(Updated from 6:45 p.m. EST)

Activity in the fiber-optics corner is keeping the after-hours market aglow, even if stock prices in the sector aren't looking so hot. Leading tonight's news stories and list of most-active stocks are


(GLW) - Get Corning Inc Report


JDS Uniphase






Other companies in the spotlight include:


(AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report


Foundry Networks




(VRTS) - Get Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. Report

. Here's the roundup:

Corning Drops on Lowered Guidance

After the closing bell, Corning reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations but warned that the telecommunications market is in for a slowdown in the first quarter.

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The optical networking company posted earnings of 34 cents a share, compared with analysts' expectations of a 28-cent-per-share result, thanks to strong demand for its optical fiber and other optical communications products. Revenue came in at $2.1 billion -- a 52% jump over the year-ago period.

But for the first quarter, the company was not so optimistic. "Several customers in both our optical fiber and photon technologies businesses have recently indicated that their order rate may be lower and more uneven than previously expected in the first half of the year," Corning said in a statement.

TheStreet Recommends

In recent activity, shares of Corning fell 6.6% to $65.63 on



JDS Uniphase Falls as SDL Merger Delayed Again

Elsewhere in the sector, JDS Uniphase and SDL announced that they are still waiting for the

Justice Department

to give the all-clear signal for their merger, for which they have again pushed back the expected closing date.

The networking companies submitted a proposal to the Justice Department to remedy antitrust concerns over their planned merger. They now expect to complete the transaction in February. JDS said it wouldn't release the details of the proposal until the Justice Department signs off. JDS will then disclose the details in regulatory filings before shareholders vote on the merger, a meeting that has been rescheduled for Feb. 12.

The completion of the merger has already been delayed because of the time required to finish the regulatory approval process. On Dec. 18, the companies said they expected to close the deal in January. Originally, the companies expected to close the deal by the end of December.

In other news, SDL, a maker of optical communications systems, said it earned 53 cents a share, excluding charges in the fourth quarter, besting Wall Street's forecasts for a 49-cent result.

JDS Uniphase fell 5% to $59.94 on Instinet and slid 4.9% to $60 on Island, while SDL declined 5.5% to $219.26 on Instinet and shed 4.9% to $220.75 on Island. Both companies are rivals to Corning and were, no doubt, dragged by the cautionary words in its earnings statement. JDS reports financial results on Thursday.

Amgen Slides on Earnings Shortfall

Outside of fiber-optics group, biotechnology giant Amgen slipped, on news that it missed analysts' forecasts for the fourth quarter.

The biotechnology firm announced fourth-quarter earnings of 24 cents a share, excluding acquisition-related and other one-time charges. This figure was below consensus forecasts for a 25-cent-per-share profit. Revenue rose to $951.4 million from $927 million in the fourth quarter of 1999.

The company said that fourth-quarter sales of its lead drug, Epogen, used to treat anemia in dialysis patients, increased 9% to $533 million, while sales of Neupogen, administered to cancer and AIDS patients, fell 12% to $311 million.

In recent trading, Amgen shed 3.3% to $68.81 on Instinet and moved down 2.4% to $67.44 on Island.

Foundry Networks Rises After Handily Beating Lowered Earnings

Foundry Networks, a maker of switches for telecommunications and Internet service providers, reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat drastically lowered estimates.

The maker of networking switches and routers posted earnings of 17 cents a share, topping the most recent consensus estimates for a 12-cent-per-share result. Back in December, Foundry warned that per-share earnings would be between 11 cents and 14 cents per share. Analysts at the time were expecting 24 cents a share.

On the night watch, Foundry advanced 8.1% to $22.63 on Instinet and climbed 8.7% to $22.75 on Island.

Veritas Software Climbs as It Exceeds Forecasts

In the extended session, data storage software company Veritas announced fourth-quarter results that easily beat Wall Street's expectations, thanks to a 64% growth in revenue.

The company reported earnings of 19 cents a share, above Wall Street's forecast for a 17-cent result. For the same quarter a year ago, the company earned 12 cents per share.

At last look, Veritas was up 0.2% to $104.27 on Instinet and ahead 0.36% to $104.44 on Island.

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