Earnings for the just-finished quarter were not expected to topple the entire high-tech sector off its high wire, but earnings disappointments are picking their spots.
are little changed after opening lower despite the company's beating first-quarter estimates. Inktomi lost 24 cents a share in the quarter compared with the 29-cent loss analysts expected, according to
. The stock was trading as high as 189 on Tuesday. Midday Friday it was trading at 156 3/4, down 3 1/8.
After missing earnings estimates by a penny, shares of
are down 4 3/16 points to 35 7/16 early today. Microchip makes memory chips and microcontrollers. Despite the disappointment,
Credit Suisse First Boston
maintained a strong buy on the stock, according to its daily tech report, saying January orders are running at all-time levels, and it maintains a 12-month target price of 45.
An earnings warning from
has its shares down 9 points to 89. The company said earnings over the next two or three quarters will be flat for two reasons: a seasonal decline in royalties from chips used in the Nintendo 64 game system and discontinued development of PC multimedia applications that use Rambus technology. Rambus reported earnings of 8 cents for the quarter, below the 9-cent estimate of First Call.
is down a sharp 5 3/4, or 30%, after it announced that fourth-quarter earnings will not meet estimates due to slow sales in its consulting unit.
In his Weekly Web Report,
BancBoston Robertson Stephens
analyst Keith Benjamin indicates there are only two major Internet names left to report,
. He expects record results for AOL, while eBay's earnings will be compared with smaller numbers from the previous year and should not disappoint. AOL will report earnings on Jan. 27 and eBay will report on Jan. 26.
"We continue to suggest building and holding a portfolio of the biggest and best, focusing on AOL and Amazon and a select number of emerging franchises, with a more opportunistic trading approach." Some of those types of stocks include
. BancBoston Robertson Stephens has had underwriting relationships with eBay, E*Trade, Excite and Ticketmaster.
Can It Live Up to the Hype?
After much anticipation over the
(MKWT:Nasdaq) IPO, investors were still left wondering where it was trading early today.
Thursday, 2.8 million shares of Marketwatch were priced at $17 a share, but trading was delayed today.
In anticipation of the IPO, shares of
, which owns half of Marketwatch.com and has a 38% stake after the offering (
owns an equal amount), had soared from 9 3/4 Dec. 17 to 50 5/8 on Tuesday before sliding all the way back to 30 on Thursday. Data Broadcasting was down 2 3/8 points at 28 13/16 early.
Marketwatch has benefited -- thus far -- from going public at a time when the Internet sector remains hot and there have been few new offerings. If it continues to blossom, those offerings may well pick up.
Warburg Dillon Read
started covering e-commerce stocks this morning, but tempered the move with a measure of caution. Analyst Sara Zeilstra initiated coverage on five of the better-known names in Internet e-tailing, but put a hold on each: Amazon.com, eBay,
, Preview Travel and
. Warburg Dillon Read has no underwriting relationships with any of the companies.
"I think that there's a great amount of opportunity, but I think the stocks have gotten ahead of themselves," Zeilstra says. "But right now the trading momentum is enough to keep them going."
Zeilstra works alongside Warburg analyst Mike Wallace, who covers Internet consumer content and services.
-- George Mannes