The Night Watch: Fatbrain.com Lives Large on Revenue Outlook

Elsewhere, Adatom.com slips despite a big deal, and Qualcomm surrenders some of its day-session gain.
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The Internet brain gain is on.

Even in this weight-obsessed country, a Web site called

Fatbrain.com

(FATB)

is finding fans. The company announced after hours that it is likely to post higher-than-expected first-quarter revenue of $13.5 million to $14 million.

Strong demand for business-to-business products drove the company's vigorous growth. Investors ate up the news, and fatty gained weight. It was lately up 1 7/32 to 6 21/32 on 180,000 Island shares.

Companies such as

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

use Fatbrain.com to give employees access to a company-specific online bookstore.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

signed on today to launch a Fatbrain-sponsored online bookstore.

Cookies aside, pursuit of Chinese fortunes drove tech companies in enigmatic directions. Business-to-business e-tailer

Adatom.com

(ADTM)

suffered today after it announced a joint venture with

China Federation of Industrial Economics

. CFIE is a national organization that oversees and coordinates all Chinese trade associations, and is expecting to enlist 50,000 members for Adatom in its first year and 100,000 the following year.

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

and

China Broadcasting

will also participate. This is the fourth Chinese joint venture for Adatom.com, which will help CFIE develop a bilingual, electronic marketplace and distribution system between China and the U.S.

Strangely, shares of the Internet company fell 3/32 to 1 7/8 on the news, recovered briefly in late composite trading and then sank again, dropping 1/16 to 2 1/16 on 285,000 Island shares.

Meanwhile,

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

stumbled after

China Unicom

said that it would not adopt current-generation Qualcomm digital wireless technology.

But the ripple of bad news shook investor confidence only briefly. Analysts stepped in to defend the wireless darling, saying that despite this setback, the Chinese will begin to use Qualcomm-based CDMA wireless cellular technology.

After dropping midday, a recovery, perhaps aided by today's technology buying spree, helped Super Q finish with a healthy green glow. Bingeing traders sobered after hours and began to take profits. Qualcomm slipped 5/64 to 76 5/32 on 69,000 Island shares.

Thomas Weisel Partners

upgraded

Spectra Diode Laboratories

(SDLI)

and it surged 12% after the company said that telecommunications networking giant

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

extended its contract for parts through 2001. The growing demand for JDS Uniphase networks has doubled the need for SDL components used to build them. SDL's products power the transmission of data, voice and Internet information over fiber-optic networks.

Sometimes they're competitors, but a renewal of vows for this technology marriage meant day-session gains for both companies. At night, the wedding gifts went to JDS Uniphase, which rose 1 3/8 to 92 5/8 on 47,000 Island shares and 1 9/16 to 92 15/16 on 113,000 Instinet shares, while SDL fell 13/16 to 221 on 15,000 Island shares.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, a maker of semiconductor equipment, introduced a new product today and closed up 14.3%.

The company's new semiconductor product, the Sprint Tungsten CVD Centura, has features that lower the cost of system operation, including technology that generates no global-warming gases.

Light profit-taking took the California tech firm 1 3/64 lower to 83 57/64 on 48,000 Instinet shares.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

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