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STOCKS TO WATCH: Big Blue, Microsoft, Nextel and Qualcomm

Tech Industry

Expect the following to be among Tuesday's tech movers: IBM, Informix, Microsoft, Nextel, Qualcomm and Tellabs.

  • IBM (NYSE: IBM)

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) beat Wall Street estimates Monday with second quarter earnings of 91 cents a share excluding one-time gains on sales of $21.9 billion.

    Sales growth in the quarter was up 16 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 88 cents a share, according to First Call Corp.

    IBM Chief Financial Officer Doug Maine Monday said the computer maker was making no change in the generally upbeat financial guidance for the rest of 1999, although he noted that IBM faced difficult year- to-year financial comparisons in the third quarter.

    In a conference call with analysts, Maine said the company, the world's largest computer maker, was seeing no new evidence of an impending slowdown in spending on new computers as customers rush to fix older equipment ahead of the Year 2000.

    ``We saw no significant evidence for the second quarter of changes in customer buying-patterns,'' Maine told analysts during the call, referring to concerns that sales growth could be hurt by purchasing delays tied to Year 2000 fears.

  • Informix (Nasdaq: IFMX)

    Strength around the world in the second quarter carried Informix Corp. (Nasdaq: IFMX) a couple of pennies past analyst expectations.

    In second quarter results released after market close Monday, the database vendor reported pro forma net income of $17.5 million, or 9 cents a share. First Call's survey of eight analysts predicted a profit of 7 cents.

    Second quarter sales increased to $206.8 million, up 19 percent from $174.2 million in the year earlier period, when Informix earned $11.3 million, or 7 cents a share. License revenue in the second quarter totaled $102.3 million, a 19 percent gain year-over-year.

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

    Should investors believe Microsoft's latest dose of caution?

    Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) topped Wall Street estimates with fourth quarter earnings of $2.2 billion, or 40 cents a share, but said it expects slower growth in fiscal 2000.

    Wall Street was expecting earnings of 36 cents a share, but may focus on Microsoft's cautious tone. It should be noted, however, that Microsoft is usually cautious.

    "In fiscal 2000 our revenue growth rates will decline due to slowing PC demand, uncertainty surrounding Y2K, and uncertain global economic conditions, and we will not see further margin expansion," said Greg Maffei, Microsoft's financial chief, in a statement.

    On a conference call, Maffei said sales growth for fiscal 2000 would be in the "high teens." He also said there were no imminent plans for a tracking stock for Microsoft's Internet properties.

  • Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL)

    Wireless communications and semiconductor maker Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT) said Monday it planned to sell 2.8 million shares of Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL) stock in the third quarter.

    The sale would return Motorola's ownership interest in Nextel to about 19 percent, the level where it was before a recent warrant exercise.

  • Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)

    Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), a wireless phone maker, easily topped Wall Street estimates Monday with third quarter operating earnings of $135 million, or 75 cents a share, excluding charges, on sales of $1 billion.

    Wall Street was expecting earnings of 63 cents a share, according to First Call Corp.

    Including charges of $117 million associated primarily with the sale of the Qualcomm's terrestrial Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless infrastructure business, the company reported earnings of $59 million, or 35 cents, a share.

    Revenue in the third quarter jumped 15 percent from $875 million in the year ago quarter.

  • Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB)

    The communications equipment maker posted net income of almost $127.8 million, or 32 cents a share. First Call's survey of 32 analysts predicted a per-share profit of 30 cents for the quarter ended July 2.

    Second quarter sales rose to $540.4 million, up 39.4 percent from $387.7 million in the year-ago period. Digital cross-connect products powered the revenue growth.

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