Techs and telecoms present mixed picture


There was a mixed picture in technology and telecoms stocks as the Nasdaq opened stronger but soon turned negative.

Earnings statements retained their power to shock. The German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor fell 65 per cent from €22.19 to €7.73 following warnings that sales in 2001 will be off this year's levels. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock from "recommended" to "market underperformer".

Lehman Brothers adjusted its recommendations on European stocks in favour of technology, moving from "underweight" to "neutral", while moving in the reverse direction on telecoms companies.

Lehmans added Siemens and Alcatel to its portfolio of recommendations. Siemens rose just 0.3 per cent to €135.45 and Alcatel slipped 0.6 per cent to €68.85.

Among other techs, SAP rose 0.3 per cent to €155.45 and Infineon rose 1.7 per cent to €43.80. But the electronics components maker Epcos fell as much as 6.7 per cent to €94.20.

The picture was fairly bleak among telecom stocks. Telia, Sweden's leading telecom, which was privatised this year, fell 17 per cent to SKr52.50 following its failure to win a licence for third-generation mobile services in its home market. There were downgrades from Commerzbank and UBS Warburg. Commerzbank cut its rating from "hold" to "reduce" and UBS from "buy" to "hold".

Olivetti was suspended limit down after falling 10 per cent to €2.69 after saying it would seek to raise about €3 billion through a bond sale and capital increase. Technost, the company through which Olivetti controls Telecom Italia, was also suspended after falling 10 per cent.