Tech Stocks in Motion

Updated from 1:46 p.m.

Shares of Jabil Circuit ( JBL) were among technology's winners Wednesday, rising 10.5% after the company posted third-quarter sales that were better than expected and offered bullish guidance.

The contract electronics manufacturer reported earnings of $59.4 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $1.94 billion. Core earnings, which exclude onetime items, were $68.9 million, or 33 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $1.92 billion. A year ago the company earned $53.1 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $1.63 billion.

Looking ahead, Jabil expects fourth-quarter core earnings of 35 cents to 37 cents a share, in line with forecasts of 36 cents a share, on sales of $2 billion to $2.1 billion. Analysts are expecting sales of $2.03 billion. For the first quarter of fiscal 2006, the company expects core earnings of 40 cents to 44 cents a share on sequential sales growth of 8% to 17%, implying sales of $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion. Analysts are expecting first-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share on sales of $2.22 billion. Shares traded up $2.98 to $31.42.

Tumbleweed Communications ( TMWD) rose 1.5% after the company announced several contract wins and renewals during the first half of 2005. The deals were awarded by agencies such as the U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Tumbleweed provides Internet communications solutions to major segments of the federal civilian, defense and intelligence communities. Financial terms of the various deals were not disclosed. Shares traded up 4 cents to $2.63.

Shares of Arbinet-Thexchange ( ARBX) fell 34.8% after the company, which provides an electronic market for trading, routing and settling communications capacity, cut its 2005 guidance significantly. The company now expects earnings of $3 million to $6 million on fee revenue of $46 million to $50 million. That's down from previous guidance issued in early May of $19 million to $23 million in earnings, which excluded the expensing of stock options, on fee revenue of $58 million to $64 million. The company did not offer a per-share earnings estimate. Analysts had been expecting full-year earnings of 66 cents a share on fee revenue of $59 million. For the second quarter, the company expects earnings of $500,000 to $1 million on fee revenue of $11 million to $11.5 million. Analysts are looking for earnings of 13 cents a share on fee revenue of $14.4 million. Shares traded down $4 to $7.50.

Bottomline Technologies ( EPAY) fell 3.9% after the company said it plans an offering of 4 million shares of stock. Of the million shares being sold, the company is offering 2.75 million. The remaining shares are being sold by selling shareholders. The invoice automation software company also granted underwriters an option to purchase an additional 350,000 shares to cover over-allotments. Selling shareholders, meanwhile, granted underwriters an option to buy an additional 250,000 shares. Shares traded down 62 cents to $15.38.

Shares of Photronics ( PLAB) fell 1.4% after the company said that it would sell 7 million shares of stock. The maker of photomasks, a key element in the manufacture of semiconductors, said that it would use proceeds from the sale to fund working capital and general corporate purposes. The company also said that Macricostas Partners, a shareholder, would sell 450,000 shares in the offering. The company granted underwriters an option to purchase an additional 1.05 million shares for over-allotment purposes, while Macricostas said it would offer an additional 67,500 shares. Shares traded down 36 cents to $24.95.

Other technology movers included Microsoft ( MSFT), down 8 cents to $25.07; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 2 cents to $3.83; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 3 cents to $19.80; Intel ( INTC), down 7 cents to $27.11; Oracle ( ORCL), up 8 cents to $12.63; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 4 cents to $5.92; Siebel Systems ( SEBL), down 5 cents to $8.69; and Lucent Technologies ( LU), unchanged at $3.06.

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