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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Barnes&Noble.com, EDS and NetZero

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday’s most actively traded issues: Barnes&Noble.com, EDS and NetZero.

  • Barnes&Noble.com

    The online bookseller will be worth watching after it posted a huge loss in its fourth quarter, slashed its fiscal 2001 sales outlook and eliminated 350 jobs.

    In the quarter, it posted a pro forma loss of $54.2 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $104.6 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose only 31 cents a share.

    For the fiscal year, it posted a pro forma loss of $158.2 million, or $1.07 a share, on sales of $320.1 million compared to a loss of $102.4 million, or 77 cents a share, on sales of $193.7 million.

    Company executives said it will shutter a processing center in New Jersey and a fulfillment center in Kentucky as part of its ongoing consolidation effort.

    Barnesandnoble.com took a $75 million charge in the quarter relating to the impairment of certain equity investments and assets. It will also take $5 million restructuring charge in the first half of 2001.

    Chief Financial Officer Marie Toulantis told analysts during a conference call to expect sales of between $90 million and $100 million in the first quarter and $420 million and $475 million in the fiscal year

    Analysts were expecting sales of $507 million in the fiscal year and a loss of 75 cents a share.

    Toulantis said it will likely post a loss of between 75 cents and 85 cents a share in the fiscal year.

    She added the company may need additional financing during the first half of 2002. It exited the quarter with $217 million in cash and no debt.

    The stock closed up 9 cents to $2.13 ahead of the earnings report before falling to $1.80 a share in after-hours trading.

  • Electronic Data Systems (NYSE: EDS)

    EDS should be on the move Thursday after it topped analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter, raking in $333 million, or 70 cents a share, on sales of $5.2 billion.

    Analysts were forecasting a profit of 68 cents a share on sales of $5.06 billion.

    The stock closed off $1.65 to $56.90 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $59.94 in after-hours trading.

    Sales excluding business from General Motors (NYSE: GM) increased 9 percent year-over-year.

    Operating margin increased to 10.5 percent from 9.6 percent in the third quarter.

  • NetZero (Nasdaq: NZRO)

    NetZero could be in for a long day of trading Thursday after it missed analysts’ estimates in its second quarter and warned that its third-quarter sales will miss estimates due to weak online advertising spending.

    The free Internet service provider posted a pro forma loss of $33.5 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $16 million.

    Analysts were forecasting a loss of only 25 cents a share on sales of $17.1 million.

    Including a variety of charges, the company's net loss widened to $43.4 million, or 38 cents a share, from $24.6 million in the year-ago period.

    NetZero shares closed off 6 cents to $1.28 ahead of the earnings report before slipping to $1.09 in after-hours trading.