Today's Tech Winners and Losers
Shares of Linktone (LTON) were among technology's losers Wednesday, tumbling 22% after the Chinese maker of wireless entertainment products cut its fourth-quarter earnings projection.
The company now expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 3 cents to 4 cents per American Depository share, down from earlier guidance of 15 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 16 cents a share. For all of 2005, the company estimates earnings of 43 cents to 44 cents a share, down from an earlier view of 54 cents a share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of 57 cents a share. The company projects fourth-quarter sales of $20.4 million to $20.6 million, in line with its previous forecast of $20.5 million.
Linktone attributed the earnings shortfall to higher costs in its wireless value-added services, lower-than-expected sales in several provinces in China, and increased costs associated with media advertising. Shares were trading down $2.04 to $7.21.
Google (GOOG) fell 9% after the search giant posted disappointing fourth-quarter earnings that left investors gasping for air. The company posted earnings of $372 million, or $1.22 a share, on revenue of $1.29 billion, which excludes commissions that Google pays to its Web site advertising partners. Excluding items, the company earned $469 million, or $1.54 a share. Analysts expected earnings of $1.76 a share and revenue of $1.29 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $204.1 million, or 71 cents a share. The company said it was hit by a higher-than-expected tax rate. Shares recently were down $37.29 to $395.37.Shares of SigmaTel (SGTL) slumped 12% after the chipmaker posted mixed fourth-quarter results and warned that first-quarter results would be well below expectations. The company's fourth-quarter net profit fell to $4.6 million, or 12 cents a share, from $19.5 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $6 million, or 16 cents a share, a penny above estimates. Sales rose to $82 million from $78.6 million, but missed analysts' projection of $83.8 million.
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