The Night Watch: Immunex Keeps on Rockin' in After-Hours Action

Stock running after its split announcement.
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James Brown is jealous of Immunex (IMNX) .

The "Godfather of Soul" never rose 20 7/8 to 215 1/16 on 320,000 shares on

Island

ECN after doing a split. Heck, he never even got that kind of response before the

Apollo Creed

fight in

Rocky IV

.

But Immunex did. It was way up in postclose activity after announcing a 3-for-1 stock split, effective March 20. The split would increase the company's outstanding stock from 165 million shares to 495 million. This is the third split in just one year, coming on the heels of an August 2-for-1 split and another 2-for-1 split in March.

Immunex's after-hours momentum swelled as buyers continued to bum rush the show, handily outnumbering the sellers. Sellers, on the other hand, were spread apart, with a big pocket at a level about 218. Most buyers were below 110, killing the issue's liquidity.

One example of how ridiculous some of the bids were: Somebody was selling 175 shares at 300.

Immunex certainly got off on the good foot today. The late-night move added more to its day-session gain of 23 1/4, or 13.6%, to 194 3/16.

Down at the end of Lonely Street was heartbreak

Novell

(NOVL)

.

The Internet software play dropped 5 1/16 to 38 on 102,000 shares after announcing the results of its first quarter. Earnings were 13 cents a share, in line with the

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate and better than last year's 8 cents. Meeting expectations wasn't enough, though, not after investors giddily sent Novell up 2 5/16, or 5.6%, during the day session.

Tonight's stumble erases that gain.

Sales increased 11% over the previous year's quarter, to $315 million from $285 million. Net income increased 35.5%, to $44.8 million from $28.9 million.

The 11% sales increase has investors spooked. In its last quarter, Novell's fourth, sales increased 16% and in the two quarters prior to that, sales rose 20%. Because of the perceived revenue slowdown, tonight's earnings, although in line with analyst estimates, were not inline with investor expectation.

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

?

Try "burnt sienna."

Ciena got browned in after-hours trading on Island dropping after announcing first-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates and better than last year's 3 cents.

Despite meeting estimates and announcing a "substantial" contract from an undisclosed source, Ciena fell 4 1/2 to 109 on 162,000 shares.

Sycamore Networks

(SCMR)

also got burned by the release of earnings this evening. It fell 8 1/2 to 114 after announcing a first-quarter loss of a penny a share, beating the First Call/Thomson Financial estimate of a 3-cent loss and last year's quarter loss of 3 cents. Before the release, Sycamore gained 6 7/16, or 5.6%, to 122 1/2.

Along with the first-quarter data, the company said it filed a registration statement with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to offer 15 million additional shares of common stock.

Think of Immunex as Dr. Evil. Now think of

BioLase Technology

(BLTI)

,

UroMed

(URMD)

,

Cytogen

(CYTO)

and

Techniclone

(TCLN)

as a whole army of Mini Me's.

A bunch of small-cap biotechs flooded Island.

Biolase rose 5/8 to 3 5/16 on 316,000 shares, while UroMed, also in Island's top 10, rose 3/8 to 13 5/8 on 164,000 shares.

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

.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online, Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services and clients of Salomon Smith Barney. It is also available to clients of Mydiscountbroker.com, CyBerCorp and Interactive Brokers. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.

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.