client companies. Per-share consensus estimate: 1 cent.

  • Microsoft is the world's No. 1 software maker and author of the Windows operating system, the Internet Explorer Web browser and the online portal MSN. Per-share consensus estimate: 47 cents.

  • Nortel Networks makes telecommunications products including switching, wireless and broadband network systems. Per-share consensus estimate: 26 cents.

  • Sun Microsystems makes Unix-based workstation computers, storage devices, and servers for powering corporate computer networks and Web sites. The company also invented Java, a programming language intended to create software that can run on any type of computer. Per-share consensus estimate: 16 cents.

  • eBay hosts an online auction for sellers and buyers. Per-share consensus estimate: 7 cents.

Economic Reports

Tues, Jan. 16

    Business inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in inventory in the United States as reported by the Department of Commerce. Wall Street predicts that this number will rise 0.4 percent in November vs. a 0.6 percent jump in October.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

  • The Department of Labor's consumer price index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for a fixed list of consumer goods and services. Economists closely watch the CPI for signs of accelerating inflation. Analysts expect the CPI to rise 0.2 percent in December, the same as the previous month. The "core" CPI, excluding food and energy, is expected to increase 0.2 percent compared with November's jump of 0.3 percent.

  • Industrial production represents the monthly percentage change in industrial output as tracked by the Federal Reserve. The number is expected to fall 0.5 percent for the month of December compared with last month's fall of 0.2 percent.

  • The monthly capacity utilization report from the Federal Reserve indicates the percentage of industrial capacity in use. Wall Street expects the number to fall to 80.9 percent in December from the previous month's 81.6 percent.

Thursday, Jan. 18

  • Housing starts are expected to reach 1.5 million for December, down from 1.56 million last month, as reported by the Department of Commerce.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's monthly Business Outlook Survey is a poll of manufacturers in the Third Federal Reserve District that tracks the direction of change in overall business activity at their plants. Wall Street expects the index to decline 7.1 percent for December compared with November's drop of 6.1 percent.

Friday, Jan. 19

  • The Commerce Department expects the trade balance, or the value of U.S. imports subtracted from exports, to shrink overall to a deficit of -$33 billion in November from -$33.2 billion in October.

  • The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index measures the level of consumer confidence as reported monthly by the University of Michigan. Experts expect the index to rise to 99 in January from December's 98.4.