Tech Industry

The week ahead: Sounds of software

Oracle and Adobe earnings will highlight a week that is staging other notable tech industry events, including the CeBit trade show and the Embedded Systems Conference.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of March 11 through March 15.

Some earnings and events from the software industry will take center stage this week.

Database software giant Oracle and desktop publishing software maker Adobe Systems will Thursday report earnings on their recent quarters.

Analysts surveyed by First Call expect Oracle to post earnings of 9 cents a share for its third fiscal quarter, which compares with 10 cents in last year's quarter. Wall Street estimates that Adobe will report earnings of 20 cents a share for its first fiscal quarter, which compares with earnings of 33 cents a year ago.

A software conference held by Lehman Brothers this week in Half Moon Bay, Calif., will give investors a chance to talk about trends and kick the tires of companies scheduled to present, such as BEA Systems, BMC Software, IBM and Computer Associates.

Investors will also watch closely Friday when the University of Michigan releases numbers from its Consumer Sentiment Index for March. The index measures the confidence and outlook of American consumers on the economy, a highly watched measure, since consumer spending drives U.S. business.

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

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, March 11
  • Investment bank Merrill Lynch will hold its Global Communications Investor Conference in New York, March 11 to March 13. Chief executives from Motorola, Tellabs and AT&T will make presentations.

  • Hewlett-Packard and some research institutions will announce on March 11 an initiative that will focus on developing Linux-based technology for academic, government and industrial research that will use Intel's Itanium line of chips, which have not yet gained widespread use in the market.

Tuesday, March 12
  • Cell phone maker Nokia will hold a conference call March 12 at 5:00 a.m. to give investors a business update on the company's first quarter. The call will be Webcast live.

  • The Embedded Systems Conference takes place at the Moscone Convention Center, in San Francisco, March 12 to March 16. Embedded systems include a huge range of non-PC computing devices, including VCRs, network routers, satellites, antilock brakes and slot machines.

  • The Strategic Research Institute will kick off a conference on ways to defend against information warfare at the Sheraton Crystal City, in Arlington, Va., March 12 to March 13. Experts from the military, government, and companies such as Symantec, Ernst & Young and Cisco Systems will make presentations.

  • Research firm Jupiter Media Metrix will hold a free conference call on online advertising on March 12 at 10:00 a.m. The call will present the case on how companies in the consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries will spend more money on online advertising in the future.

Wednesday, March 13
  • The Carmel Group, a research firm, will hold a dinner panel to address issues related to video-on-demand at the Marina Beach Marriott, in Marina Del Ray, Calif., March 13. Representatives from Liberate Technologies, Starz Encore, Keen Personal Media and other companies will participate.

  • CeBit takes place in Hanover, Germany, March 13 to March 20. The conference is a trade show that focuses on a variety of information and telecommunications technologies.

  • Investment bank Lehman Brothers will hold its Global Software Conference at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif., March 13 to March 14. Executives from BEA Systems, Cisco Systems, BMC Software and others will make presentations.

Thursday, March 14
  • The Korea Society will host a conference on wireless technology trends in Korea and the United States at the Citigroup Center in New York, March 14, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Executives from Xerox, Lucent and J.P. Morgan Chase will participate.

  • The University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism will hold the Online Journalism Conference at the USC campus, in Los Angeles on March 14 to March 15.

  • Investment bank CIBC World Markets will conduct a conference that will address broadband trends in the cable industry at the Cable Center, in Denver on March 14. The invitation-only gathering features presentations by executives from Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta, ADC Telecommunications and COX Communications. It includes skiing at Vail, Colo., on March 15 with "Extreme Skier" Glen Plake.


Monday, March 11

  • Engage is a subsidiary of CMGI and makes Web-based marketing software. No estimates were available for the second fiscal quarter.

  • NaviSite is also a CMGI company and provides outsourced Web services to businesses. No estimates were available for the second fiscal quarter.

Tuesday, March 12
  • CMGI owns and operates a handful of Internet-based businesses. Per-share consensus estimate from one analyst for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 18 cents.

  • Comverse Technology makes gear for telecom carriers that provides messaging, voice-controlled dialing and other communications services. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth fiscal quarter: profit of 6 cents.

  • WebMD provides Web-based transaction and information services to medical professionals and consumers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 3 cents.

Wednesday, March 13
  • Verity makes e-business software. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 2 cents.

Thursday, March 14
  • Adobe Systems develops desktop publishing software. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 20 cents.

  • Oracle is a major provider of database software. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 9 cents.

  • Tektronix makes test and measurement gear for electronic products. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 10 cents.

Economic Reports
Monday, March 11
  • Wholesale Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in wholesale inventories in the United States. This number is expected to fall 0.5 percent for the month of January from 0.6 percent in December.

Wednesday, March 13
  • Retail Sales for the month of February are expected to rise 0.3 percent compared with January's drop of 0.2 percent as reported by the Commerce Department. Excluding automobile sales, Wall Street expects retail sales to climb 0.4 percent versus a 1.2 percent gain during the previous month.

Thursday, March 14
  • 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 9.

  • 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 0.4 percent in January, the same decrease as December.

  • The Current Account is a measure of all the import and export transactions for a given quarter as reported by the Commerce Department. A negative number is a deficit and means the U.S. bought more foreign goods than it sold and a positive current account indicates the U.S. exported more goods. Wall Street expects the current account to increase to a deficit of -$101.5 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with -$95.0 billion for the third quarter.

Friday, March 15
  • The Producer Price Index is expected to rise 0.1 percent in February, the same climb as the previous month. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to increase 0.1 percent from January's drop of 0.1 percent. This Labor Department index tracks the cost of what manufacturers pay for raw goods to make products.

  • 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 in the month, which combines quantity and price. The number is expected to rise 0.2 percent in February compared with the preceding month's drop of 0.1 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 step up to 74.3 percent in February from the previous month's 74.2 percent.

  • The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is a measure of consumer confidence as reported monthly by the University of Michigan. Experts expect a preliminary report of the index to climb to 93.0 in March from February's 90.7.