Tech Stocks in Motion
Shares of Level 3 Communications (LVLT) surged 18.1% after the company terminated its shareholder rights plan. "At the time Level 3 was founded, it was common practice for public companies to implement stockholder rights plans," the company said. "Over the course of the past year, we have been considering the elimination of the plan in consultation with certain of our institutional investors. After careful consideration, we have concluded that doing so is in the current interest of the company and its stockholders."
The rights plan was implemented in 1998 and was scheduled to expire in 2008. Level 3 said the termination of the rights plan was not made in connection with any pending business transaction. Shares of Level 3 have fallen by almost 50% during the last year. Shares traded up 35 cents to $2.28.
StarTek (SRT) fell 23.9% after the company announced the resignation of William Meade. Meade had served as the company's president and CEO since 2001. StarTek said the board "mutually agreed that a change in leadership is in the best interests of StarTek's shareholders."
StarTek said Meade is leaving to pursue other interests. Steven Butler, the company's chief financial officer, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. StarTek is scheduled to announce fourth-quarter earnings on March 3. Analysts are expecting the company to post earnings of 43 cents a share on sales of $68 million. Shares traded down $6.15 to $19.60.Shares of Systemax (SYX) fell 9.3% after the maker of personal computer hardware said that it would restate its financial reports because of accounting errors at its U.K. subsidiary. The restatement will cover all of 2003 and the first nine months of 2004. Systemax anticipates that 2003 earnings, previously reported at $5.6 million, will be reduced by $2.1 million to $2.5 million and earnings for the first nine months of 2004, previously reported at $5.8 million, will be reduced by $1.3 million to $1.6 million. The company, which is not currently required to comply with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, said that it "is devoting appropriate resources to reviewing its internal controls over the financial reporting of inventory and has begun the process of making appropriate improvements." Shares traded down 64 cents to $6.23. Other technology movers included Microsoft (MSFT), down 25 cents to $25.23; Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI), down 31 cents to $5.56; Intel (INTC), down 26 cents to $23.76; Cisco (CSCO), up 1 cent to $17.31; Oracle (ORCL), down 28 cents to $12.66; Applied Materials (AMAT), up 6 cents to $17.46; Lucent (LU), down 5 cents to $3.19; and Sun Microsystems (SUNW), down 9 cents to $4.07.
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