SAN FRANCISCO -- Eager to recapture goodwill it may have lost after recent technology failures, E*Trade (EGRP) opened its presentation at the BancBoston Robertson Stephens Tech '99 Conference with a video montage -- of news reports detailing the online broker's ills.
As the film rolled, viewers saw a seemingly endless stream of
anchors reporting on the online broker's difficulties. "Hundreds of thousands of E*Trade customers are waking up this morning wondering if they'll be able to trade," one correspondent intoned gravely.
Then E*Trade CFO Leonard Purkis punctuated the video presentation by proclaiming, "That's the power of branding."
The packed crowd chuckled and cheered, expressing appreciation for the brokerage firm's sense of humor. It was a far warmer welcome than Purkis enjoyed when he faced the crowd at this month's
conference, during which the broker's current round of breakdowns first made headlines.
E*Trade was up 7 7/16, or 18.5%, at 47 9/16, benefiting from an article in
The Wall Street Journal
suggesting a possible future linkup with
Compuware Comfortable With Expectations
Chief Operating Officer Joe Nathan said he was comfortable with analysts' expectations and that the company may even exceed them if business goes well. According to
, analysts expect Compuware to earn 58 cents a share for its fourth quarter ending March 31. For the full year, the company is expected to earn $1.72.
Nathan reiterated that the company expects revenue to rise 35%-40% from year-ago levels. Nathan said recent weakness in the stock has put any ideas of acquisitions on hold. He said the company would now probably grow organically through its business.
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
analyst Marshall Senk said that Compuware has been a top pick in the enterprise software area for a while and that the firm has a strong buy on Compuware. For fiscal 1999, he estimates earnings of $1.70 and says there is "likely upside for future quarters." BancBoston Robertson Stephens has done underwriting for Compuware.
Compuware was up 4 11/16, or 8.2%, at 61 5/8.
Announcement Expected from TranSwitch
have soared today ahead of an announcement from the telecom equipment chipmaker, sources said.
Tim Summers, an analyst with
, said he heard the company would make an undisclosed announcement after today's close. He said because of the timing, he expects it to either be a product announcement or a merger or acquisition of a smaller player that would round out TranSwitch's product line. In addition, the stock was seeing a short squeeze, according to Sandy Harrison, analyst at
, following the company's recent secondary offering. TranSwitch, whose stock was up 5 3/8, or 18%, at 35 5/8, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.