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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: CA, FreeMarkets, TI and Vitesse

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday’s most actively traded issues: Computer Associates, FreeMarkets, Texas Instruments and Vitesse Semiconductor.

  • Computer Associates (NYSE: CA)

    Computer Associates will be active after it hurdled analysts’ estimates in its third quarter.

    The software developer earned $247 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.4 billion.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 40 cents a share in the quarter.

    Computer Associates shares closed off $1.44 to $32.23 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, it made $193 million, or 32 cents a share, on sales of $1.3 billion.

  • FreeMarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT)

    FreeMarkets should get some mileage out of its fourth-quarter results Tuesday after it posted a smaller-than-expected loss.

    The online business-to-business auctioneer lost 27 cents a share on sales of $34.5 million, beating the Street’s view of a loss of 31 cents a share on sales of $31.2 million.

    Sales for the year jumped to $91.3 million, topping analysts forecast of $88.2 million and way above 1999's results of $20.9 million.

    During the fourth quarter, FreeMarkets said it had conducted 2,432 auctions via its B2B Global Marketplace that resulted in an exchange of $3.5 billion worth of goods and services, an increase of 153 percent over the same year-ago quarter.

    The number of customers using the B2B Global Marketplace grew to 100 in the fourth quarter from 34 in the year ago period.

    Its shares closed up $1.56 to $26.69 ahead of the earnings report before slipping to $25.81 in after-hours trading.

  • Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN)

    TI will be on for a rough day of trading Tuesday after it missed analysts’ estimates in its fourth quarter and lowered its estimates for the first quarter.

    The chipmaker posted a profit of $549 million, or 31 cents a share, in its fourth quarter, missing the Street estimates by 2 cents a share.

    The stock closed off $1.75 to $48.56 ahead of the earnings report before slipping to $46 in after-hours trading.

    Making matters worse, TI said sales would decline about 10 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, as makers of cellular phones and other consumer electronics continue to work through excess inventory. It will likely miss the current First Call Corp. profit estimate of 34 cents a share as well.

  • Vitesse Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VTSS)

    Vitesse will be active after it beat analysts’ estimates in its first quarter but warned that sales growth will likely slow in the second quarter.

    In the quarter, it earned $47.6 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $165.1 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 24 cents a share in the quarter.

    While the $165.1 million in sales marks a 20 percent improvement from the fourth quarter and 85 percent from the year-ago quarter, company executives told analysts to expect only a 10 to 15 percent improvement next quarter due to slowing orders from major telecom customers.

    Vitesse shares closed up $1.56 to $67.25 ahead of the earnings report but fell to $62.75 in after-hours trading.