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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Amazon, CDNow, China.com, Doubleclick

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, Avant!, Catalyst International, CDNow, Citrix, DoubleClick, China.com, Rogers Communications, and Vitesse.

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)

    Leading online retailer Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) said today it will launch two new stores: Amazon.com Electronics and Amazon.com Toys & Games. The effort to expand puts it in competition with other online retailers such as eToys (Nasdaq: ETYS).

    See the full statement. Shares closed at 117 3/8 Monday.

  • Avant! Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT)

    Avant! rolled past analysts' estimates in its second quarter, earning $14.7 million, or 43 cents a share, on sales of $70 million.

    First Call consensus pegged Avant! for a profit of 41 cents a share in the quarter.

    The $70 million in sales represents a 30 percent jump versus the year-ago quarter when it made $12 million on sales of $54 million.

    Avant! develops software for chip manufacturers.

    Last quarter, Avant made $14.4 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $65.9 million.

  • Catalyst International Inc. (Nasdaq: CLYS)

    The maker of software for improving logistical operations said it expects to break even in the second quarter and that it's in talks with a possible strategic alliance partner.

    Catalyst was down 1 13/16 to 19 1/4 at Monday's close, slightly down from a 52-week high of 21 5/8. Catalyst was expected to earn 12 cents a share, the average earnings estimate of First Call Corp.

    CDNow Inc. (Nasdaq: CDNW)

    CDNow inked a pact with Sony Corp. and Time Warner to merge with Columbia House, which is jointly owned by Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). The new public company resulting from the merger will be owned 37 percent each by Sony and Time Warner. CDNow's existing stockholders will own the remaining 26 percent.

    In a separate statement, CDNow said it would beat First Call estimates. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 83 cents a share.

  • China.com (Nasdaq: CHINA)

    China.com Inc.'s (proposed ticker: CHINA) priced its 4.2 million share offering at $20, well above the company's original price range.

    Lehman Brothers, the lead underwriter, bumped up the price range from $14 to $16 to $17 to $19. The IPO is expected to be strong as investors look at two growing markets -- China and the Internet -- and concluding that the companywill be the next America Online (NYSE: AOL) or StarMedia (Nasdaq: STRM), the Latin American portal.

  • Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS)

    Citrix said Monday it will buy privately held ViewSoft Inc. for $32 million and take one-time charge of $2 million in its third quarter.

    ViewSoft develops software for multi-tier and Web-based application development and deployment.

    Citrix officials said it will use ViewSoft's technology to extend the flexibility and cost benefits of server-based computing to Web-enabled and multi-tier applications -- including applications based on Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) DCOM and DNA component architectures as well as those containing Java and HTML front ends.

    Citrix shares closed off 1 3/8 to 58 1/2 ahead of the announcement.

    First Call consensus expects it to earn 31 cents a share in its second quarter and $1.29 a share in the fiscal year.

    The stock surged to a 52-week high of 63 1/8 earlier this month after falling to a low of 23 1/8 in October.

  • DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK)

    The Internet advertising firm said Tuesday it agreed to acquire NetGravity Inc. in a $530 million stock-swap.

    DoubleClick said it will issue 0.28 shares of its common stock for each share of NetGravity common stock. Based Monday's closing prices, the exchange ratio represents a per share price of $26.32, a 26 percent premium over NetGravity's 30-day average stock price.

    Shares of DoubleClick shares fell almost 10 percent Monday, closing at $94.

  • Rogers Comunications Inc. (NYSE: RG)

    Microsoft Corp (Nasdaq: MSFT) said Monday it would invest about $400 million in Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE:RG), Canada's No. 1 cable firm, to launch interactive television services

    Microsoft will buy C$600 million Rogers' 5.5 percent convertible preferred securities, convertible into Rogers Class B shares at C$35 a share. Microsoft will also get 5.33 million three-year warrants to buy Rogers Class B shares at an exercise price of C$35 per share. Microsoft could own up to 9.2 percent of Rogers under the series of deals.

    Shares in Rogers closed Monday up 13/16 to to 20 7/8. Stock prices rose almost 10 percent Friday on rumor of the deal, according to a Tuesday article in the Wall Street Journal.

  • Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS)

    Vitesse slipped past analysts' estimates in its third quarter, earning $19.4 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $73 million.

    First Call consensus was looking for a profit of 23 cents a share.

    Company officials credited strong fibre channel sales for the upside surprise. in the third quarter boosted Vitesse Semiconductor Inc. (Nasdaq: VTSS) past Wall Street forecasts.

    Third quarter sales rose to $73 million, up 58 percent from $46.1 million in the year-ago comparable period, when Vitesse earned $13.9 million, or 18 cents a share. The company saw revenue rise 9 percent sequentially.

    Vitesse saw especially strong sales for chips used in gigabit systems that use fibre channel technology, said Lou Tomasetta, president and CEO.

    Since sliding last fall along with the overall market, Vitesse's stock price has nearly quadrupled.

    It closed up 3/4 to 71 3/4 Monday.