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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Amazon, E*Trade, Motorola, Versant

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Amazon, E*Trade, Motorola and Versant.

  • Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)

    The e-tailer is expected to announce that it will take over the online book-selling operations of rival Borders Group Inc.

    The deal is expected to be announced this morning.

    In other news, a Thomas Weisel analyst speculated Tuesday that Amazon is kicking around the idea of outsourcing fulfillment.

  • E*Trade Group (NYSE: ET)

    The online brokerage firm will be worth watching Wednesday after it met analysts' estimates in its first quarter, posting a profit of $868,000, or breakeven on a per share basis, on sales of $330 million.

    In the year-ago quarter, it lost $672,000, or breakeven on a per share basis, on sales of $417 million.

    Total transactions dropped by 42 percent to 8.4 million from a year ago.

    During the quarter, E*Trade added 166,112 net new brokerage and banking accounts for a total of more than 3.7 million, up 41 percent from last year's levels.

    Its shares closed up $1.32 to $7.55 ahead of the earnings report.

  • Motorola (NYSE: MOT)

    Motorola will likely take a beating after it fell short of analysts' reduced estimates in its first quarter Tuesday and posted its first operating loss in more than 15 years.

    In the quarter, it posted a loss of $206 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $7.8 billion.

    The maker of semiconductors and wireless telephone handsets twice lowered sales and earnings estimates in the quarter but still was unable to hit the revised targets.

    First Call consensus pegged the semiconductor and wireless telephone handset maker for a loss of only 7 cents a share on sales of $7.96 billion.

    Its shares closed up $1.50 to $13 ahead of the earnings report before falling to $12.04 in after-hours trading.

    The $7.8 billion in sales represents an 11 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $481 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $8.8 billion.

    Analysts originally pegged the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company for a profit of 12 cents a share.

  • Versant (Nasdaq: VSNT)

    The developer of middleware infrastructure technology will be active Wednesday after warning it will report lower-than-expected sales in its first quarter and had taken unspecified steps to cut operating expenses by 20 percent.

    Versant executive told investors to expect a loss of between 29 cents and 33 cents a share in the quarter on sales of between $4.7 million and $5.2 million.

    There is no First Call consensus estimate for the company this quarter.

    The company previously said it anticipated break-even earnings on target revenues of $6.8 million.

    "The company will remain focused on its engineering and sales organizations, particularly for the company's e-business product and services lines," the company said in a prepared release.

    Its shares closed up 5 cents to $1.56 a share ahead of the warning.