Tech Stocks in Motion

Updated from 2:07 p.m. EST

Shares of August Technology ( AUGT) were among technology's winners Friday, rising 17.9% after Rudolph Technologies ( RTEC) said it's interested in buying the company for more than $190 million in cash and stock.

The deal comes just a week after Nanometrics ( NANO) agreed to buy August in a stock swap valued at about $8 a share, based on Thursday's closing prices. Under the Rudolph deal, August shareholders would receive $2.16 a share in cash and 0.4955 shares of Rudolph stock, bringing the total value to $10.50 a share using Thursday's closing prices. Rudolph advised the August board that it is prepared to meet with the company as early as Friday and to close the deal by the second quarter of 2005.

A spokesman for August Technology did not return a call Friday seeking comment on Rudolph's merger offer. Shares of August traded up $1.45 to $9.55, while shares of Rudolph Technologies traded down $1.45 to $15.38. Nanometrics traded up 26 cents to $12.78.

OSI Systems ( OSIS) fell 14% after the company posted second-quarter earnings that matched expectations but warned that third-quarter earnings and sales would fall short of the forecasts. Excluding items, the company posted second-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share, in line with expectations, on sales of $102.5 million, which was better than the $97.5 million analysts were expecting. Looking ahead, OSI said that it expects earnings of 4 cents a share, which excludes items, on sales of $92 million to $94 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 20 cents a share on sales of $97.9 million. Shares traded down $2.75 to $16.85.

Shares of Overstock.com ( OSTK) fell 19.8% after the online retailer posted a fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations but warned that gross margins have likely reached a peak. The company earned $2.5 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $221.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 8 cents a share on sales of $212.4 million. A year ago the company posted a loss of $3.2 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $123.2 million. Despite the solid results, investors zeroed in on the company's comments about gross margins, which are not expected to rise above 15%. "I think 15% is the right level for our margins as it will provide great prices for our customers and a strong return to you, Overstock's owners," CEO Patrick Byrne said. Shares traded down $13.07 to $52.87.

Magma Design Automation ( LAVA) rose 17.7% after the company posted a third-quarter profit that came in ahead of expectations. The chip design solutions company posted a pro forma profit of 20 cents a share on sales of $37.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 19 cents a share on sales of $38.5 million. A year ago the company earned $6.9 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $31.1 million. Looking ahead, Magma forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 18 cents to 22 cents a share on sales of $39 million to $42 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 20 cents a share on sales of $40.6 million. Shares traded up $2.07 to $13.74.

Shares of MicroStrategy ( MSTR) rose 6.8% after the company's fourth-quarter results soared well above analysts' expectations. The software maker earned $24.5 million, or $1.43 a share, on sales of $71.6 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 88 cents a share on sales of $60.9 million. A year ago the company earned $17.5 million, or 98 cents a share, on sales of $51.7 million. Looking ahead, MicroStrategy said that it would no longer provide earnings or sales guidance. "The company believes that it is in the best interests of shareholders to avoid in engaging in predictions of short-term financial performance, which are inherently uncertain," it said. "We believe that this will allow the management team to more effectively run operations and build long-term shareholder value." Shares traded up $4.39 to $69.40.

Other technology movers included Microsoft ( MSFT), up 7 cents to $26.18; Cisco ( CSCO), down 28 cents to $17.90; Intel ( INTC), down 7 cents to $22.24; JDS Uniphase ( JDSU), down 5 cents to $2.19; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 14 cents to $6.50; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 14 cents to $4.26; Oracle ( ORCL), down 29 cents to $13.68; Sanmina ( SANM), down $1.05 to $6.37; and Lucent ( LU), down 6 cents to $3.24.

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