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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AMD, Apple, Efficient Networks and Read-Rite

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: AMD, Applied Micro Circuits, Apple, Cybercash, Intktomi, Efficient Networks, Rambus, and Read-Rite.

  • Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD)

    AMD posted a second quarter loss of $162 million, or $1.10 a share, on sales of $595.1 million.

    First Call consensus expected the chipmaker to lose $1.26 a share in the quarter following a pair of earnings warnings earlier this quarter.

    Second quarter sales fell 6 percent sequentially, and 13 percent year-over-year. AMD had previously warned that sales would fall because of lower unit shipments; the company shipped 3.7 million AMD K-6 processors in the second quarter, down from 4.3 million in the first three months of the year.

    In a separate announcement, AMD announced the resignation of S. Atiq Raza as president, chief operating officer and chief technical officer. Raza cited personal reasons for his departure, and said he is talking to AMD about another position with the company.

    The average selling price for K-6 chips dropped to $67 from $78 in the first quarter. Non-microprocessor sales gained 16 percent, led by flash memory chips for cell phones.

    Shares of AMD gained 15/16 to 18 in Wednesday's trading.

  • Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)

    Apple beat analysts' estimates for the sixth consecutive quarter Wednesday, returning a third-quarter profit of $114 million, or 69 cents a share, on sales of $1.56 billion.

    First Call consensus expected Apple to earn 64 cents a share in the quarter, though some analysts were looking for as much as 67 cents a share.

    Its shares closed up 2 1/4 to a 52-week high of 55 15/16 ahead of the earnings report.

    The story this quarter wasn't so much the revenue growth, which was an 11 percent improvement versus the year-ago quarter, but gross profit margins of 27.4 percent in the quarter. In the year-ago quarter, gross profit margins were 25.7 percent.

    Apple ended the quarter with more than $3.1 billion in cash. Company officials decided the extra cash would be well used to repurchase up to $500 million shares of its stock.

  • Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC)

    The maker of high-speed chips for telecommunications and computer networks beat earnings expectations for the first quarter. A profit of 24 cents a share beat First Call's expectation of 22 cents. The company also said he communications business was particularly strong. Shares fell 1 1/8 to 79 3/8.

  • CyberCash Inc. (CYCH)

    The provider of electronic-payment services warned its second-quarter loss will be 53 cents to 56 cents a share, well beneath the expected to loss of 38 cents, the average estimate of four analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. CyberCash shares rose 1/16 to 12 3/4 at Wednesday's close.

  • Efficient Networks Inc. (Proposed ticker: EFNT)

    Efficient priced its 4 million-shares initial public offering at $15 a share Wednesday, well above its original price range of $10 to $12 a share.

    The maker of high-speed DSL equipment bumped its range to $13 a share to $15 a share Wednesday. It will debut Thursday.

    CS First Boston will serve as lead underwriter while BancBoston Robertson Stephens and Volpe Whelan Brown will co-manage the offering.

    In its latest nine-month period, Efficient Networks lost $13 million, or $3.48 a share, on sales of $7.1 million.

    Last year, it lost $7.9 million, or $2.44 a share, on sales of $3.3 million.

  • Inktomi Corp. (INKT)

    The maker of Internet software said it lost 10 cents a share, before a charge. It was expected to lose 12 cents, according to First Call. The company also said its fiscal third-quarter revenue more than tripled, on sales of a product that makes surfing the Internet faster. Inktomi rose 3 5/16 to 128 7/8.

  • Rambus Inc. (RMBS)

    The designer of high-speed computer chips beat expectations by a penny. Net income was 7 cents for the period, beating the 6- cent average estimate of First Call. The company also said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 18 percent as memory-chipmakers prepare to ship chips based on Rambus technology.. Rambus rose 7 5/8 to 97 9/16.

  • Read-Rite Corp. (Nasdaq: RDRT)

    The maker of disk drive recording heads and related products lost almost twice as much as Wall Street expected for the quarter ended June 27.

    In fiscal third quarter results released after market close Wednesday, Read-Rite posted a net loss of $46.5 million, or 95 cents a share, not including one-time events. First Call's survey of six analysts predicted a per-share loss of 49 cents.

    Third quarter sales fell to $174.8 million, down 15 percent from $206.2 million in the second quarter. when Read-Rite lost $19.4 million, or 39 cents a share. Lower unit sales -- shipments of drive heads fell 16.2 percent sequentially -- and continued price declines hurt Read-Rite's revenue. Demand also fell as the company continued shifting its products to giant magnetoresistive technology.