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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: Brooktrout, Network Appliance, Pixar and Razorfish

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday’s most actively traded issues: Brooktrout, Network Appliance, Pixar and Razorfish.

  • Brooktrout (Nasdaq: BRKT)

    Brooktrout might raise an eyebrow or two Friday after it slipped past analysts’ reduced estimates in its fourth quarter, posting a profit of $612,000, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $34.2 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegged the maker of communications hardware and software for a profit of 3 cents a share following its alarming profit warning earlier this quarter.

    Originally, analysts expected the company to earn 31 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $41.2 million.

    The stock closed unchanged at $8.63 ahead of the earnings report, well off its 52-week high of $50.75 set back in March.

    The $34.2 million in sales marks an 8 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it earned $4.3 million, or 37 cents a share, on sales of $37.2 million.

    In the fiscal year, Brooktrout pocketed $11.8 million, or 93 cents a share, on sales of $151.2 million compared to a profit of $13.7 million, or $1.18 a share, on sales of $135.7 million in fiscal 1999.

  • Network Appliance (Nasdaq: NTAP)

    Network Appliance will likely take off Friday after it topped analysts’ estimates in its third quarter.

    In the quarter, it made $38.9 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $288.4 million.

    However, it told analysts to expect sequential sales growth at the lower end of the 10 percent to 15 percent range it forecast for the next two quarters.

    On the bright side, it left earnings-per-share estimates for fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002 unchanged at 41 cents and between 55 cents and 60 cents, respectively.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the network storage firm to earn 10 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $290 million.

    Its shares closed off $3.38 to a 52-week low of $35.25 ahead of the earnings report before moving up to $39.09 in after-hours trading.

    The $288.4 million in sales represents a 91 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $20 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $151.3 million.

  • Pixar (Nasdaq: PIXR)

    Expect Pixar shares to pop Friday after it easily topped the Street view in its fourth quarter, earning $35.2 million, or 71 cents a share, on sales of $75.7 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected Pixar to earn 63 cents a share on sales of $64.1 million.

    Its shares closed off $2.67 to $33.19 ahead of the earnings report but shot up to $36.50 in after-hours trading.

    Chief Financial Officer Ann Mather told analysts during a conference call that it now expects to post earnings of between 20 cents and 45 cents a share in its first quarter, mainly as a result of "Toy Story 2" merchandise and home video sales.

    Earnings for the fiscal year are expected to come in between 30 cents and 50 cents a share.

    Analysts were forecasting earnings of 10 cents a share in the first quarter and 39 cents a share in fiscal 2001.

    Pixar shares moved up to a 52-week high of $40.50 in January after slumping to a low of $25.63 in December.

  • Razorfish (Nasdaq: RAZF)

    Razorfish met analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter, but still posted its first loss in company history.

    The provider of Internet design and consulting services posted a pro forma loss of $19.8 million, or 20 cents a share, on sales of $50.1 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 20 cents a share on sales of $55.4 million.

    Company executives said the loss reflected a “rapid and significant change” in its industry.

    The stock closed up 25 cents to $1.88 ahead of the earnings report before falling to $1.70 in after-hours trading.