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The week ahead: HP, Dell tidings

Investors will hear earnings news from PC bellwethers Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer. On the storage front, Brocade also reports earnings, and IDC hosts a forum.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of May 13 through May 17.

Investors will hear earnings news from bellwether companies in the PC and storage sectors this week.

Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer will represent the PC industry. Wall Street expects HP on Tuesday to post earnings of 20 cents a share for the second fiscal quarter. That compares with earnings of 17 cents during the same quarter last year, according to analysts surveyed by First Call.

Dell on Thursday reports earnings for its first fiscal quarter, and analysts are looking for earnings of 16 cents a share, compared with 17 cents in the same period a year ago.

On the computer data storage side, Brocade Communication Systems releases earnings Wednesday and is expected to post a profit of 6 cents for its second fiscal quarter. The maker of switches and software for storage networks made 5 cents a share during the same quarter last year.

Analysts expect Network Appliance to make earnings of 4 cents a share Tuesday, versus 2 cents a share during the fourth fiscal quarter last year. The company makes networked storage systems that store files such as e-mail accounts.

On Tuesday, storage devotees will have a chance to attend a conference put on by research firm IDC in San Jose, Calif. On the opposite coast and on the same day, those concerned with Internet and computer privacy issues can attend two conferences addressing the matter in the Washington, D.C., area.

Some significant economic information from the government also comes out this week. Retail sales and Consumer Price Index data will hit Wall Street on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Analysts use both releases to help determine how consumer activity affects the economy.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, May 13
  • Media types, publishing folks and companies interested in digital content will gather at ContentWorld, which takes place at the San Jose Convention Center, in San Jose, Calif., May 13-16. Executives from Adobe Systems, IBM and Sony Music Entertainment will maker keynote presentations. Former NBA player and current chief executive of New Media Technology Charles Smith will also make a keynote speech, one that may be laced with sports metaphors.

  • Those interested in what new technologies are coming to fruition may want to attend the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference at the Westin Santa Clara, in Santa Clara, Calif., May 13-16. Researchers and engineers from Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems and Google will make featured speeches.

  • People curious about the buzz surrounding nanotechnology will gather at Nanotech Planet at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose, Calif., May 13-15. In simple terms, nanotechnology is the manipulation of single atoms and molecules to create objects that can be smaller than 100 nanometers. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, which is about a hundred-thousandth of the diameter of a human hair, or 10 times the diameter of a hydrogen atom.

Tuesday, May 14
  • Analysts from IDC will spend two days in San Jose, Calif., at the Fairmount Hotel, May 14-15, for the IDC Storage Forum. Presenters will address current and future trends in the data storage market, which is being reshaped by curtailed technology spending and the improvement of networking technology.

  • Apple Computer will unveil a new server on Tuesday, May 14 at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. Apple has only a small presence in the market for these higher-powered networked computers.

  • Some handheld computing disciples will take a peek at PlanetPDA in Boston at the Seaport Hotel, May 13-16. This year's show includes a panel themed "battle for the enterprise," which features representatives from Palm, Research In Motion, Hewlett-Packard and Symbol making the case for their particular PDA technologies. Executives from Intel and Microsoft will also make keynote speeches.

  • As part of continuing efforts to strengthen privacy protections for Web users, government officials and online industry leaders will hold a forum on the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) and its impact on Web sites and online privacy. The event takes place on May 14 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C., and includes a panel discussing online privacy issues.

  • George Washington University and the Computer & Communications Industry Association are sponsoring two panels focused on consumer adaptation and privacy issues surrounding the Internet. The event takes place at GWU's Graduate School of Business and Pubic Management in Ashburn, Va., May 14.

Wednesday, May 15
  • Venture capitalists will have the opportunity to network and listen to a morning panel about the industry at a Breakfast Club event at the Masons Club in New York, May 15, starting at 4:30 a.m. PT. Speakers on the panel, titled "What VCs Want," will address what VCs are looking for in companies in the context of the current IPO market.

  • Telematics 2002 takes place at the Cobb Center in Detroit, May 15-16. The conference will discuss developments in telematics, or dashboard computing technology for automobiles.


Tuesday, May 14

  • Applied Materials makes manufacturing equipment for chipmakers. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 2 cents.

  • BEA Systems makes e-commerce software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 5 cents.

  • Computer Associates writes network software for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: loss of 4 cents.

  • Hewlett-Packard, which recently gained approval for its merger with Compaq Computer, makes PCs, printers, handheld computers and other electronics. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 20 cents.

  • Liquid Audio provides online music software and services that let consumers download music off the Web. Per-share estimate from one analyst for the first fiscal quarter: loss of 25 cents.

  • Network Appliance manufactures gear for computer data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 4 cents.

  • Sirius Satellite Radio broadcasts radio programming over a satellite network. Per-share estimate consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of $1.26.

Wednesday, May 15
  • Brocade Communications Systems makes switches and software for computer data storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 6 cents.

  • Intuit makes personal finance software like TurboTax and Quicken. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 72 cents.

Thursday, May 16
  • Agilent Technologies makes test and measurement equipment for companies in the health care, semiconductor and communications sectors. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 23 cents.

  • Analog Devices makes chips for wireless communications gear and PC products. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 12 cents.

  • Dell Computer is a direct seller of PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 16 cents.

Economic Reports

Tuesday, May 14

  • Retail Sales for the month of April are expected to rise 0.5 percent compared with March's gain of 0.1 percent as reported by the Commerce Department. Excluding automobile sales, Wall Street expects retail sales to climb 0.4, compared with the previous month's gain of 0.3 percent.

Wednesday, May 15

  • The Consumer Price Index is expected to rise 0.4 percent in April from last month's rise of 0.3 percent. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to rise 0.2 percent from March's 0.1 percent increase. This keenly watched Labor Department index measures price changes at the consumer level and helps economists track inflation.

  • Business Inventories represents the percentage change of the amount of goods in inventory in the United States as reported by the Department of Commerce. Wall Street predicts inventories will fall 0.2 percent in March, which compares with a 0.1 percent decrease in February.

  • Industrial Production represents the monthly percentage change in industrial output as measured by the Federal Reserve. The number measures the physical quantity of items produced, unlike sales value, which combines quantity and price. The number is expected to rise 0.4 percent for April, compared with the previous month's rise of 0.7 percent.

  • The monthly Capacity Utilization report from the Federal Reserve indicates the percentage of industrial capacity in use. Analysts expect this measurement of industrial activity to rise to 75.6 percent in April from the last month's 75.4 percent.

Thursday, May 16
  • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ending May 11.

  • The commencement of construction on new homes, known as Housing Starts, is expected to fall to an annual rate of 1.625 million for April, down from 1.646 million in March, as reported by the Department of Commerce. Economists use this statistic to gauge the health of consumer spending on major purchases in the economy.

  • The Commerce Department tracks the number Building Permits granted each month. Permits allow developers to begin construction on a site, and are monitored as an indicator of future housing trends. Economists expect permits issued to rise to an annual rate 1.65 million in April from 1.63 million in March.

  • The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's monthly Business Outlook Survey is a survey 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 drop to 12 for the month of May from 12.3 in April

Friday, May 17
  • The Trade Balance, or the value of U.S. imports subtracted from exports, is expected to widen to a deficit of $32.5 billion in March from $31.5 billion in April as reported monthly by the Commerce Department.

  • The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is a measure of consumer confidence as reported monthly by the University of Michigan.