All eyes will be on Agilent Technologies as investors expect the maker of test equipment to report earnings this coming Tuesday.
Analysts hope that the company will turn in a better performance than the company it was spun off of last year, Hewlett-Packard, did this week. HP matched lowered analyst expectations for its fiscal first quarter last Thursday but told investors to anticipate only single-digit revenue growth this year.
That news, combined with an earnings warning from Nortel Networks, led some investors to believe that more bad news from the tech sector might still be coming.
Earnings reports from other widely followed companies BEA Systems, Crossroads and TMP Worldwide, the operators of Monster.com, also will keep investors' attention.
Also next week, Wall Street analysts will meet with the management of Genuity, an Internet service provider and data carrier for businesses, for a financial update. The company reported wider losses Jan. 31 than the year-ago quarter due to marketing costs.
Meanwhile, Oracle will kick off its software conference next week in New Orleans. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton will give the opening keynote address.
Other events scheduled this week:
Monday, Feb. 19
- General Electric's Global eXchange Services will hold the EC Forum at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 18-21. The event is geared to executives who wish to learn more about the role of e-commerce in business. Speakers include Global eXchange Services' CEO Harvey Seegers and Morgan Stanley Managing Director Charles Phillips. Global eXchange operates a business-to-business e-commerce trading network.
- Software maker Oracle will host the Oracle Appsworldconference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Feb. 19-23. The event is focused on e-business applications, strategy and technology, and includes presentations by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will deliver the opening keynote address on Monday.
- The Live2001 B2B World Tour is a series of conferences held worldwide by e-commerce software maker Ariba to promote its products. The tour will kick off in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 19-21 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Speakers include Ariba CEO Keith Krach as well as Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson and former Australia Prime Minister Paul Keating. The tour will make stops in Las Vegas in late April and New Orleans in September.
- The Macromedia Flashforward 2001 conference will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Feb. 19-21. The conference includes beginner, intermediate and advanced workshops, as well as presentations by Flash designers, programmers and educators.
- The Broadband Wireless World Forum 2001 will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Feb. 19-21. Keynote speakers will include David Kimzey, vice-president of Alcatel's Wireless Access business unit.
- CompTel's Annual Convention and Trade Show will take place at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla., Feb 18-21. Speakers include U.S. Senator John Glenn and Douglas H. Hansen, CEO of Internet Commerce and Communications. The conference will address telecommunications issues.
- Roth Captial Partners will conduct a Growth Stock Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Feb 19-21. The event is geared toward investors and venture capitalists who are looking to invest in small-cap companies.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
- Genuity, an Internet service provider and data carrier for businesses, will hold an analyst meeting on Feb. 20 in New York City.
- Penton Media will run the Internet World Wireless conference at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, Feb. 20-23. The tradeshow focuses on the latest technologies and applications for wireless systems for the Internet. Keynote speakers include Palm CTO William Maggs, and AT&T Wireless CEO John Zeglis.
Wednesday, Feb 21
- The ASPCON/CLEC Expo Conference will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Feb. 21-23. The conference will address various topics including regulatory issues, capital funding and marketing strategies. Speakers at the event will include Kathleen Early, president of AT&T's Data and Internet Services.
- The Broadband Building and Commerce conference will take place at the Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, Feb. 21-23. The conference is aimed at office building owners and managers looking to retain tenants who require advanced technology.
- Millicom International Cellular provides cellular phone service in regions with limited infrastructure, such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Per share consensus estimate: loss of $1.18 for the fourth quarter.
- Agilent Technologies makes test and measurement equipment for manufacturing and technology companies. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 50 cents for the first quarter.
- Rural Cellular delivers wireless communications services to customers in the Midwest, New England, the Pacific Northwest, and the South. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of $2.32 for the fourth quarter.
- TMP Worldwide operates the popular job-search Web site Monster.com, and an executive search company. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 31 cents for the fourth quarter.
- Interliant provides software and Web hosting services to companies. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 89 cents for the fourth quarter.
- Inter-Tel provides telecommunications service and equipment for small to mid-size businesses. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 24 cents for the fourth quarter.
- VA Linux Systems makes servers and workstations designed for the open-source Linux operating system. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 26 cents for the second quarter.
- Intuit makes personal finance software. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 45 cents for the second quarter.
- Focal Communications is a regional phone carrier that provides Internet access, data transmission services and long distance as well as local phone services. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 62 cents for the fourth quarter.
- Crossroads Systems makes routers for storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 19 cents for the first quarter.
- CTC Communications is a regional phone operator that sells Internet access, data transmission services and local as well as long distance phone service to businesses. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of $1.19 for the fourth quarter.
- ADC Telecommunications makes telecommunications equipment for phone companies. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 6 cents for the first quarter.
- Brocade Communications makes equipment and software for corporate storage networks. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 12 cents for the first quarter.
- Rhythms NetConnections provides Internet access and remote network connections with high-speed DSL (digital subscriber line) technology. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of $2.43 for the fourth quarter.
- BEA Systems makes Internet e-commerce software. Per-share consensus estimate: profit of 9 cents for the fourth quarter.
- FirePond helps businesses conduct sales and marketing campaigns on the Internet. Per-share consensus estimate: loss of 12 cents for the first quarter.
- DrKoop.com operates a health information Web site. Per-share consensus estimate: N/A.
Wednesday, Feb. 21
- The Department of Labor's consumer price index is a measure of the average change in the prices paid by consumers for a fixed list of consumer goods and services. Economists closely watch the CPI for signs of accelerating inflation. Analysts expect the CPI to rise 0.3 percent in January, compared with the previous month's rise of 0.2 percent. The "core" CPI, excluding the more volatile food and energy sectors, is expected to increase 0.2 percent versus December's jump of 0.1 percent.
- The trade balance is the value of U.S. imports subtracted from exports, as reported by the Commerce Department. Analysts expect the trade balance to shrink overall to a deficit of $32 billion for December, compared with $33 billion in November.
- The Conference Board's index of leading indicators is a weighted average of ten key economic factors designed to predict near-term economic conditions. The index generally heads down before a recession and up before an expansion. The index has either declined or held steady for the past nine months. Analysts predict a rise of 0.4 percent for the index in January compared with the previous month's decline of 0.6 percent.
- Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week of Feb. 17.