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Shares of



fell 12% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results but offered a first-quarter outlook below projections.

The company, which provides technology and services for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, said its fourth-quarter income fell to $5.3 million, or 10 cents a share, from $7 million, or 3 cents share, a year earlier. The company posted revenue of $25.4 million, down from $27.1 million a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call targeted earnings of 8 cents a share and revenue of $24.5 million.

Looking ahead, eResearch predicts first-quarter earnings of 5 cents to 7 cents a share, below analysts' average estimate of 10 cents. The company sees revenue of $21 million to $23 million, compared with Wall Street's target of $27 million. For all of 2006, eResearch forecast earnings of 42 cents to 48 cents a share, with revenue of $112 million to $118 million. The forecast is in line with analysts' expectation for 46 cents a share and revenue of $114 million. Separately, the company said Joseph Esposito will retire as president and CEO before the end of year. Shares of eResearch slipped $2.13 to $15.63 in after-hours trading.

Whole Foods Market


slipped after the natural and organic supermarket operator narrowly missed Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations. The company posted earnings of $58.3 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $46.2 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago. Sales increased 22% to $1.67 billion, while same-store sales rose 13%. Analysts were expecting earnings of 41 cents a share and sales of $1.66 billion. Whole Foods shares lost $2.15, or 3%, to $69.90 in after-hours trading.

Shares of

Sonic Solutions


climbed after the maker of DVD creation software posted third-quarter results that beat Wall Street's expectations. The company said income grew to $8.2 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a loss of $419,000, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue for the December quarter totaled $40.8 million, more than doubling from $19.7 million from a year earlier. Analysts were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share and revenue of $38 million.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings and revenue to be roughly equal to those of the third quarter. Analysts predict earnings of 31 cents a share and revenue of $39 million. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, the company projects revenue will rise 20% to 25% on a year-over-year basis. Sonic Solutions gained $1.76, or 10%, to $18.57 in after-hours trading.

Amkor Technology


advanced after the semiconductor gearmaker posted a fourth-quarter profit and offered better-than-expected first-quarter guidance. The company earned $54 million, or 30 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, reversing the year-earlier loss of $36 million, or 21 cents a share. Revenue rose 42% to $643 million. The latest quarter benefited from a $9.9 million income tax benefit and a $4.4 million gain on the sale of an asset, partly offset by a $3.3 million severance charge. For the first quarter, the company guided to a 12-cent profit on revenue of about $615 million, well above analysts' forecast calling for a penny-a-share loss on sales of $579 million. Shares of Amkor gained $1.22, or 21%, to $6.98 in late trading.

Shares of

Quest Software


slipped after the company's first-quarter projection came in shy of estimates. For the fourth quarter, the software company posted earnings of $16.1 million, or 16 cents a share, up from $13.3 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding certain items, earnings were $21.2 million, or 21 cents a share, beating analysts' projection by a penny. Revenue rose 23% from a year earlier to $144.6 million, topping Wall Street's forecast of $134.6 million.

For the first quarter, Quest sees earnings of 11 cents to 13 cents a share. Wall Street is looking for 15 cents a share. For the full year, the company expects earnings between 67 cents and 72 cents a share. Analysts are looking for earnings of 73 cents a share. The forecasts exclude certain items. Quest Software dipped 75 cents, or 4.8%, to $14.75 in after-hours trading.