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Tech Industry

STOCKS TO WATCH: FirePond, J.D. Edwards and VA Linux

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: FirePond, J.D. Edwards and VA Linux.

  • FirePond (Nasdaq: FIRE)

    FirePond shares should be active after the software developer topped analysts' estimates in its third quarter, posting a loss of $1 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $17.3 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to lose 14 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1/8 to 19 7/8 ahead of the earnings report.

    In the year-ago quarter, FirePond lost $5.9 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $8.7 million.

    FirePond shares soared up to an all-time high of 108 shortly after its March initial public offering before falling to a low of 14 in April.

    Both analysts following the stock maintain a "buy" rating.

    Analysts expect it to lose 48 cents a share in the fiscal year.

  • J.D. Edwards (Nasdaq: JDEC)

    J.D. Edwards looks to move higher Thursday after beating the Street in its third quarter.

    The maker of supply chain management software earned $2.3 million, or 2 cents a share, on sales of $261.1 million.

    Analysts were expecting a profit of 1 cent a share in the quarter.

    Its shares slid to 23 5/16 in after-hours trading after falling 5/16 to 23 1/2 ahead of the earnings report.

    The $261.1 million in sales was slightly above the $240 million to $260 million range anticipated by J.D. Edwards in its preannouncement almost three weeks ago.

    License fees rose 56 percent year-over-year to $116.7 million, higher than the predicted range of $109 million to $114 million. Half of that license total came from contracts valued at more than $1 million, the company said.

    Services revenue of $144.4 million was down from $157.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • VA Linux (Nasdaq: LNUX)

    VA Linux will be worth watching Thursday after it easily beat the Street in its fourth quarter, losing $4 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $50.7 million.

    First Call Corp. consensus expected the maker of Linux-based operating system software to lose 15 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares closed up 1 1/8 to 37 1/8 ahead of the earnings report. The moved up to 39 5/8 in after hours trading.

    The $50.7 million in sales marks an impressive 547 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $7.9 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $7.8 million.

    For the fiscal year, VA Linux lost $23 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $120.3 million. In fiscal 1999, it lost $12.2 million, or 85 cents a share, on sales of $17.7 million.

    Analysts are forecasting a loss of 38 cents a share in fiscal 2001.