Updated from July 21Altera ( ALTR), which sells heavily into the communications sector, posted a sharp rise in profits for the second quarter ending in June. In Thursday morning trading, shares recently climbed 14 cents, or 0.8%, to $18.93. In regular trading Wednesday, the stock closed down 51 cents or 2.6% to $18.79. The San Jose, Calif.-based chipmaker delivered 11% second-quarter sales growth to $269.0 million, a little above the consensus estimate for $264.1 million. Net income totaled $75.3 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, up 109% from last year's levels of $36.1 million and 9 cents a share. Analysts were gearing for 18 cents a share in earnings, according to Thomson First Call. Gross profit margin stood at 69.6%, compared with 68.1% a year ago. Altera said its effective tax rate for the second quarter was 21.4%, bringing the effective tax rate to 23% on a year-to-date basis, consistent with management's current expectation of a 23% rate for the full year. This is a revision from the 25% effective tax rate recorded in the first quarter. The company reprchased 4.2 million shares of its common stock during the quarter at a cost of $88.9 million and ended the quarter with $1.1 billion in cash and short-term investments.