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Thursday, 20 January, 2000, 22:34 GMT
Tech stock medley




The internet revolution gathered pace as more US high-tech companies reported their results on Thursday.

Excite@Home, the biggest provider of high-speed, broadband internet connections in the United States, reported its first profit ever as it passed 1m subscribers

It was a small figure, only $400,000 in the quarter, but a significant milestone for the fledging provider of the next generation of internet services.

Excite@Home, whose biggest investor is AT&T, plans to lead the internet revolution. Its cable networks can download 100 times faster than conventional dial-up modems, allowing video on demand, conferencing, and internet gaming.



Sun continues to capture market share as we set the agenda in the "dot com" era
Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems
It was to get possession of the rival broadband cable operator, Roadrunner, that motivated AOL to acquire TimeWarner last week in a $350bn deal.

Analysts said that the strong figures from Excite@Home suggest that the broadband revolution is gathering pace, boosting the prospects of other broadband providers like some regional telephone companies.

Bad day in Murray Hill

Lucent Technologies, the company once owned by AT&T, had already warned Wall Street that its profits would be lower than expected.

The company, whose basic researchers invented the transistor - the basis of all electronics - and discovered the microwave signals that mark the birth of the universe - still earned $1.1bn in the quarter on sales of $9.9bn. Those numbers were about what had been expected, but the stock dropped 1 3/8 to 52 1/4.



We're disappointed in our results for this quarter
Richard McGinn, Lucent Technologies
"As we've said, we're disappointed with our results for the quarter," said Richard McGinn, chairman and CEO said.

"However, industry growth is strong, and we are well positioned to take advantage of that growth. The fundamental needs of our customers continue to grow, and we intend to capitalise on this demand as we've done in the past."

Sun still shining on Java

Two computer companies, one a key hardware and one a key software and server player, reported very different results

Gateway, the low-cost computer maker that competes with Dell, has already said it expected lower than expected sales in the fourth quarter of the year.

It told brokers that it had been hit by Y2K worries, chip shortages, and reduced sales to businesses.

Meanwhile Sun Microsystems, one of the stalwarts of Silicon Valley, which developed the Java script widely used on the internet, demonstrated why its share price has been soaring into the stratosphere.

Sun makes the computers, called servers, which connect up to the internet.

Sun reported earnings up 36% to $629m for the quarter, with revenues of $6.7bn, a 26% increase.

It has sold 10,000 servers to Enron, the international oil company, so that it can build its intranet across the globe.

"Sun continues to capture market share as we set the agenda in the "dot com" era... Customers racing to "dot com" their businesses for competitive advantage seem to agree, as they vote with their pocketbooks and their commitment," said chief executive Scott McNealy.

Nevertheless its shares were down 83 9/16, off 3 in after-hours trading, wiping out most of its gains during the day. Sun shares have gone up almost four times in value in the last year.

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See also:
19 Jan 00 |  Business
Hi-tech sector delights
21 Jul 99 |  The Company File
Sun and AOL land on iPlanet
25 Oct 99 |  The Company File
Excite buys Bluemountain.com

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