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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: AMD, Apple, IBM, i2, Siebel

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, IBM, i2 Technologies and Siebel Systems.

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

    The chipmaker will be active after it topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter, posting a profit of $124.8 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $1.19 billion.

    First Call consensus expected AMD to earn 33 cents a share in the quarter.

    While it did top analysts' estimates in the quarter, AMD's profits fell 34 percent from the year-ago quarter when it pocketed $189.3 million, or 55 cents a share, on sales of $1.09 billion.

    AMD also said it would meet analysts' fiscal 2001 estimates despite the slumping U.S. economy.

    AMD shares finished up $4.85 to $27.85 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $29.75 in after-hours trading.

  • Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL)

    The PC maker hurdled analysts' estimates in its second quarter, raking in $43 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $1.43 billion.

    Analysts pegged Apple for a profit of a penny a share in the quarter.

    The $1.43 billion in sales marks 26 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $223 million, or 64 cents a share, on sales of $1.95 billion.

    Company executives did lower its sales targets for the second half of fiscal 2001 to between $3.2 billion and $3.4 billion, meaning total sales for the year will come in between $5.63 billion and $5.83 billion.

    Apple told investors to expect total sales of $6 billion in the fiscal year following its disappointing first-quarter earnings report.

    Apple share rallied up $2.39 to $22.79 ahead of the earnings report before scampering up to $26.15 in after-hours trading.

  • IBM (NYSE: IBM)

    IBM on Wednesday gave Wall Street some desperately needed good news, meeting first-quarter expectations.

    The Armonk, N.Y.-based company earned $1.75 billion, or 98 cents a share, compared with $1.52 billion and 83 cents per share in the same period a year earlier. A consensus of analysts polled by First Call had expected earnings of 98 cents a share. IBM sales grew 15 percent year over year.

    Sales grew 9 percent to $21 billion, from $19.3 billion during the first quarter of 2000. First Call consensus forecast revenue of $20.79 billion.

    IBM also said it was comfortable with current consensus estimates.

  • i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO)

    i2 shares will be active after the e-business software developer met analysts' estimates in its first quarter Wednesday, earning $7.5 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $356 million.

    After warning it would miss analysts' estimates earlier in the quarter, analysts lowered their consensus estimate to a profit of 2 cents a share on sales of $186 million.

    Its shares moved up $1.93 to $19.97 ahead of the earnings report before falling to $18.39 in after-hours trading.

    In the year-ago quarter, i2 posted a profit of $13 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $186 million.

    Company executives told analysts to expect sales for the second quarter to fall from the $356 million it recorded in the first quarter, though it did not provide any specific numbers in its release.

    For the fiscal year, it expects total sales to grow between 15 percent and 20 percent.

  • Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL)

    Keep an eye on Siebel shares Thursday after the customer relationship management software maker topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter, earning $76.9 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $588.7 million.

    First Call consensus expected the developer of customer relationship management software to earn 14 cents a share on sales of $572.6 million.

    Its shares closed up $1.04 to $33.92 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $36.81 in after-hours trading.

    The $588.7 million in sales marks an 84 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $35.3 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $319.7 million.

    Contrary to speculation swirling ahead of the earnings report, Siebel did not announce massive layoffs but it did reorganize its sales force in mid-quarter, implemented some spending reductions and cut 10 percent of its staff through its internal performance evaluation program.

    Rumors winding through Wall Street ahead of the earnings report suggested the company would reduce its headcount by as much as 20 percent.

    The company did cut executive salaries by 20 percent across the board and implemented a complete freeze on executive bonuses.

    At this time last year, the company eliminated 5 percent of its staff, those employees who received the least favorable performance reviews from their supervisors. This time around, they lopped off the 10 percent.

    While Siebel acknowledged the second quarter and rest of fiscal 2001 will be "tough," he said the company has an "exceptionally robust pipeline" of licensing deals on the table. >