Shares of ADC Telecommunications ( ADCT) were among technology's losers Wednesday, falling 17% after the telecom-equipment maker cut its fourth-quarter earnings and sales estimates. The company now expects earnings of 15 cents to 19 cents a share on sales of $290 million to $300 million. Previously, the company predicted it would earn 24 cents to 28 cents a share on sales of $315 million to $325 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 28 cents a share on sales of $321.3 million. ADC blamed the shortfall on weaker-than-expected demand for its fiber optic equipment. Shares recently traded down $3.92 to $18.75. MIPS Technologies ( MIPS) plunged 13% after the chipmaker warned that fiscal first-quarter sales would fall below expectations. The company expects sales of $11.8 million to $12 million, missing analysts' projection of $14.7 million. "Although royalty revenues were better than expected, it was not enough to offset a disappointing contract revenue shortfall," the company said. MIPS will post first-quarter results on Oct. 20. Shares recently were down 85 cents to $5.75. Shares of Nanometrics ( NANO) fell 7% after the semiconductor-equipment company cut its third-quarter sales projection. The company now expects sales of about $14 million, down from its previous guidance of $15 million to $16.9 million. Analysts had been expecting sales of $15.7 million. "While we are disappointed not to achieve our stated revenue goals for the third quarter, we are encouraged when we analyze the causes of the shortfall and the prospects for the upcoming fourth quarter," the company said in a statement. The sales shortfall marks the second quarter in a row that Nanometrics has disappointed Wall Street; in July, the company warned of weak second-quarter sales. Looking ahead, Nanometrics said it expects to have sequentially higher revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter. The company said it would give more specific guidance for the fourth quarter when it reports third-quarter results on Oct. 27. Shares were down 80 cents to $10.82.
Neoware Systems ( NWRE) rose 2% after the software company previewed first-quarter sales that were better than expected. The company, when it reports results on Nov. 2, expects to post sales of at least $26 million, ahead of its prior forecast of $22 million to $24 million. Analysts had projected sales of $22.9 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Gross profit margin as a percentage of sales, meanwhile, is expected to be at the low end of the company's previous guidance of 39% to 40%, "but higher than expected in absolute dollars due to higher revenues," Neoware said. Sales results were led by strong demand for the company's Neoware thin client solutions and its new Neoware e900 products, the company said. Shares recently gained 38 cents to $17.26. Shares of Sykes Enterprises ( SYKE) rose 10% after the technical help and customer support company boosted its third-quarter earnings and sales targets. The company now expects to report earnings of 15 cents to 16 cents a share on sales of $121 million to $122 million, up from its prior view for earnings of 5 cents to 7 cents a share on sales of $116 million to $121 million. The estimate includes a gain of 2 cents a share from a lower tax provision. Analysts had expected earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $118 million. Sykes attributed the third-quarter revision to better customer care volumes in the Americas region, a pick-up in customer care volumes from telecom programs that were redirected by other vendors that were affected by the hurricanes, and better cost management. Shares were up $1.17 to $13.51. Other technology heavy traders included JDSU ( JDSU), up 1 cent to $2.26; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 16 cents to $3.27; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 7 cents to $4.27; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 13 cents to $24.85; Cisco ( CSCO), up 3 cents to $17.70; Intel ( INTC), down 18 cents to $24.32; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 12 cents to $6.71; Ciena ( CIEN), up 4 cents to $2.83; Oracle ( ORCL), down 15 cents to $12.09; Dell ( DELL), down 14 cents to $33.25; Mercury Interactive ( MERQE), down $4.88 to $32.02; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down 23 cents to $53.52; and SanDisk ( SNDK), down 19 cents to $52.15.