Getting Technical: Jim Seymour Chats on <I>TheStreet.com</I>

Seymour fields reader queries on the hard-hit tech stocks.
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Jim Seymour chatted on TheStreet.com Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. EST.

jseymour1:

Hello, everyone! Ready to go -- "Tech-talk Tuesday"...?!?!?

chat-guest587 :

SBC is having problems w/ DSL build out and Covad and Northpoint are almost broke. Any winners in this Telco capex fiasco? Nokia bought Ramp. Will Cisco be buying CMTN or NTPA?

jseymour1:

Hard to find any obvious winners right now. As you suggest, SBC blamed their shortfall, in their warning this morning, on slower DSL installs -- yet their "Project Pronto" is way ahead of everyone else!

jseymour1:

The rest look just as hapless. I've been saying 'stay away from DSL' for months now -- JJC and I have argued about that on TSC -- and I haven't changed my mind.

chat-guest325:

SBC pre-announces and one reason is the slow roll out of DSL. Yet, the RBOCs provide DSL and their slow roll out affects the suppliers and equipment vendors. RBOCs want long distance, yet T and WCOM are being killed by long distance. What is the resistance to providing DSL? After greater bandwidth will lead to new apps and then a new PC upgrade phase. Why are they waiting?

jseymour1:

Without repeating what I just said...beats me. DSL is a serious revenue opportunity for the RBOCs, yet they are stuck in the mud.

chat-guest340 :

What do you think of CIEN's acq. today? Did they pay too much?

jseymour1:

CIEN made a smart acquisition at a terrible time. They knew they'd get whacked in the market, surely -- and they did. In time, the wisdom of the move will become evident; near-term, it just means more pain.

chat-guest823:

What about BRCM, JJC said yesterday that the cable modem business is slowing down so this might be a good short. Your thoughts?

jseymour1:

I wouldn't short Broadcom -- always risky with such a potentially-explosive stock! -- but if I were a Broadcom holder, I'd pare back my exposure. And I sure as heck wouldn't get *IN* right now, at these prices!

chat-guest158 :

JS - Kodak's new "credit card" thickness screens, will they replace LCD's?

jseymour1:

I like Kodak as a company, hate it as a stock. Great R&D org, but I don't see this "product" becoming important for a long, long time...if ever.

chat-guest565 :

How do you think the IT spending slowdown will affect Web Hosting companies like EXDS.

jseymour1:

It'll hurt some, but only some. EXDS (which I am long) was smart to move into corporate hosting early, and so, yes, they'll get nibbled, as IT spending slows down. But corporations aren't cutting back much on their web sites....

chat-guest3 :

Jim, regarding MSFT and INTC: Leaders or will they live off the installed base?

jseymour1:

Both. MSFT will never be "the old MSFT" again, but it will remain important. INTC looks like a leader, still. Their new DSP play is one example.

chat-guest521:

Jim et al: What do you think about INKT as an Internet infrastructure play?

jseymour1:

I like INKT a lot, but I'm pretty much scared of all the Net infrastructure companies now, as INVESTMENTS.

chat-guest178:

Jim, are you finding any severely beaten down stocks in the single digits that you really like, such as VITR or INSP?

jseymour1:

No, none that I really like. A few tempt, but they're still too soft. I mean, there's a REASON they're single-digit stocks!

chat-guest285 :

Jim: How bad is the "Sea of Suns" problem. In the desktop market, new computers lose their value very quickly. Why should a bunch a used computers pose a significant threat to Sun?

jseymour1:

The so-called 'Sea of Suns' problem is wildly overstated. There has ALWAYS been a substantial number of used SUNW workstations and servers available.

chat-guest777 says:

Hello Jim,what's up with FDRY? At roughly 30x forward P/E a bargain?

jseymour1:

Not yet.

chat-guest783:

why everybody so hot on sbc? in my case, they could not make dsl work - on their own copper - and then phoenix comes in and does it. next, phoenix gets sold to a provider who does not want residential customers. so, I go to telocity. I could have been an sbc customer all this time. is that widespread experience?

jseymour1:

I agree. I'm a SBC customer/victim, too. But it's relative: 'In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.' They're just better than the other RBOCs, not good on any realistic scale.

chat-guest928 :

hi jim, its doug kass at seabreeze partners...i enjoy your logic of argument and power of dissection...question is palm and rimm face monumental competition from wireless cell, seems obvious, rarely discussed...what is your view ?

jseymour1:

Thanks, Doug. I think RIMM, esp, will continue to do well. We're still more than a year away from widespread text messaging via cell phones. If you want wireless e-mail, RIMM will remain the way. Palm is a lousy wireless product...for now.

chat-guest615:

Stocks like BEA and INFA have held up pretty well in this market. What are you thoughts on them going forward?

jseymour1:

I'm worried. The Grim Reaper just hasn't called their number yet.

chat-guest654:

Hello Jim, your stuff is great. JJC indicated yesterday that he would sell cable infrastructure plays due to a drop-off in cable-modem sales. Specifically, he mentioned Scientific Atlanta, which I own (sold half near the top). Any opinions of your own? Thanks.

jseymour1:

I'd sell, too -- if I hadn't already. Everyone geared-up for volumes which are just NOT going to come through for the next several quarters.

chat-guest938 :

Gary & Cramer think opticals are going down, what's your view, (GLW for example)?

jseymour1:

Opticals face rough sledding. The network-builders are going to spend a lot less. I think the glory days of Corning, JDSU, etc., are over...for now. Ask me again in mid-2001.

chat-guest300:

Thanks for all the good advice on the site, short term outlook for QLGC ?

