US technology companies
Compaq's profit warning last week hit the US stock market hard, causing a share drop in a number of publicly quoted companies. Compaq itself fell $2 to $26 on 9 March, a loss of nearly eight per cent. Technology stocks reacted badly as Compaq became the third high-profile company in a week to issue a profit warning - joining Intel and Motorola - providing the busiest volume day for a single Big Board stock. Other companies affected were; Dell, which tumbled $6 to $63; Sun, losing more than $4 to $37; Oracle, dropping to $25; and IBM, down $2 to $96.
Pace Micro Technology
Shares in Pace Micro Technology jumped 15 per cent last week when it emerged the supplier had been chosen as one of six suppliers for digital set top boxes. On 9 March, Pace's share hit 45.5p and ended at 42p on 13 March.
Sterling Software will conduct a two-for-one stock split of common shares in a bid to appeal to a broader investor base.
The Dallas-based applications house - which acquired struggling Texas Instruments last year - said it made the split to improve the liquidity of its shares by ensuring an accessible buyer price range.
The company pleased analysts with its Q4 results, announced last month, in which earnings per share were 49 cents - 17 per cent higher than Wall Street estimates. Revenue was $148.8 million, up 53 per cent on Q1 last year.
Services company CMG has issued figures revealing a pre-tax profit of z38.6 million - a 40 per cent increase on last year - and turnover of z303 million. The company also announced a one-for-one bonus issue in order to improve share marketability. UK turnover was up 34 per cent to z72 million, while the German operation rose from a z1.2 million loss to a z1.1 million operating profit, partly due to its acquisition of Orga-team. CMG also made acquisitions in the UK and Belgium last year, and has continued the trend this calendar year, acquiring a French SAP consultancy, Alias SA, and Microlex, a Derby-based software and services company, strong in the life assurance and pensions markets.
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