Updated from 12:21 p.m. EDT
Tech stocks moved slightly higher Tuesday, with a strong earnings report from chip-equipment maker
helping to boost sentiment.
Shares of Novellus jumped 11.3% after the company posted better-than-expected second-quarter results. Novellus earned $57.3 million, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $416.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 43 cents a share and revenue of $413.3 million.
The report wasn't entirely rosy; Novellus said its bookings and shipments came in at the low end of its projections. "Despite the shortfall on our shipments we have continued to control expenses and have taken preemptive actions to improve operations," the company said. Shares closed up $3.34 to $33.03.
rose 3.3% after the maker of broadband equipment posted in-line second-quarter earnings and announced a 5-million-share buyback plan. The company earned $19.8 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $123.7 million. Analysts expected earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $123.7 million.
Adtran plans to buy back shares under the new repurchase plan when it completes the buyback that it announced in July 2006. The company still has some 173,000 shares remaining under the old plan. Shares closed up 87 cents to $27.61.
rose 8.1% after Wachovia Securities upgraded the maker of rocket systems to outperform from market perform ahead of the company's earnings release Wednesday. The broker said Orbital is likely to post better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and raise its full-year guidance. The firm has a price target of $25 to $26 a share. Shares closed up $1.70 to $22.83.
On the losing side,
( ANSW) slid 12.4% after the Internet company cut its second-quarter revenue forecast and announced the acquisition of Lexico Publishing Group -- the owner of Dictionary.com, Reference.com, and Thesaurus.com -- for $100 million. Answers, which owns Internet portal Answers.com, now sees second-quarter revenue of $2.75 million to $2.8 million, down from an earlier view of $2.8 million to $3.2 million. The company said that a slower ramp of its direct ad sales effort and a more pronounced seasonality in traffic in 2007 contributed to the shortfall.
As for the acquisition of Lexico, Answers said the deal will close by the fall of 2007. The purchase is expected to be accretive to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization in 2008. Shares of Answers closed down $1.60 to $11.30 in recent trading.
slipped 0.9% after the maker of inspection systems projected fourth-quarter revenue below expectations. The company estimates revenue of about $152.7 million for the period ended June 30, below Wall Street's target of $157.3 million. A year earlier, the company recorded revenue of $125.6 million. Shares were down 25 cents to $27.76.
As for the broader technology sector, the Nasdaq 100 was up 13.76 points to 2041.78.