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STOCKS TO WATCH: Altera, CNet, Paradyne, Seagate and Texas Instruments

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Altera, Allaire, AVT, Concord Communications, CNet, MMC Networks, Paradyne, Seagate, and Texas Instruments.

  • Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR)

    The programmable logic device maker met analysts' estimates in its second quarter Thursday, raking in $51.1 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $197.8 million.

    Company officials credited strong sales of new product offerings and a recovery in the Japanese and Asia/Pacific markets.

    The $197.8 million in sales represents a 23 percent improvement versus the year-ago period when it made $36.6 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $160.4 million.

    Total sales jumped 6 percent sequentially, but most of those gains came in Japan and Asia/Pacific where sales improved 10 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

    The stock hit a 52-week high of 46 7/8 earlier this week after trading at a low of 14 ? in August.

    Twenty-two of the 26 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

  • Allaire Corp. (Nasdaq: ALLR)

    The maker of software that's used to build World Wide Web sites reported a second-quarter loss that was less than expected, and revenue more than doubled. The loss was 2 cents a share, smaller than a loss of a 4 cents predicted by First Call Corp. Allaire rose 2 7/16 to 63 at Thursday's close, down from a 52-week high of 78 1/4.

  • AVT Corp. (Nasdaq: AVTC)

    AVT Also reported earnings that surpassed expectations. The maker of software for fax and other telecommunications said second-quarter earnings were 30 cents a share, beating the 28-cent average estimated by First Call. AVT fell 1/8 to 38 5/8.

  • Concord Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: CCRD)

    The maker of software that spots bugs in computer networks said said revenue was 19 cents a share, beating the 17-cent average forecast led by First Call. Its second-quarter rose 47 percent as sales surged after the company gained 100 customers. Concord rose 1/2 to 56 3/4.

  • CNet Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET)

    Expect CNet to make a big move Friday after the Internet publishing firm beat analysts' estimates in its second quarter, earning $5.4 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $25.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected CNet to earn 5 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $25.6 million in sales represents a jump of 31 percent from the first quarter when it made $3.4 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $19.6 million.

    CNet plans to boost marketing with a $100 million campaign over the next year and a half, including $20 million to $25 million in the third quarter, and $30 million to $35 million in the fourth.

    Shares of CNet picked up 1 1/8 in Thursday's trading prior to the earnings release.

  • MMC Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: MMCN)

    MMC Networks beat Street estimates by a penny a share in its second quarter Thursday, raking in $4.1 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $19.3 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 12 cents a share in the quarter.

    The stock closed up 3 ? to 49 ? ahead of the report.

    The $19.3 million in sales represents a 61 percent improvement versus the year-ago period when it earned $1.3 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $12 million.

    The stock hit a 52-week high of 50 ? in June after falling to a low of 7 _ in October.

  • Paradyne Networks (Proposed ticker: PDYN)

    The company priced its initial public offering at $17 a share, a tad above the $14 to $16 a share price range it moved to Thursday.

    The 6 million-share offering will be underwritten by Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. It was originally priced at between $12 to $14 a share.

    Paradyne, which has 855 employees based in Largo, Florida, makes a broad range of Digital Subscriber Line products. Similar companies are PairGain Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: PAIR), and Orckit Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ORCT). Efficient Networks launched a successful IPO on Thursday.

    Paradyne's revenue is massive compared to other recent tech IPOs. For 1998, the company reported sales of $198.8 million, up from $181.3 million in 1997. Sales for the quarter ending March 31, were $54 million.

    The company also reported a profit, yes a profit, in the first quarter of $2.3 million.

  • Seagate Technology Inc. (NYSE: SEG)

    Seagate missed reduced earnings estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, earning $69 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $1.64 billion.

    First Call consensus expected the disk-drive manufacturer to earn 34 cents a share.

    Earlier this quarter, Seagate officials warned it would fall short of First Call's original profit estimates of 49 cents a share in the quarter.

    At the time, Seagate was worried that weak demand and lower average selling prices would erode total sales and profit margins.

    They were right.

    For the year, Seagate earned $1.1 billion, or $4.53 a share, on sales of $6.8 billion. In fiscal 1998, Seagate lost $530 million, or $2.17 a share, on sales of $6.8 billion.

    Seagate shares moved up to a 52-week high of 44 1/4 in January after falling to a low of 16 1/8 in August.

  • Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN)

    Texas Instruments said Thursday its board of directors approved a 2-for-1 stock split. Its shares closed up 3 ? to a 52-week high of 153 ?.

    Company officials said the split will be paid in the form of a dividend to shareholders of record on July 30. The split will take effect Aug. 16.

    TI's last stock split was in November 1997.

    Texas Instruments will announced its second quarter results Tuesday with First Call consensus expecting a profit of 86 cents a share.

    Last quarter, it topped analysts' estimates, returning a profit of 65 cents a share on sales of $2.03 billion.

    The stock hit a 52-week low of 45 3/8 in October.

    Twenty-one of the 27 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."

    First Call consensus expects TI to rake in $3.21 a share in the fiscal year.

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