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Stocks in Motion: Merix Hammered on Outlook

BEA Systems (BEAS) headed to the top of the volume leader board Friday after the company posted disappointing first-quarter results.

BEA posted operating earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $262.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for 8 cents a share on revenue of $266.3 million. License revenue, an all-important business segment, dipped to $120.2 million from $122.3 million a year ago. Alfred Chang, BEA CEO, said the company signed a good number of million-dollar deals in the quarter but it wasn't enough to get BEA over the top: "We signed 17 license deals over $1 million dollars in the first quarter. While this is the most we've ever signed in a first quarter, we are disappointed that we did not meet our license revenue plans, especially in the Americas," he said in a press release. Shares of BEA Systems were recently trading down $2.29, or 21.2%, to $8.49, on volume of 20 million shares.

Shares of Merix (MERX) traded heavily after the circuit board maker lowered its fourth-quarter earnings and sales forecast. Instead of delivering revenue of $46 million to $48 million, as it had previously forecast, it now expects to report revenue of $44.5 million to $45 million. Earnings that were expected to be 19 cents to 22 cents a share are now expected to turn into a loss of 3 cents to 6 cents a share. Analysts were looking for the company to deliver 13 cents a share in earnings on $47.4 million in revenue. "The change in expectations is caused by a lower level of premium services business attributed to reduced demand by customers for expedited volume orders and reduced orders from a major customer, which the company understands results from decreased demand for certain of the customer's products and increased inventory levels in their supply chain," the company said in a press release. Shares of Merix were recently trading down $5.54, or 36.2%, to $9.78, on volume of 6.6 million shares.

Nortel (NT) traded briskly Friday after the network gear giant announced it had been served with a grand jury subpoena in connection with a criminal investigation being conducted by federal prosecutors in Texas. In a press release, the company said it "has been advised that the materials sought are pertinent to an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The company will fully cooperate with the authorities in this matter." The grand jury has asked Nortel to produce documents from 2000 to the present. The subpoena comes just one month after the Toronto, Canada-based company fired its CEO amid an accounting probe conducted by the company. Shares of Nortel were recently down 20 cents, or 5.3%, to $3.60, on volume of about 20 million shares.

In addition to Nortel, NYSE high-volume leaders included Service Corp. Interational (SRV), Lucent (LU), EMC (EMC) and Nokia (NOK).

In addition to BEA Systems, Nasdaq companies on the high-volume list included Cisco (CSCO), Intel (INTC) and Dell (DELL).

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