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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AboveNet, Adtran, Autobytel.com, BMC Software and Lam Research

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: AboveNet, Autobytel.com, BMC Software, Lam Research and Network Equipment.

  • AboveNet Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ABOV)

    AboveNet could be in for a fall Friday after it posted a much wider-than-expected loss in its fourth quarter.

    It lost $12 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $5.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected AboveNet to lose 29 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $5.7 million in sales represents a 315 percent explosion compared to the year-ago quarter when it lost $5.8 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $1.3 million.

    For the fiscal year, AboveNet lost $26.5 million, or $1.60 a share, on sales of $13.9 million. That $13.9 million in sales represents a 306 percent improvement compared to fiscal 1998 when it lost $5.4 million, or $10.34 a share, on sales of $3.4 million.

    Its shares raced up to a 52-week high of 75 1/2 in April after trading at a low of 5 3/4 in December.

    The stock split 2-for-1 in May.

    Three of the four analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

  • Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN)

    The maker of equipment for high-speed Internet access over phone networks will replace General Nutrition Cos. (GCNI) in the Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 Index as of Aug. 5. Adtran was unchanged at 36

    Also, Quantum Corp. (QNTM), which split its shares into two stocks, is being replaced by one of them -- a stock tracking its storage systems group (DSS-W) -- in the MidCap 400 Index after the close of trading Aug. 3. The stock of the hard disk group (HDD-W) is not being added. Quantum's storage system stock fell 7/16 to 18 5/16. Its hard disk drive tracking stock was unchanged at 7 1/4.

  • Autobytel.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL)

    Online automobile seller beat Street estimates by 7 cents a share in its second quarter Thursday, losing $6 million, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $9.2 million.

    First Call consensus pegged it for a loss of 40 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $9.2 million represents a 70 percent improvement year-over-year and a 15 percent increase sequentially. The number of dealers paying to join Autobytel.com's service increased 12 percent to 2,560 from 2,865 in the first quarter, said Mark Lorimer, president and CEO of Autobytel.com.

    Service fees increased 140 percent sequentially and generated 11 percent of Autobytel.com's revenue, Lorimer said.

  • BMC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BMCS)

    Strong growth in client-server revenue during the first quarter helped BMC top analysts' forecasts by two cents a share.

    In fiscal first quarter results released after market close Thursday, the maker of systems management software reported net income of $105.3 million, or 42 cents a share, excluding merger-related charges and amortization. First Call's survey of 25 analysts predicted earnings of 40 cents a share for the quarter ended June 30.

    First quarter rose 43 percent, to $400.7 million from $279.3 million in the year-ago period. License revenues gained 47 percent year-over-year, with North American license business increasing 63 percent. Maintenance and service revenue went up 36 percent.

  • Lam Research Corp. (Nasdaq: LRCX)

    The chip-equipment maker will be on the move Friday after it handily beat Street estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday.

    After five consecutive quarters of losses, the Fremont, Calif.-based maker of wafer fabrication equipment raked in more than twice as much as analysts expected for the company's fiscal fourth quarter. Lam reported net income of $11.3 million, or 28 cents per share. First Call's survey of 19 analysts predicted a per-share profit of 12 cents.

    Fourth quarter revenues increased 38 percent sequentially to $210.9 million. Asian sales not including Japan led the way with a 39 percent gain, followed by North America with 38 percent growth.

    Lower materials costs and improved economies of scale as orders rose boosted Lam's gross margin to 38.8 percent, compared to 35.5 percent in March.

    Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: NWK)

    The maker of telecommunications gear fired 84 employees, or 7 percent of its workforce, and will take a $3 million to $4 million restructuring charge in its fiscal second quarter ending in September. The reorganization is expected to result in annual savings of about $10 million. Network Equipment fell 1/16 to 9 13/16.