Updated from 11:49 a.m. EDT
Tech stocks moved sharply lower with the wider market Thursday, as a big earnings beat from stalwart
could not trump poor earnings elsewhere in the sector.
The maker of the iPod and iPhone rose 6.4% Thursday, after
blowing away Wall Street's estimates after the prior bell. Apple reported third-quarter net income of $818 million, or 92 cents a share, compared to $472 million, or 54 cents a share, during the year-ago quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected 72 cents a share. On Thursday, shares gained $8.74 to $146.
Apple's surge, however, was trumped by sharp declines from software maker
Level 3 Communications
, which weighed on the Nasdaq 100. The index dipped 24.5 points to 1986.6.
Akamai plummeted 18.9%, after being downgraded by three firms a day after reporting earnings
in-line with analysts estimates and beating revenue expectations. But analysts were expecting more. Credit Suisse and Merriman Curhan Ford lowered their ratings of the stock to neutral, from buy and outperform, respectively, while Jefferies cut the stock to hold from buy. Investors responded by sending it down $8.91 to $38.27.
Level 3 shares slipped 12.1%, after
losing a penny more per share than analysts had forecast and provided disappointing full-year guidance. The telecom concern lost $202 million, or 13 cents a share, compared to $224 million, or 25 cents a share in the comparable 2006 quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 12 cents a share. The company also said it expected communications revenue of $4.03 billion to $4.31 billion for the full-year, compared with a $4.24 billion Wall Street estimate. Shares fell 69 cents to $5.03.
plunged 21.7%, after reporting declining second-quarter profits and guiding to the low end of analysts third-quarter estimates. Net income dipped to $8.6 million, or 11 cents a share, from $9 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The company said it expects third-quarter earnings of between 12 cents and 13 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect earnings of 13 cents a share. Shares fell $2.88 to $10.37.
There were some big winners in the tech market.
Business software maker
( OMTR) soared 22.5% after Piper Jaffray upgraded it to market perform from underperform, the morning after the business software maker reported an unexpected surge in second-quarter revenue and guided higher for the year. The company now expects revenue of between $141 million to $142 million, on profits of between 16 cents and 18 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $139.2 million. Shares advanced $4.76 to $25.96.
shares skyrocketed 14.1%, after Citigroup returned it to a buy rating, after downgrading it to hold earlier this month. That came the morning after the stock
blew away earnings expectations Wednesday after the bell. The Chinese Internet company's shares closed up $25.83 to $209.06.