Sun, Aug 19, 2001 - Page 10 News List

Stocks decline on concerns over profits

US EQUITIES Dell, Ford and Gap fell after they, and other companies, decided to lower their forecasts as demand from consumers is expected to continue slipping


Semiconductor stocks led the S&P 500's slide. Intel Corp., the biggest chipmaker, fell US$2.09 to US$28.07; Texas Instruments Inc lost US$1.58 to US$33.14; and Applied Materials Inc slipped US$2.13 to US$42.57.

Cisco Systems Inc the largest maker of computer-networking equipment, fell US$0.87 to US$16.61.

Financial stocks were the third-biggest contributor to the S&P 500's decline. Merrill Lynch & Co fell US$1.88 to US$50.12 and hit its lowest price in more than 14 months. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co lost US$1.80 to US$51.20, American Express Co dropped US$0.65 to US$37.50 and Citigroup slid US$1.28 to US$46.60.

Hewlett-Packard Co lost US$0.08 to US$24.05. Carly Fiorina, chief executive of the second-biggest computer maker, said sales will rise in the current quarter from the previous period as demand picks up before the holiday season.

The company said fiscal third-quarter profit fell to US$0.11 a share, excluding acquisition costs and a loss for selling a business, which beat analysts' estimates.

Microsoft Corp fell US$2.74 to US$61.88. A US appeals court denied the biggest software maker's request to delay remedy hearings in its antitrust battle with the government until the Supreme Court decides whether it will review the case.

Broadcom Corp, the largest maker of chips for cable modems, lost US$4.13 to US$37.06, its fourth-straight decline. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co analyst Mark Edelstone said that 3Com Corp's decision to file a lawsuit Tuesday saying Broadcom defaulted on two quarterly interest payments suggests the relationship between the companies has become strained.

Broadcom and 3Com, a maker of computer-networking equipment, had agreed to develop, sell and market network interface cards together.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc fell US$2.69 to US$46.21. The chipmaker said fiscal first-quarter revenue would be below fourth quarter sales.

The company said it lost US$0.05 a share in the fourth quarter, compared with profit of US$0.29 a year earlier.

Comverse Technology Inc rose US$0.34 to US$29.85. Merrill Lynch analysts Tai Liani and Michael Ching said they expect the largest maker of telephone messaging software to keep displacing Lucent Technologies Inc in a few major accounts and to sell voice activation software to its voice-mail clients.

The analysts raised their rating to near-term "accumulate" from "neutral." Goldman Sachs, & Co yesterday raised Comverse to ``recommended list'' from "market outperform."

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