Imagine your big brother, the bully from across the street, or grandma (take your pick) smashing your favorite toy to pieces with a crowbar after you come home with your report card.

That's what after-hours trading looks like tonight -- most companies that reported earnings post-close are getting knocked down, with

Affymetrix

(AFFX)

taking the worst beating of all.

Now, Affymetrix is not a prehistoric bird (that's

Archaeopteryx) but the stock is getting bombed into the late Jurassic Period in post-close action. The supplier of genetic technology posted a larger-than-expected loss in its second-quarter earnings report, and it's been lights out ever since.

The stock was down 16.25 to 178.75 on 19,604

Island

ECN shares, making it Island's 10th-most active. The company reported a 22-cent loss per share for the second quarter, way short of the

First Call/Thomson Financial

nine-broker consensus for a 15-cent loss. The company narrowed losses from the second quarter 1999, when it lost 33 cents a share, but officials, in a press release, offered no explanation for missing Wall Street's estimates.

The most actively traded stock on

Instinet

is chipmaker

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

, and it was one of the few companies that showed a nice gain in post-close trading.

The company's stock was getting a bump in after-hours trading following the release of its second-quarter earnings report. Texas Instruments reported earnings of 31 cents per share, beating the

First Call/Thomson Financial

25-broker estimate of 30 cents a share.

Investors cheered the stock, which rose 5 to 68 on 362,000 Instinet shares.

Naming your own prices for toilet brushes and third-class tickets to

Grand Rapids, Mich., hasn't been the easiest way to get one's company to profitability, as

priceline.com

(PCLN)

has learned.

But, that doesn't mean it won't happen, priceline.com officials said in today's earnings call (unless they're just naming their own price for earnings). Officials estimated that priceline would achieve said profitability between the fourth quarter 2000 and the first quarter of 2001, the market said "poppycock" to that after

today's earnings report, but investors are taking the opportunity to sell those shares.

The stock dropped 22% to 31 1/8 during the regular session, but it regained some lost ground tonight, bumping up 1.285 to 32.41 on 69,500 Island shares. priceline reported a loss of 1 cent per share earlier today, besting the

First Call/Thomson Financial

19-broker consensus for a 3-cent loss.

Another stock down in night-owl action is

Akamai

(AKAM) - Get Report

. The company reported a 50-cent per share loss for the second quarter, besting the

First Call/Thomson Financial

consensus of eight brokers for a 57-cent loss for the quarter.

The stock was down 5.4453 to 102.4297 on 47,600 Island shares.

More bad news can be found under

Red Hat

(RHAT)

, which announced the resignation of Harold Covert, the company's CFO. The announcement, which came post-close, was enough to knock the stock down 1.1875 to 22.5625 on 24,300 Island shares.

Covert is leaving to become CFO at

SGI

(SGI)

, and Red Hat presumably will find another person to fill the position, unless it doesn't want to, and they're happy being who they are.

Xicor

(XICO)

, one of the regular session's most active stocks, wasn't done in after-hours trading. It rose 72.5 cents to 11.1 after the semiconductor maker said it developed new components designed to link control and monitoring functions in lasers used in fiber optic networks.

The stock gained 7% on 211,300 Island shares, after rising 55% during the regular session.

On the other hand, there isn't a logical reason to explain the activity in

Liberty Digital

(LDIG)

, one of the most actively traded on Instinet this evening. The stock lost 25 cents to 27.625 on 118,000 Instinet shares, but about the only piece of information disseminated today was an item about MTV's new website for Total Request Live. (Just so you can request that Britney Spears number one more time).

Liberty has a stake in MTVi Group (the parent of MTV, which is rumored to be playing a video right about now).

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 Holdings, 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.