The Night Watch: Tech Stocks Mostly Higher on Earnings, Other News - TheStreet

Shares were generally higher in the extended session tonight, with the late players pushing most blue-chip tech outfits into positive territory. A trickle of after-hours news also guided the action, as investors continued to hunt around for worthwhile buys.

Watching the scoop on those top and bottom-line numbers, investors on both

Instinet

and

Island

ECN gave

Comverse Technology

(CMVT)

a lift after the Israeli telecommunications software maker, which has its U.S. headquarters in Woodbury, N.Y., revealed its latest earnings results. The shares gained 1.2% to $59.39 on Instinet and were up 1% to $59.25 on Island after the company beat analysts' expectations by a penny.

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Comverse, whose systems are used by phone companies for call answering, voice mail and faxes, reported first-quarter earnings of $79 million, or 43 cents a share, up from $56 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same period last year. Twenty-two analysts polled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

expected first-quarter earnings of 42 cents a share. Revenue for the quarter rose 36% to $365 million from $268.5 million last year.

In other news-related action,

Niku

(NIKU)

climbed 1.9% to $1.10 on Island after it said its e-business software applications will be available on

Hewlett-Packard's

(HWP)

HP-UX and HP NT platforms as part of a global alliance between the two companies. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, but said they plan to sell, market and develop the service relationship management software in HP's solution centers.

Shares of

Borland Software

(BORL)

drew some attention tonight, losing 0.7% to $12.14 on Instinet, despite rising nearly 15% to $12.22 on the

Nasdaq. The shares reached a 52-week high of $12.25 after Borland and handset giant

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

unveiled a number of Java technology software tools for mobile application developers. Borland, which is based in Scotts Valley, Calif., also unveiled JBuilder 5, the latest version of its cross-platform Java technology.

And while chips may have had a day of bad press with

earnings warnings and negative analysts notes, some were seeing gains tonight.

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

, which managed to close the day in positive territory, lately traded up 6.2% to $44.15 on Island. According to published sources, the company told analysts in a midquarter business update tonight that cancellations and delays have slowed considerably, but it still expects to

match previous forecasts that revenue will fall 15% to 25% compared with the fourth quarter. Xilinx also reportedly said its inventory turnover has improved and that international revenue may surpass North American revenue. Gross margins, however, are pegged at the low end of an expected range of 58% to 60%.

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

recently gained 3.2% to $25.60 on Instinet, shrugging off this morning's cautionary note by

Goldman Sachs

analyst Terry Ragsdale, who wrote that "the industry may be looking at another 20% decline sequentially in the second quarter. This tends to confirm that last week's preannouncements from

Altera and

Integrated Device Technology

(IDTI) - Get Report

were not company-specific and implies a downward bias for semiconductor news flow and stock prices near term."

Likewise, chip leader

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

climbed 0.9% to $28.77 on Instinet despite having its second-quarter estimates trimmed by

Bear Stearns

analyst Charles Boucher earlier today. The company is due to release its mid-quarter update -- which many will be watching closely for as a benchmark for how tech companies are faring -- on June 7 after the market close.

Other big-cap tech stocks were trading higher tonight. Always a favorite,

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

was the most heavily traded issue on Instinet, gaining 1.4% to $20 in recent action, while shares of

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Sun Microsystems

(MSFT) - Get Report

and

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

all moved up.

Among the few spots of red were handheld-device maker

Palm

(PALM)

, which slipped 0.5% to $6.22 on Island, and Web-hosting firm

Exodus Communication

(EXDS)

, struggling within the once highflying Internet sector, which lost 0.6% to $7.85 on Instinet.

Island ECN offers trading mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

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.