A handful of positive earnings are paving the way for an after-hours tech rally tonight, as they overshadow a couple negative earnings calls and drag the evening trading into the green.
There Was Some Bad News...
Heading downhill at lightning speeds this evening was
, the gourmet coffee maker and retailer. Starbucks announced earnings in line with consensus estimates of 16 cents a share tonight on a 38% rise in profits, but also warned that sales could slow during the remainder of the year and lowered their revenue guidance by a couple cents. The coffee house stock fell a sharp 9.8%, or $3.88, in the after-hours to land at $35.80 on
and a worse drop of 11.8% to $35 on
Another significant earnings-provoked slide tonight was
. The world's largest biotech company announced earnings of 28 cents a share, slightly better than the
First Call/Thomson Financial
expectations of 27 cents a share. While this was all well and good, disappointment struck when they lowered guidance on EPS growth for the current fiscal year to the low double digits, from previous expectations of growth in the mid-teens. As a result, the stock recently slipped $2.89, or 5.2%, to $53 on Instinet and 3.6% to $53.89 on Island.
Making lucky number three on the negative earnings front tonight was
Clear Channel Communications
, the largest radio station owner in the U.S. While its reported earnings of a 53 cent loss per share were in line with estimates, the figure still represented a wider loss than in the same quarter last year. The company blamed the greater losses on the deterioration of advertising expenditures from the struggling dotcom sector. It's not a story we haven't heard before. And as an all-too common epilogue, the stock plummeted 8.1% to $54 on Instinet.
...And There Was Some Good News
The rest of the earnings announcements tonight led to stocks trading up. Belittling analysts tonight but only in the best ways, of course -- was Web site registrar
stomped analyst estimates of 13 cents a share in earnings by posting EPS of 23 cents a share tonight. And in the obvious response, traders fell in love with the stock all over again tonight, and sent it soaring 8.2% to an even $50 on Instinet. On Island after-hours trading, Verisign rose 6.5% to $49.20.
Optical fiber producer
posted better-than-expected earnings of 29 cents a share, lowered its guidance for the rest of the year, and announced an impending round of 4,300 layoffs. Go figure -- the stock still rose in the post-market trading, picking up 1.5% to $21.31.
Art Technology Group
produced slightly better-than-expected earnings with its per share loss of only 19 cents, while a loss of 21 cents was expected. In between mentions of consolidating offices and a resigning CFO, the company did say that it expects to be profitable in the fourth quarter of this year. That was all investors needed to send it soaring a massive 15.2%, and the tenth most actively traded issue on Island trading, but didn't even put it in the top 20 volume traders on Instinet.
Also impressing the traders tonight was Corvis, an optical equipment manufacturer for telecom systems. The company reported revenue for the first quarter of $84.1 million, an increase of 82.8% from the previous quarter, and also announced a major partnership deal with
tonight. The company picked up a solid 4.6% on Instinet tonight, before falling back to a 1% gain. Corvis also was up 3% to $8.13 on Island trading, where it was also the top volume trader at one point.
The rest of the after-hours show was the usual string of four-letter companies
picked up 1.6% to $18.50, while chip-making behemoth
, networking powerhouse
and box maker
all garnered gains in tonight's tech rally.
Intel, after giving the analyst community a bit of positive guidance this morning before slipping a little less than one percent on the day, was climbing back up tonight, rising 0.7% to $28.85. Cisco made a similar percentage gain to $15.32 tonight, and Sun did a little better, gaining 0.8% to $15.90.
And Some Was Just Ugly
The long beleaguered
reported disappointing earnings earlier today and announced that it would shut down its Atlanta operations. It also provided some grim guidance, and topped it all off with a proposal for a
25-for-1 reverse stock split. The stock fell a whopping 47.8% in regular trading today, so its after-hours tumble of 14.3% to just 12 cents on Island trading shouldn't seem so harsh, but well -- it still is.
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Island ECN offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.