Rob Black's Tech Stock Report

by: Rob Black

Citigroup reduced its 2006 and 2007 earnings' estimates for chipmakers Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD), citing concerns about the second-quarter microprocessor pricing environment. The broker cut AMD's 2006 earnings estimates to $1.14 from $1.28 a share and 2007 forecasts to $1.42 from $1.56 a share. It also reduced its price target to $33 from $42. Citigroup lowered Intel 2006 earnings estimates to 77 cents from 86 cents a share and 2007 forecasts to 97 cents from $1.01 a share. It left its price target unchanged at $21.

UBS cuts their target on Advanced Micro to $33 based on a lower target P.E multiple of 18x. This reflects their concerns regarding AMD's 1) cash flow challenges as a result of its aggressive capacity expansion plans. 2) competitive challenges from Intel based on its road map through 2008, and 3) Uncertainty over AMD's strategic direction.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) said its board approved the repurchase of up to $5 billion worth of its common stock. The networking equipment giant said the board previously authorized up to $35 billion in stock buybacks.

Digitimes reports that despite Nvidia's (NASDAQ:NVDA) sequential growth in the PC graphics market lagging behind both Intel and ATI (ATYT), Nvidia is confident that its second-place position in the market (behind Intel) will remain secure this year. Nvidia also posted a bullish outlook for the 3G application market and anticipates a partnership with Microsoft should spur its market share further.

ThinkEquity cuts their Business Objects (BOBJ) target to $27. They attended a BOBJ user event yesterday and many of the customers they surveyed had no near-term purchase plans, which could reflect limited sample and/or limited spending.

Novellus' (NASDAQ:NVLS-OLD) second- quarter profit will rise to as much as 40 cents a share, compared with a previous prediction of as much as 28 cents, Chief Financial Officer William Kurtz said. Sales will increase to as much as $410 million, compared with a forecast of $370 million to $380 million, he said.

Palm (PALM), the maker of Treo mobile phones, will replace Anteon International in the S&P MidCap 400 after the close of trading today.

Thomas Weisel maintains their Outperform rating on EMC (EMC) shares, following an analyst day that reiterated previous targets and long-term vision/strategy. They believe EMC has executed well on its road map to regain market share and enhance functionality to compete more effectively against Hitachi (HIT), HP (NYSE:HPQ) and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Thomas Weisel says EMC extended its market share lead in the mid-range external disk storage market to approximately 33% in recent quarters up from less than 10% just two years ago. They believes that the company is poised to further grow share in 2006 with solid execution and refresh cycles for both high-end Symmetrix arrays as well as mid-range CLARiiON product line.

Bear Stearns reduced its rating on the wireless tower sector to market weight from market overweight, citing uncertainty over the interest-rate environment and the impact rates have had on free cash flow multiples. The broker cut Crown Castle International (NYSE:CCI) to peer perform from outperform and upgraded SBA Communications (NASDAQ:SBAC) to outperform from peer perform.