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Microsoft and Sun set to hit revised targets

But they're still dramatically down...
Written by Sonya Rabbitte, Contributor

But they're still dramatically down...

Microsoft and Sun Microsystems are expected to meet forecasts when they announce first quarter results later today. Results are due out after the close of US markets, and despite last month's terrorist attacks hitting the end of the quarter, both companies are expected to meet previously announced estimates. Microsoft is sticking to its guidelines of between $6 and $6.2bn in revenue and earnings per share of 39 to 40 cents. This compares with revenue of $6.58bn in the fourth quarter of 2000 and revenue of $4bn this time last year. Deutsche Bank has issued similar predictions for Microsoft, expecting revenue to be in the region of $6.1bn and earnings of 40 cents per share. Jim Moore, analyst Deutsche Bank said he expected the company to reduce estimates for the next quarter in light of the terrorist attacks and falling customer confidence. Sun pre-announced its first quarter estimates at the beginning of the month when it reported it would axe nine per cent of its workforce. Revenue estimates are $2.7bn to $2.9bn, with loss per share expected to be between five and seven cents. Deutsche Bank had predicted revenue of $2.6bn to $2.8bn, and loss per share of four cents, but re-assessed this on Sun's guidance. It now predicts Sun will report revenue of $2.8bn and a loss of seven cents per share. Analyst George Elling said Sun's forecast could have been worse considering the events of the past month. Up to sixty per cent of Sun's first quarter revenue traditionally comes from sales in the last four weeks of the quarter, which coincided with the attacks. In the same quarter last year Sun posted revenue of £5.04bn.
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