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Tech Stocks in Motion

Updated from 1:17 p.m.

Shares of TransAct Technologies (TACT) were among technology's losers Friday, falling 30.2% after the provider of transaction-based printers posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that were below expectations and warned that first-quarter results would fall short of expectations as well.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.2 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $14.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 13 cents a share on sales of $16.9 million. A year ago, the company earned $1 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $14.7 million. The company said that weaker-than-expected gaming and lottery sales hurt fourth-quarter results.

Looking ahead, TransAct forecast first-quarter earnings of 2 cents to 4 cents a share on sales of about $13 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 15 cents a share on sales of $17 million. The company said it expects the decline in domestic gaming sales that it experienced in December to continue through the first half of 2005. Shares traded down $5.27 to $12.18.

Credence Systems (CMOS) fell 9.1% the company posted a first-quarter loss that was wider than expected and warned that second-quarter results would miss expectations. Excluding items, the company -- which makes test equipment used by the semiconductor industry -- posted a loss of $14.9 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $93.9 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of 16 cents a share on sales of $102.6 million.

The company said there are signs of improving business conditions, particularly with its IDM customers, but the overall market remains challenging. Looking ahead, Credence forecast a second-quarter loss of 14 cents to 17 cents a share on sales of $94 million to $99 million. Analysts had been expecting a narrower loss of 11 cents a share on sales of $106 million. Shares traded down 83 cents to $8.34.

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