Optimal Group ( OPMR) raised its earnings guidance for the third quarter. The processor of credit card payments said it now expects pretax earnings greater than $10.6 million compared with its previous forecast of $9.8 million. The stock was up 39 cents, or 2.08%, to $19.18 after hours. Alcoa ( AA) said it earned $289 million, or 33 cents a share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, versus $283 million, or 32 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter rose to $6.6 billion from $5.8 billion last year. "A reduced upstream pricing environment and higher energy costs affected our results," the company said. Analysts expected earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $6.6 billion, according to Thomson First Call. Alcoa was higher by 42 cents, or 1.85%, to $23.08 in after-hours trading. SigmaTel ( SGTL) lowered its earnings guidance for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. It cited equipment issues at its test and assembly facilities coupled with heavy back-end loaded demand for its products during the second half of September. The semiconductor company now expects revenue to be $74.4 million with gross margins lower than forecast at 51% for the quarter. SigmaTel expects its net income to be 10 cents below the lower end of the range of its previous forecast. The stock was down $1.36, or 7.9%, to $15.85 in after-hours trading. MeadWestvaco ( MWV) announced that its Texas and Louisiana facilities have resumed production after being shut down for 10 days due to Hurricane Rita. The global packaging company said it expects third-quarter earnings to be lowered by 7 cents to 10 cents a share, excluding adjustments for hurricane-related insurance reimbursement, due to the production downtime. The stock was unchanged at $25.74. eBay ( EBAY) and VeriSign ( VRSN) announced that they have formed a strategic alliance in which the companies will collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce. Under the agreement, eBay's PayPal will acquire VeriSign's payment gateway business for $370 million in cash or stock, or both. PayPal said it expects the acquisition to generate $100 million of revenue in 2006. eBay was unchanged at $40.46 and VeriSign was up 97 cents, or 4.84%, to $21.01.