Exabyte’s shares hurt by tech stock fears

By mid-December, the Dow Jones Industrials Average had started to recover from the substantial losses of November, despite continued uncertainty about Asia’s financial strength.

The Dow managed to climb 265.82 points higher, or 3.51 percent, to close the period ended Dec. 12 at 7838.30.

The Boulder County Stock Index did not follow the recovery as it slipped lower. Our index lost 106.28 points, or -3.42 percent, to close the trading period at 2997.29. Locally, losers outmatched advancers by a 31-to-24 count

Shares of Exabyte followed the downward movement of technology stocks as fears of the Asian Financial crisis cutting into profits heated up. Exabyte watched its stock price fall -25.31 percent to $7.56 per share. Investors braced themselves for a large tumble as Asia’s financial turmoil begins to crimp U.S. corporate profits amid continued sharp falls in Asian stocks.

“The Asian pot continues to boil, and the market sold off because of the realization that what happened to Oracle could happen to a lot of other companies,´ said Thom Brown, managing director of Rutherford Brown and Catherwood.

Shares of Health Watch dropped last month as the company reported weak financials. Health Watch’s stock price dropped $.156 per share, or -38.46 percent, to close the period at 25 cents.

The company reported that revenues declined 28 percent during the first quarter of fiscal 1998, compared to the similar period in fiscal 1997, due primarily to a decline in product sales. The company believes that product sales were depressed largely due to the unavailability of its enhanced MVL product during the three months ended Sept. 30.

Microsemi Corp. reported strong financial results, which helped to push the company’s stock price into higher territory. Shares of Microsemi gained $2.12 per share, or 14.17 p ercent, to close the period at $17.12. The company reported revenues for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 28 were $44.2 million, resulting in net earnings of 34 cents per share. This represents a 42 percent increase in earnings from the 24 cents per share in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Commenting on the results, Philip Frey Jr., chairman, chief executive officer and president of Microsemi, said, “The significant improvement in earnings reflects the shift this year in product mix to higher-margin space products combined with growing sales of our new Powermite line of products.”