If You Like Wi-Fi, You'll Love PCTEL
Wireless fidelity, which techies call Wi-Fi, is catching on fast. And PCTEL (PCTI ), a little- known developer of wireless software, is a pivotal player. Its software lets a PC connect to the Net from a house, a hotel, a Starbucks (SBUX ) coffee shop, or a conference room -- much like a cell phone. Wi-Fi-equipped computers send and receive data fast -- anywhere within the range of an axis point of usually 300 feet. "PCTEL has the software that makes Wi-Fi easy to use and cheap to deploy," says Wes Cummins of B. Riley Research, who rates the stock a buy. It has zoomed from 4 in October to 9 on Mar. 26, as pros got clued in to Wi-Fi. "Our software lets users move freely from one wireless network to another," says CEO Martin Singer. PCTEL sells its products -- such as the Segue line, which simplifies Net access -- to PC makers such as Dell Computer (DELL ). Anton Wahlman of investment firm Needham says PCTEL will earn 10 cents a share in 2003 on sales of $70 million, and 50 cents in 2004 on $102 million. Wahlman, who rates PCTEL a buy, owns shares, and Needham has done banking for PCTEL. Standard & Poor's technical outlook: "Bullish."
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By Gene G. Marcial