In recent trading on

Instinet

,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

was trading at 78, a half-point lower than yesterday's closing price. After the bell on Tuesday, Wall Street heard from the software behemoth: Microsoft posted fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents, besting the 24-analyst 42-cent prediction and the year-ago 40 cents. The company said it was comfortable with earnings projections for 2001, currently at $1.88 a diluted share. In a conference call with analysts, company officials said they would not reinstitute a stock buyback. For more on Microsoft's earnings, take a look at

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

story.

Also last night, the world's largest chipmaker,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, listed earnings of 50 cents a share, beating the 21-analyst estimate by a penny and almost doubling the year-ago 26-cent result.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

covered the semiconductor giant's earnings in an

earlier story. Lately on

Instinet

, Intel was trading at 146 1/4, about three points above its closing price.

This morning, investors await a fresh batch of earnings announcements from companies including

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

,

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

, and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

. The

S&P 500 futures on

Globex

lately were up two to 1511.7, about five points above

fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

, and indicating some positive sentiment for the open. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were up 40 to 4004.41, about 23 points above fair value as calculated by

TheStreet.com

, and showing some upward pressure for the Nasdaq's opening.

After midession trading, Germany's Xetra Dax was down 0.82%. France's

CAC 40

was ahead 0.35%, while the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

was behind 0.12% (see today's

European Midday Update for more). Japan's

Nikkei 225

rose 0.23% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

gained 1.54% (see today's

Asian Update for more).

Tuesday's After-Hours Trading

By Angela Privin
Staff Reporter

The battle of the pennies was being waged under the glow of the waning sun as

Commerce One

(CMRC)

tried to live up to the spectacular performance of its arch-competitor,

Ariba

(ARBA)

, after it blew away the Street's revenue

expectations by 101% last week.

It was a tough act to follow for the business-to-business software maker, which fell 8.125, or 12%, to 58.4375 on 526,000

Island

shares despite posting revenue of $62.7 million, higher than the $47 million-to-$50 million consensus range. Commerce One's loss per share was 10 cents, or 3 cents narrower than the 13-cent loss expected. Just like the smartest kid in school, Ariba threw the curve off for everyone else, but not before giving an overall boost to stocks in the B2B sector last week. Tonight, however, Ariba was just a big bummer.

Veritas

(VRTS) - Get Report

told the truth and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately, no one could handle the truth.

The storage management software company beat second-quarter consensus estimates of 12 cents a share by a penny, posting a net income of $57.2 million vs. $29.3 million last year. The company lost 6% today in front of the financial results that failed to stem the stock's downward slide. It lost a punishing 17.5625, or 13.7%, to 110 on 771,000 Island shares.

Apparently the numbers were plumped up by a revenue transfusion from the acquisition of disk drive maker

Seagate Technology

(SEG)

, according to

CNBC

. The number might have fallen short of estimates it if weren't for Seagate. Today marked the California-based company's first down day since July 3. Seagate traded down 8.25, or 13%, to 52.50 on Instinet.

Last Friday the company announced that it will bundle its storage program for

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

Windows-based platform to provide space-management solutions for additional mailbox space. (For more on Microsoft, see below.)

Chipmaker

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

fried up some

second-quarter earnings that beat estimates by a penny at 50 cents a diluted share after the recent 2-for-1 stock split. The initial reactions were muted, but grew greener as company officers sweet-talked investors during the 5:30 p.m. EDT conference call. Intel guided that both margins and revenue will be higher next quarter. A green spot in the rash of redness, the company gained 2.5 to 145.5 on 160,000 Island shares.

Some apples are green and some are red. Tonight investors took a bite out of

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

after the PC maker topped third-quarter expectations by a penny, posting 45 cents a share and reporting higher sales yet declining profits. The company earned 60 cents a share last year. Disappointing iMac sales were cited. The company fell 2.6 to 54.65.

After being picked on by the

Justice Department

, Microsoft finally felt some love after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share and beating analyst expectations by 2 cents. Revenues for the quarter rose to $5.8 billion from $5.76 billion last year. Though the company beat earnings per share estimates, revenue was in line with forecasts. The company showed significant growth and revenue promise in its MSN Internet product. MSN offers among other things, the popular

Hotmail

Web site. It also promised healthy investment gains. But love is fickle. (Especially when you look like

Bill Gates). After initial gains of 1 during the conference call the company headed south, falling 0.50 to 78.50.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom covered the Microsoft results in a

story this evening.

Incyte Genomics

(INCY) - Get Report

excited investors with a 2-for-1 stock split and a net loss of 21 cents a share vs. 26 cents last year, while consensus estimates called for a loss of 39 cents per shares. The genomics company surged 7.1406 to 101.875.

DoubleClick's

(DCLK)

second quarter was better than expected but not worthy of a

double take. The Internet advertising agency posted a loss of 3 cents a share, compared with 4 cents a year earlier. Analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

saw a loss of 5 cents.

Despite a thinning business in the Internet advertising market, the couple of pennies did little to save DoubleClick from the bloodletting that most companies met after hours.

CNBC

reported that growth in DoubleClick's next two quarters could be slower than expected. But with a loss of just 1.4375, or 4%, to 34.5625, the company's performance was a paper cut among the wounded big-caps.

Licensing revenue from its high-speed semiconductor memory chip sent

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

to a 52-week high of 135 June 22. That episode of euphoria and promise of future licensing revenue may have raised the hopes of investors who decided to dump shares both before and after the company met third-quarter consensus estimates of 4 cents a share, up from 2 cents the year before. The tech company lost 6% by day and fell 6.875, or 6.8%, by night to 95 on 222,000 Island shares.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.