jseymour1:

QLGC is not where I'd put my money, at least until well into the New Year.

chat-guest184 :

Seymour, Sony makes computers and neat electronic stuff, does it have the muscle to be in the league with CPQ and EMC?

jseymour1:

NO. Sony has NEVER been able to muscle into the front-rank of US PC sellers. Nice boxes, sometimes -- the VAIO notebooks, for example -- but poor distribution, a consistent second-tier player.

chat-guest198 :

With the carnage in e-commerce cos., do you think brick and mortar stores with on line sales will benefit?

jseymour1:

Good question! I believe so. We have renewed respect for the power of the "bricks and clicks" model. These folks, and some of their all-bricks cohorts, are in a pretty good position. The revolution has been rescheduled....

chat-guest414 :

Jim, any thoughts on INTU? Wouldn't this be a great acquisition for a financial company looking to get a hook on Quicken customers or am I just fantasizing (no position)?

jseymour1:

Hard to buy 'em. VERRRRY seasonal. MSFT always a threat. I don't see any buyers in the wings....

chat-guest730 :

Several weeks ago it was reported that the Pentium 4 had some problems. Were these reports overblown as I am in the market for a new powerful PC and wonder if I should stick with P3 or wait for more bugs to be worked out of P4. Thanks..

jseymour1:

Current P4 boxes from major PC makers are fine. Expensive, but fine.

chat-guest635 :

Jim do u think capital spending will slow for optical networking - seems likes there is much disagreement about this issue?

jseymour1:

Oh, YESSSSSSS.

jseymour1:

The returns on putting in optical nets are so much greater that the providers of optical components will be LESS affected -- but affected substantially, in any case.

chat-guest910 says:

Jim, RE:MSFT. My MSDN friends speak positively about Whisler-your take?

jseymour1:

I

love

Whistler. It's much more stable than W95/98/SE, has a good UI (but that's still in flux), lots of W2K at its heart.

chat-guest333 :

Like your articles...you more than anyone else at

TSC

seem to have a good handle on the tech. itself in the various hi tech sectors as well as what we should expect to be state of the art in the future...thanks, appreciate it. For my question...PWAV, what do you think is motivating its current move up...new product intros or something else?

jseymour1:

Ahh, a wise man! Seriously, not a stock I'd invest in now....

chat-guest200 :

What do you think of EMC here after the recent sell-off?

jseymour1:

EMC looks vulnerable, because of its high-end pricing in a time when buyers are pinching pennies. Question is, will they adapt?

chat-guest968 says:

Do the WCOMs and T's of the world have to keep spending on high end optical gear to upgrade their networks in order to ensure their future competitive positions?

jseymour1:

Yes...but note that it is in the nature of optical (i.e., much greater capacity) that optical investments can be much smaller than they're used to -- but still boost capacity/performance greatly.

chat-guest3:

Jim, do you think ORCL will feel the heat from IBM's database products?

jseymour1:

I don't think ORCL is scared of IBM at all. And they shouldn't be. ORCL is sooooo powerful right now.

chat-guest986 :

Jim: Would you please post to Cramer on CC and ask him to define what he means by "ease"? I'm totally confused now. Does he want a neutral, an ease bias, or a rate cut today? Which will cause a ramp? Which will cause a woosh?

jseymour1:

I'll send him a note!

chat-guest764:

Jim- The semi downturn changed from what pundants first thought was a small bump in the road into a true downturn portion of a cycle. Based on fundamentals, what do you think needs to happen for the "upturn" portion of the next cycle to occur. Also, the cycle that just ended was much shorter than usual. Will this now be the norm? Thanks!

jseymour1:

I think semi cycles are going to be choppier and shorter-lived than we're used to. That's why I look only at specialty-chip companies now -- TXN, for example -- rather than broad-based companies.

chat-guest49 says:

Jim, your thoughts on ericy and nok short and long term please...thanks.

jseymour1:

Same view short as long: Buy NOK, worry about ERICY. (And I should say that I'm long NOK.)

chat-guest995:

Jim, when do you see itanium having a major share of the market. Also, considering that applications require recompilation to see major performance gains in p4, are many developers are coding for p4?

jseymour1:

Not for a looong time. Impoortant, but a trend-setter, not a volume product. Only modest P4 re-coding efforts underway now.

chat-guest275 says:

What about the web hosters? Exodus and (especially) others in weaker positions look vulnerable to the XOXO's of the world that will provide EVERYTHING instead of just hosting and leaving the telco/datacom services to others? XO seems extremely well positioned. Any opinions?

jseymour1:

See my comments earlier on EXDS. EXDS is still the only hosting shop I want to own. (And yes, I'm presently long EXDS.)

chat-guest455:

Jim, Do you see the rising energy prices in California as playing havoc with the earnings of tech companies ? Or causing additional problems for the chip makers ?

jseymour1:

Not until (and unless) power interruptions become more widespread and longer-lasting. The tech companies will adjust prices a little to reflect high energy costs. But they don't have absolute power on pricing, so it could get dodgy.

chat-guest3 :

Jim, speaking of T (and LU)--will they EVER get it?

jseymour1:

T won't; it'll be sold first. LU, maybe -- but such a looong way back. (Long LU -- tiny stub position, as speculation.)

chat-guest479

says: Jim - AMD Athlon Thunderbird or P4? in terms of technology bang for the buck.

jseymour1:

Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. RealMoney.com subscribers are consistently the most knowledgeable, savvy chatters I talk with. See you next time -- and have a great Christmas! (PS: Please remember

TSC's

Red Cross Christmas fund drive! That's how you can best thank us all!)