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Red Hat, Novell: Tech Winners & Losers

Stocks in this article: RHT TESS MALL NOVL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The positive news in trading Thursday came mostly from tech, thanks in part to surging gains by Tessco Technologies (TESS) and Red Hat (RHT).

Shares of Tessco, the Hunt Valley, Md., builder of wireless technology, were rising about 26%, or about $3.20, to $15.54 on speculation of a buyout by its second-largest shareholder, Discovery Group. In a Sept. 22 letter to Tessco's board of directors, Discovery said that it would pay $15.50 a share for the company, a 42% premium on the stock's average closing price for the past month.

Red Hat, the open source software provider out of Raleigh, saw its highest intraday price Thursday in more than a decade, thanks to better-than-expected second-quarter earnings it reported Wednesday. The Linux seller, rising 12% to $41.16, reported sales of $219.8 million, up from the $183.6 million reported in the same period last year. Analysts were expecting $211.49 million.


Shares of PC Mall (MALL), a reseller of computers and electronics equipment, were rising more than 15% to $5.86 following its recent earnings report on one of its best quarters ever -- the company beat expectations with a profit of 11 cents a share; analysts expected 9 cents EPS.

Portfolio manager Bob Auer of Auer Growth Fund told TheStreet that PC Mall is poised to double -- maybe even triple -- over the next year.

The Day's Losers

Thursday's tech losers were led by enterprise software provider Novell (NOVL), the Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) competitor. Its stock was trading down 51 cents to $6 on worries that Novell is having problems closing its deal to sell its Netware product. Reuters reported that prospective buyers, mostly private-equity firms, are unwilling to pay the product's asking price.

Lastly, small, specialized chip maker RF Micro Devices (RFMD), which competes with Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) and Triquint (TQNT), was down 5.33% to $5.68, most likely due to recent positive outlook from the bigger rivals.

--Written by Maggie Overfelt in New Y ork.

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