Stocks to watch: Compuware, Lucent Technologies and Motorola

Compuware, Lucent Technologies and Motorola should be among Monday's most traded issues
Written by Larry Barrett, Contributor

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Compuware, Lucent Technologies and Motorola.

Compuware Compuware shares figure to slide Monday after it warned that it will miss analysts' first-quarter estimates. It joins BMC Software and Computer Associates in admitting that first-quarter sales simply weren't as bountiful as expected.

Compuware shares closed off 1 3/32 to 9 5/32 ahead of the warning.

Company officials said it now expects a profit of between seven to nine cents a share in the quarter, well below the First Call consensus estimate of 15 cents a share. It sees sales dragging in at around $500m.

Like BMC and CA, Compuware blamed the shortfall largely on a failure to close several sizeable software deals in the quarter, as expected. Enterprise software vendors normally sign the majority of their sales contracts near the end of a quarter.

JDS Uniphase Fibre optics product makers JDS Uniphase and SDL said Monday they would merge in a stock deal worth $41bn.

Under the definitive agreement, 3.8 shares of Canada's JDS Uniphase will be exchanged for each SDL share, the companies said. SDL will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of JDS Uniphase once the transaction closes.

Lucent Technologies Lucent might move on some rather benign news that a federal judge will rule at a later date on whether to grant Newbridge Networks, now part of Alcatel, a new trial in a 1997 patent dispute brought by the network-equipment maker.

In November, a jury found Newbridge products infringed on five Lucent patents for data networking systems used in Internet communications. The jury awarded Lucent $9.6m in damages based on sales through to 31 January last year of the allegedly infringing Newbridge product lines MainStreet, MainsStreetXpress and Vivid.

At that time, Newbridge promised it would seek a new trial because Lucent had allegedly "abused our industry's standardisation process".

In a hearing Friday, Newbridge attorney Thomas Kenworthy told presiding judge Joseph Farnan, of the US district court in Delaware, that a retrial was justified because of the "substantial prejudice" to Newbridge's case.

According to Kenworthy, Farnan had failed to consider the defense of indefiniteness when he interpreted the claims of the patent for the jury, then issued the claims ruling so close to the trial date, Newbridge was left with insufficient time to challenge the findings.

Farnan will decide whether to grant Newbridge's motion for a retrial; or to grant Lucent's motion that the validity of the patents be upheld and that $57m be awarded.

Lucent shares closed up 193/256 to 55 33/256 Friday.

Motorola The chipmaker should be worth watching Monday after announcing it will buy privately held Suncoast Scientific for an undisclosed amount of cash.

Ahead of the announcement, Motorola shares closed up 1 to 33.

Suncoast, based in Florida, develops business management software used by large enterprises, state and local government agencies and municipalities.

"This acquisition has wide implications for the expanding public-sector market where large enterprises use advanced information technologies to improve operational performance," said Mike Gaumond, vice president at Motorola, in a prepared release.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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