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THE WEEK AHEAD: Compaq, JDS Uniphase earnings on deck

    Another bevy of earnings reports highlight next week’s financial calendar as Compaq, Exodus Communications, JDS Uniphase and dozens of other tech firms will deliver their quarterly results.

    After last’s weeks barrage, it’s fair to say that investors are generally optimistic despite lukewarm guidance from the likes of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT).

    Companies such as eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Emulex (Nasdaq: EMLX) proved that while the overall economy may be slowing, there are still some bargains to be found in individual stocks.

  • Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) will report its fourth-quarter results next week, hoping to build on the momentum it garnered following its surprisingly strong third quarter.

    While Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Gateway (NYSE: GTW) posted disappointing losses, there’s reason for cautious optimism at Compaq.

    First Call Corp. consensus pegs the PC maker for a profit of 28 cents a share on sales of $11.5 billion compared to a profit of $510 million, or 31 cents, on sales of $11.2 billion last quarter.

    The stock bounced off its 52-week low to gain 33 percent in the first three weeks of 2001.

    Nineteen of the 27 analysts tracking the stock rate it either a “buy” or “strong buy.”

  • Lam Research (Nasdaq: LRCX) will likely top the current consensus estimate of 53 cents a share when it reports its second-quarter results.

    Analysts are looking for total sales in the neighborhood of $482 million but it is quite possible Lam will top the Street view considering the strong results posted by fellow chip-equipment makers KLA-Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC) and Novellus Systems (Nasdaq: NVLS).

    Last quarter, Lam Research pocketed $66.1 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $432 million.

    Its shares have gained more than 56 percent in the new year.

  • Exodus Communications (Nasdaq: EXDS), an analyst favorite, will check in with its fourth-quarter results.

    Analysts are forecasting a loss of 16 cents a share on sales of $278 million.

    In its third quarter, Exodus posted a loss of $60.6 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $229.6 million.

    The stock has made a decent recovery from a 52-week low of $14.88 earlier this month to above $23 a share.

  • Veritas (Nasdaq: VRTS) should come in right on target in its fourth quarter. Analysts expect the software developer to earn 17 cents a share on sales of $344.8 million, up from the $317.2 million, or 16 cents a share, it earned last quarter.

  • JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU), the shining star of the fiber-optic component sector, is poised to report earnings of 19 cents a share in its second quarter on sales of $924.8 million.

    Last quarter, it rolled past analysts’ estimates when it posted a profit of $177 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $786 million.

  • Broadvision (Nasdaq: BVSN) is expected to earn 5 cents a share in its fourth quarter, according to a First Call Corp. consensus survey.

    It made $13.6 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $120.2 million last quarter.

    Also keep an eye out for earnings from Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB), Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR), Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM), Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS), VeriSign (Nasdaq: VRSN) and Informix (Nasdaq: IFMX).