Tech Stocks in Motion

SkilSoft rises on a second-quarter beat.
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Shares of

SkillSoft

(SKIL)

were among technology's winners Thursday, rising 18% after the maker of Internet-based employee training courses posted second-quarter results that topped Wall Street forecasts.

The company reported earnings of $22.9 million, or 22 cents a share, on sales of $53.6 million. Excluding a one-time gain of $19.5 million, or 19 cents a share, the company would have earned 3 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 2 cents a share on sales of $49.9 million.

Looking ahead, SkillSoft forecast earnings of $2 million to $4 million, or 2 cents to 4 cents a share, on sales of $51 million to $53 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 3 cents a share on sales of $50.8 million. Shares were trading up 69 cents to $4.54.

Websense

(WBSN)

fell modestly after the company announced the resignation of its president and backed its third-quarter earnings and sales guidance. The software company said that Curtis Staker resigned his position so that he could become chief executive of privately held GFI Software. CEO John Carrington will assume Staker's former position.

San Diego-based Websense also said that it still expects to post third-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $37.5 million to $38 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $38.1 million. Shares were trading down 24 cents to $49.65.

Shares of

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

traded actively after the company posted an in-line third-quarter loss and said fourth-quarter sales would be better than expected. The network-equipment maker posted a loss of $51 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $110.5 million. On a pro forma basis, the company reported a loss of $21.6 million, or 4 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents a share on sales of $109.9 million. A year ago the company posted a pro forma loss of $41.9 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $75.6 million.

Looking ahead, Ciena said it would post a sequential sales increase of up to 5% during the fourth quarter, implying sales of about $116 million. The company also said that it would continue to make progress toward profitability and positive cash flow during the fourth quarter. Analysts are expecting a loss of 4 cents a share on sales of $114 million. Shares were recently trading down 12 cents to $2.13 on volume of 18 million shares.

Digital Recorders

(TBUS)

rose 6% after the surveillance equipment company said its Digital Audio business unit received orders from a U.S. federal law enforcement agency totaling about $750,000. Most of the orders for audio processing and other related equipment are expected to be delivered in 2005. Shares were trading up 17 cents to $2.83.

Shares of

Opsware

(OPSW)

fell 3% after the company posted a second-quarter loss that was wider than expected and forecast a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss. The software company reported a pro forma loss of $2.6 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $14.1 million. Analysts were expecting a smaller loss of 2 cents a share on lower sales of $13.9 million.

Looking ahead, Opsware forecast a third-quarter pro forma loss of 2 cents to 3 cents a share on sales of $14.5 million to $15.5 million. Analysts had been expecting a smaller loss of 1 cent a share on sales of $15.5 million. Shares were trading down 14 cents to $4.51.

Other technology movers included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, down 13 cents to $27.25;

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 15 cents to $17.77;

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 25 cents to $13.24;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, down 26 cents to $25.46;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 4 cents to $3.84;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, up 6 cents to $6.94; and

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, down 1 cent to $3.07.