|Oracle Corporation (ORCL)
One of the giants in the software industry, Oracle Corporation helps other
companies to take advantage of the Internet and compete in the New Economy.
The firm develops, manufactures, markets and distributes software that help
manage database systems and implement e-business strategies. The group's programmes
run on practically everything - from mainframes to personal digital assistants.
In its 1999 annual report, Oracle claims that about two thirds of the Fortune
100 companies use its software for e-business.
The 23-year-old company is headed by the flamboyant Lawrence Ellison (how else
could you describe a man who has a biography titled: " The Difference Between
God and Larry Ellison: Inside Oracle Corporation") who's also the firm's co-founder.
Oracle's revenues nearly doubled since 1997 to 10.1 billion US dollars at the
end of May this year. For the three months ending 31/8/00, net income totalled
USD 500.7 million, reflecting increased margins and investment gains. The group's
shares traded at USD 78 3/4 as at 2/10/00. The 52-week high was USD 92 15/16.
|Check Point Software Technologies Limited (CHKP)
This firm designs and develops programmes that protect corporate networks from
being hacked into. Founded in July 1993, the company introduced its first product
called Firewall-1 the following year. This software blocks viruses and verifies
that users are authorised to access the networks. The group also offers virtual
private network products such as the VPN-1, which helps firms to conduct e-business
and share critical information securely. The company is extending its reach
into the broadband Internet access market by offering Internet security to consumers
who use cable and digital subscriber lines (DSL) modems.
The company’s revenues have been rising steadily since 1997, topping 200 million
US dollars last year. A large portion of it came from the sales of the FireWall-,
VPN-1 product families and related maintenance contracts. As at 2/10/00, the
share price was USD 157 1/2 compared. The 52-week high was USD 163 3/8.
Set up in 1984, Cisco Systems now controls more than three quarters of the
global market for products such as routers and switches that are used to connect
computing devices to computer networks. The company also sells software to manage
the networks. The firm's products are sold in some 115 countries to corporations,
government agencies, educational institutions and Internet service providers.
Cisco Systems is also famous for snapping up start-ups that can help expand
its product lines. It has bought more than 40 companies since 1993 and over
half were acquired this year.
For the financial year ending 29/7/00, the company's revenues rose 55 percent
to nearly 19 billion US dollars and the net income was up by 32 percent to USD
2.67 billion. The share price stood at USD 55 1/4 as at 2/10/00, with a 52-week
high of USD 82.
|I2 Technologies Inc (ITWO)
It's all in the RHYTHM. That's I2 Technologies' competitive edge in the computer
software and services industry. The group developed the software RHYTHM to help
manufacturers reduce the amount of inventory they hold, streamline the production
process, and deliver products on time and at a lower cost. The supply chain
management software links the manufacturers to customers and suppliers so that
e-business and e-commerce transactions are carried out smoothly. And last year,
the group launched an e-business platform called TradeMatrix. The platform helps
firms to run, build and support business-to-business marketplaces. I2 Technologies
customers include 3M, Compaq and Nokia. Chairman and CEO Sanjiv Sidhu formed
the company in 1988 and owns 40 percent of it.
According to the firm's annual report for last year, total revenues increased
54.7 percent to about 570 million US dollars in 1999. The group derived substantially
all of its revenues from licenses associated with the RHYTHM software products,
and its related services and maintenance. As at 2/10/00, the shares traded at
USD 187 1/16 with a 52-week high of USD 223 1/2.
|VERITAS Software Corporation (VRTS)
VERITAS Software's achievements last year included joining the Nasdaq-100 Index
and getting ranked eighth in Fortune magazine's "100 Fastest Growing Companies"
list. Formed in 1982, the storage management software company makes applications
that protect computer networks against data loss from crashes and files corruption.
It also produces back-up and network management software. The firm made its
name by partnering bigwigs such as Hewlett Packard and Microsoft; both of which
have licensed and bundled VERITAS products with their operating systems.
The company reported revenues of about 596 million US dollars for 1999, compared
with nearly USD 211 million in 1998. Net income was 51.6 million. As at 2/10/00,
the shares prices stood at USD 142 and the 52-week high was USD 174.