Tech Industry

The week ahead: Invasion of the gadget makers

Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show and the Macworld Expo open in San Francisco will provide technophiles with a busy week of news.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Jan. 7 through Jan. 11.

Two trade shows will provide a haven where gadget heads can experience temporary if not eternal bliss.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will gather more than 2,000 makers of computers and consumer electronics like Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, and Compaq Computer to exhibit their latest wares.

The Apple faithful will flock to San Francisco for Macworld Expo in hopes of hearing about new products from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, such as an upgrade to the iMac computer, iBook laptop or Power Mac desktop.

Rambus will announce earnings this Thursday after the markets close. Rambus makes memory chips designs then licenses them to chipmakers. A survey of two analysts by First Call estimates that Rambus will post earnings of 4 cents a share for its first fiscal quarter compared with 12 cents a year ago.

Wall Street will watch for Producer Price Index data from the government Friday, which measures prices levels that manufacturers pay for goods. Economists used the index as a way to measure trends in inflation.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Sunday, Jan. 6
  • Investment bank Salomon Smith Barney will hold its Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications conference at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 6 to Jan. 10. Senior executives from companies like AT&T, Yahoo, DoubleClick, Comcast, Viacom, AOL Time Warner, Cisco Systems, WorldCom, JDS Uniphase and Disney will make presentations.

Monday, Jan. 7
  • The Consumer Electronics Show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Hilton and the Alexis Park Hotel in Las Vegas, Jan. 7 to Jan. 11. The show gives the computer industry an opportunity to hawk its wares and hype the latest gadgets after disappointing sales in 2001. One of the dominant themes will be the fusing of computers and consumer electronic devices. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will kick off the event Monday with a keynote speech followed by Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Sprint CEO Bill Esrey later in the week.

  • Steve Jobs will compete with Bill Gates for the keynote limelight with a Monday speech at Macworld, the über conference for Macintosh zealots, which kicks off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Jan. 7-11. More buzz than usual surrounds the upcoming show over exactly which new products Apple will introduce following a year that launched the iPod digital music player and the Mac OS X operating system.

  • The Federal Convention on Emerging Technologies will take place In conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, Jan. 7 to Jan. 9. The event is geared toward government professionals who work in defense, intelligence, law enforcement and technology, and will address how emerging technologies can improve homeland security.

  • The Morgan Stanley Internet Software and Networking conference will take place at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 7 to Jan. 9. Senior executives from companies like Tellabs, BEA Systems, WebMD, Openwave and CNET Networks, the publisher of News.com will make presentations.

  • AOL Timer Warner will hold a conference call for analysts and investors on Jan. 7 at 5 PM EST. The call will also be Webcast for the public.

  • The Future of Music Coalition and Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts will hold the Future of Music Policy Summit at Georgetown University's Gaston Hall in Washington, D.C., Jan. 7 to Jan. 8. The event will focus on music policy and copyright law. Keynote speakers include Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who is co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, and Judiciary Committee member Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Tuesday, Jan. 8
  • The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments of a case known as Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Koygo Kabushiki on Jan. 8. The court said it will consider whether to overturn a lower court ruling that makes it easier to develop knockoff products without running afoul of patent laws.

Wednesday, Jan. 9
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear arguments of a patent-infringement case, Fantasy Sports Properties v. Sportsline.com, on Jan. 9. Fantasy Sports claimed Yahoo and other sites infringed on its patent for playing football on a computer. The case is an appeal of a federal court's July 2000 ruling against this claim.

Earnings

Monday, Jan. 7

  • Ariba makes business-to-business and e-commerce software for companies. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: loss of 5 cents.

Wednesday, Jan. 9
  • Accenture is a management and technology consulting firm. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 24 cents.

  • Infosys Technologies is an India-based business software maker. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 32 cents.
  • Intraware offers software and services that lets companies evaluate and purchase software. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 27 cents.

Thursday, Jan. 10
  • Metron Technology distributes chipmaking equipment to chip manufacturers. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 9 cents.

  • Rational Software makes software development tools for businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: profit of 6 cents.
  • Rambus makes designs for chips that it licenses to chipmakers. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 4 cents.

Economic Reports

Tuesday, Jan. 8

  • The Consumer Credit report by the Federal Reserve shows the monthly debt assumed by consumers for purposes other than home mortgages. This number is expected to fall to $4.7 billion In November from $7 billion in October

Thursday, Jan. 10
  • The Import and Export Price Index from the Department of Commerce indicates the percentage change in import and export prices. No estimates were available for December.

  • 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 ending Jan. 5.

  • Wholesale Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in wholesale inventories in the United States. This number is expected to fall 0.3 percent for the month of November compared with a 1 percent drop in November.

Friday, Jan. 11
  • The Producer Price Index is expected to fall 0.2 percent in December from the previous month's decline of 0.6 percent. The core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, is expected to stay rise 0.1 percent versus November's gain of 0.2 percent. This Labor Department index tracks the cost of what manufacturers pay for raw goods to make products.