Appleis stock continued south after yesterdayis 17% drop, evidence that bear-weary investors are still lining up to throw in the towel. The media is playing nice with Steve Jobis ho-hum keynote address at MACWORLD Expo, but skittish investors arenit hiding their disappointment with the keynote or with Tuesdayis lowered sales forecast for the rest of the year.
Some kind words from todayis New York Times:
"The pace of the improvement in the performance of Appleis machines, analysts say, is impressive. Some lines have nearly doubled the processing speed, doubled memory and tripled storage capacity, compared with machines at the same price just a year ago. In the past, Appleis computers have often been praised for their stylish design yet criticized for being more expensive than comparably powered standard PCis, which run on Microsoftis Windows operating system and Intelis microprocessor."
Meanwhile, in the broader markets hope springs eternal, at least till this afternoon when many indexes gave back most of the morningis gains. Tech stocks, outside of the PC vendors, held their own on hopes that Microsoft and Sun Micro would post healthy financial results after the bell.
Appleis stock lost 0.82 or -3.99% to close at 19.95 on double the average volume with 15.4 million shares trading. AAPL gapped higher by 0.50 at the open and then steadily drifted lower all day.
Solomon Smith Barney lowered its 12-month price target for AAPL from $30 to $25.
A Wall Street Journal brief reported, "Terra Lycos SA (TRLY) and Apple Espana, a unit of Apple Computer Inc, said they have signed an agreement to collaborate on content distribution, media streaming and e-learning online. No financial details were given." Terra Lycos SA is, "the leading portal to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets and is the number three access provider in the world," according to a Yahoo company profile.
"In the very tough economic conditions out there, most of our industry is retrenching," Steve Jobs told the Wall Street Journal. "But weive decided to try and find a different path, and our path is innovation."
The Nasdaq gained 30 points (1.51%) to close at 2046, on volume of 1.8 billion shares trading hands.
The Dow climbed 40 points (0.38%) to close at 10610, on volume of 1.3 billion shares, but traders were disappointed as the Dow slid 69 points from the dayis high in the afternoon. There seems to be a consensus forming that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the US economy, is going to be weaker than expected in the second half of the year. In part, this explains AAPLis poor performance today.
The S&P 500 gained 7.31 points (0.61%) to close at 1215.02.>
Adobe climbed 1.83 to close at 41.88.
Akamai gained 0.34 to close at 8.30. Although Akamai is still in the cash-burn startup phase, the content delivery firm announced yesterday it has grown sales to $43.1 million up from $18.1 million (137.8% increase) from the second quarter of 2000.
EarthLink leaped 15% to close at 17.28. The ISP reported revenues of $303 million for the second quarter up 3% from the first. However, earnings are still negative $8.2 million, an improvement from losses of $18.6 million last quarter and $32.7 million in the year ago period. Garry Betty, EarthLinkis chief executive officer said. "We are solidly on track to be EBITDA-positive by the fourth quarter of this year."
The Wall Street Journal ran a positive article on Earthlink today.
"It has been a great year for the No. 3 Internet-access provider. After bottoming at $4.75 on Dec. 28, the shares have more than tripled so far this year. The winning streak, almost unheard of among Internet companies these days, reflects optimism about EarthLinkis ambitious push to offer high-speed Internet connections, its recent price increase and its potential as a takeover candidate."
IBM lost 0.28 to close at 104. Yesterday, Big Blue guided expectations for the rest of the year lower.
Macromedia gained 0.19 to close at 16.91.Motorola climbed 1.56 to close at 19.14.Dell climbed 1.18 to close at 28.38 after the company claimed that it will meet analyst expectations when it reports second quarter earnings on August 3. Goldman Sachs computer hardware analyst Joe Moore told Reuters, "you donit have a lot of hardware companies making their numbers right now. The fact that they were able to be precise about a quarter that has still got two weeks to go has got to make people comfortable."
Gateway lost 0.88 to close at 14.59. After the markets closed the San Diego-based PC vendor announced a net loss of $20.8 million or negative $0.06 per share. According to a company press release, "Gateway sold 923,000 units worldwide in the second quarter, down 21 percent year over year and down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2001."<
Compaq squeaked higher by 0.12 to close at 15.78.
Intel gained back 1.07, after losing as much yesterday, to close at 29.96.
Microsoft climbed 2.00 to close at 72.57. Naturally, Redmond wanted its earnings headline to be "Microsoft Announces Record Revenue for Fiscal Year 2001", but The Street.com pointed out the fine print: "The software giant cut first-quarter earnings guidance to 39-40 cents a share, well short of the 45 cents analysts expected. Revenue, at $6 billion to $6.2 billion, will fall short of the $6.3 billion target. Microsoft shares fell 3% in after-hours trading on Island."
Sun Microsystems said last quarter earnings were $134 million or $0.04 per share, way down from $659.5 million or $0.21 per share in the year ago period. Sales fell to $4 billion from $5.02 billion a year earlier. SUNW was trading flat at 14.46 after the announcement.
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