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The week ahead: Profit warnings persist

On the earnings front, Wall Street will go quiet for a week--call it the calm before the earnings storm.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of April 2 through April 6.

On the earnings front, Wall Street will go quiet for a week--call it the calm before the earnings storm.

There's been a record amount of profit warnings so far, with more to come. According to Chuck Hill, First Call's director of research, this week will be the second peak of three peak weeks for profit warnings and earnings pre-announcements.

"The estimates are now clearly in free fall for all four quarters of 2001 for the S&P500 tech sector earnings," Hill said. "The rate of decline has decelerated slightly for the first quarter and second quarter, but could reaccelerate as we move into the peak weeks for pre-announcements."

Analysts are busy trying to guess which companies will issue profit warnings. Leading candidates include enterprise software companies, which rely on end-of-quarter sales to meet expectations.

One company expected to fall short of expectations is business-to-business player Ariba. "We put a fairly high probability that (Ariba) will miss first-quarter estimates," said Robinson-Humphrey analyst Christopher Rowen. "Furthermore, we believe Ariba's problems go beyond a simple downturn in the economy. Our contacts in the consulting world indicate that troubled implementations and slackening demand for indirect procurement could lead to lasting problems for Ariba."

Switching gears from the earnings gloom to dot-com doom, Goldman Sachs also kicks off its Second Annual Internet New Media and e-Commerce Conference in Las Vegas. Headliners at the conference include: AOL Time Warner Chief Operating Officer Bob Pittman, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and eBay CEO Meg Whitman. They'll be discussing online travel, online advertising and other hot topics.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, April 2
  • iWireless World takes place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. April 2-4. The conference will focus on providing content in the wireless medium. Speakers will include Qualcomm Executive Vice President Paul Jacobs, InfoSpace Chairman Naveem Jain, and Ericsson Director of Business Development Tapio Anttila.

  • Forrester will host eBusiness Technologies: Turning Vision Into Reality at the Phoenician resort, Scottsdale, Ariz., April 2-3, a conference for Internet executives that will concentrate on trends in the business-to-business e-commerce industry. Featured speakers: Earnest Deavenport, CEO of Eastman Chemical; Greg Peters, CEO of Vignette; Thomas Siebel, CEO of Siebel Systems; and Sam Gillard, Chief Marketing Officer of Sabre.

  • eTravel World will host a conference on how technology effects the leisure travel industry. The event takes place at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, April 2-4, and keynote speakers include Carl Yankowski, CEO of Palm.

  • The Institute for International Research will lead a seminar at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City, April 2-3. The event is for marketing executives interested in learning how to measure the effectiveness of online advertising.

  • Gartner's Internet and eBusiness conference will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, April 2-4. The gathering is for companies intent on refining their strategy for doing business on the Internet. Keynote speakers: Michael Robertson, CEO of MP3.com; Mark Walsh, Chairman of VerticalNet; C. Edward McVaney CEO of J.D. Edwards; Keith Krach, CEO of Ariba; Dawn Gould Lepore, CIO of Charles Schwab.

  • The Forbes Presidents Forum will take place at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Mass., April 2-4. The event provides a forum for executives of small companies to learn about and discuss trends in economy and business. Speakers include Linnet Deily, Vice Chairman of Charles Schwab and Daniel Donoghue, Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions, at U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

  • Federal Reserve Governor Edward Gramlich takes part in a panel discussion on social security reform at Washington and Lee University, School of Law. 9 a.m. EST.

  • Comdex Chicago 2001 will take place at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill., April 2-5. The conference is geared towards IT professionals and features exhibits of various technology products. Keynote speakers include Larry Augustin, CEO of VA Linux Systems; Brian Halla, CEO of National Semiconductor; David Peterschmidt, CEO of Inktomi; Sean Maloney, Executive Vice President at Intel; and Larry Kramer, CEO of CBS MarketWatch. Also taking place at Comdex will be the Linux Business Expo and the ASP Summit.

