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The Night Watch: Oracle Trades Lower, Trades Heavy in After Hours


Updated from 7:17 ET

Nothing attracts after-hours investors more than a sterling earnings report, and tonight


(ORCL) - Get Report

provided just that.

After the closing bell, the software manufacturer posted first-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, handily beating the 28-analyst estimate of a 13-cent profit and improving upon the year-ago, 8-cent result. Net income rose 111% to $501 million, compared with $237 million in the comparable period last year. (

covered Oracle's

earnings announcement in a separate story.)

"We are off to our fastest start in six years," said Oracle CEO

Larry Ellison

, in a statement. The company also set a 2-for-1 stock split.

This morning,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

analyst Charles Phillips

lifted his rating on Oracle stock to strong buy from outperform. The action, along with anticipation that the tech bellwether would report strong earnings, sent its shares up $3.13, or 3.8%, to close at $84.31.

Despite tonight's happy news, the stock traded off its closing price on




ECN. With major volume, Oracle topped both platforms' most-active lists. On Instinet, Oracle was lately trading at $84, with volume of 1.2 million shares. And on Island, the company's stock fell $1.63, or 1.91%, to $83.31, with 890,919 shares changing hands.

Like Oracle,

Red Hat


TheStreet Recommends

, whose results bested Wall Street's estimates, traded behind in postclose action.

Red Hat finished the regular session up $1.13, or 4.7%, to $25.25.

On Instinet, shares of Red Hat, a provider of Linux open software, dropped to $23.75, with 60,000 shares in motion. The company lowered $1.06, or 4.21%, to $24.19 on Island.

The software provider posted an adjusted second-quarter loss of 1 cent a share, topping analysts' expectations by a penny and rising above the year ago 6-cent loss. Revenue rose 76% to $18.5 million from $10.5 million a year ago. (TSC detailed Red Hat's

news in another story.)


(ADBE) - Get Report

-- which lost 56 cents to $125.38 intra-day -- scored points in the after-hours on the heels of a positive earnings report.

An earnings success story for sunset investors, Adobe closed up $6.13, or 4.9%, to $131.50 in trading on Island and gained $6.36, or 5.1%, to $131.74 on Instinet.

This evening, the maker of Web-publishing software announced third-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share, surpassing the 52-cent analyst prediction and the year-ago 44-cent profit. In addition, Adobe set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Nighttime players added to


(CNXT) - Get Report

windfall in the starlight session.

Conexant, a company that manufactures modem chips, surged $15.56, or 42%, to a $52.63 close today. On Island, its stock was up 54 cents to $53.63.

After the closing bell yesterday, Conexant announced plans to spin off its Internet infrastructure business. Conexant is planning an initial public offering for the new company and set January 2001 as the target date. The IPO will be followed, within six months, by a tax-free distribution of the remaining shares to owners of Conexant stock. (


reported the news in yesterday's

Night Watch ).

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

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


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