  • Goldman Sachs will conduct the Internet New Media and eCommerce conference in Las Vegas, Nev., April 2-4. The conference will address the major strategic challenges that Internet companies face in an industry that has changed significantly during the past year. Featured speakers include Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, eBay CEO Meg Whitman, and Yahoo founder Jerry Yang.

  • Business 2.0's Rules & Tools conference will take place at the Millenium Broadway Hotel in New York City, April 2-3. The event will focus on business strategies that work in the Internet economy. Featured speakers include Scott Cook, chairman of Intuit and David Becker, COO of FreeMarkets.

Tuesday, April 3

  • Salomon Smith Barney and Broadcasting and Cable Magazine will kick off The Big Picture at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 3, a conference that will discuss the future of media. Keynote speakers will include Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission and Robert Rubin, Chairman of Citigroup. Other speakers: Stephen Case, Chairman of AOL Time Warner and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner

  • The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Commerce will conduct a workshop on the use of electronic signatures, 8:30 am-5 pm on April 3 at the Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, April 4

  • Internet World will hold ISPCON Spring 2001 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md., April 4-6. The event is tailored for Internet service providers and features speeches by Greg Maffei, CEO of 360networks and Jerry Parrick, CEO of Yipes Communications.

  • The Advanced Learning Institute will run a conference on online lending in Atlanta, Ga., April 4-6. The event is for bank executives interested in growing their loan businesses on the Internet.

Thursday, April 5

  • The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association will hold SkyFORUM at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, April 5. The event will address trends in the satellite industry. Featured speakers: Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., and HBO/NBC broadcaster Bob Costas.

  • Accenture and Women.future will host MainEvent 2001 at the Sony Recording Studios in New York City, April 5. The gathering aims to bring together top women executives to discuss issues related to the advancement of women in large global corporations. Keynote speakers include Ellen Hancock, CEO of Exodus Communications.


Monday, April 2

  • Adelphia Communications provides TV service and Internet access over cable lines. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of $1.02.

  • Adelphia Business Solutions operates a fiber-optic network that provides phone service, Internet access and data services. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of $1.39.

  • Circuit City is a chain of retail stores that sells consumer electronic products. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 46 cents.

  • UnitedGlobalCom provides cable TV service as well as Internet access and phone service. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of $3.20.

Tuesday, April 3
  • Best Buy is a chain of retail stores that sells consumer electronic products. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 82 cents.

Thursday, April 5
  • Cognos makes business software that handles data. Per-share consensus estimate for the fiscal fourth quarter: profit of 25 cents.

Economic Reports

Monday, April 2

  • Construction spending for February tabulates the dollar amount of newly completed structures as reported by the Commerce Department. In January, spending increased 1.5 percent from the previous month.

  • The National Association of Purchasing Managers index tracks how many hard goods were purchased by purchasing managers. The NAPM index increased to 41.9 percent in February from January's 41.2 percent. Economists interpret index values above 50 as a sign of an expanding economy, while an index below 50 indicates contraction.

Wednesday, April 4
  • The Non-manufacturing NAPM index tracks how many hard goods were bought monthly by purchasing managers in the services industry. The Non-manufacturing index rose to 51.7 in February from 50.1 in January.

Thursday, April 5
  • 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 March 31.

Friday, April 6
  • Hourly earnings is the percentage change in hourly earnings in the private sector as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. In February, earnings increased by 0.5 percent.

  • Average workweek for March is the average amount of hours worked per week in the private sector, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. Last month, the amount of hours dipped 0.1 hours to 34.2.

  • Unemployment rate for March is the percentage of unemployed adults, as estimated monthly by the Labor Department. In February, the unemployment rate held at 4.2 percent, the same as the previous month.

  • Nonfarm Payrolls represents the change in total non-farm employment. Last month, the payrolls increased by 135,000 non-farm workers compared to January's increase of 268,000.

  • Wholesale Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in wholesale inventories in the United States. Inventories fell 0.3 percent in February from the prior month.

Larry Dignan contributed to this report.