Tech Stocks in Motion

Shares of Bell Microproducts ( BELM) were among technology's losers Thursday, plunging 30% after the computer-products distributor previewed third-quarter results that were short of Wall Street expectations.

The company expects to post earnings of 7 cents to 9 cents a share on sales of $760 million when it reports its full results on Oct. 26. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 16 cents a share on sales of $832.3 million. Bell blamed the shortfall on weakness in its European distribution organization. "While the North American and Latin American regions of our company performed well, we are clearly not pleased with our European and overall performance in the third quarter of 2005. We were disappointed in the performance of our Ideal Hardware division in the United Kingdom and our continental European operations," the company said. Shares were trading down $2.93 to $6.87.

Even though the company raised its third-quarter guidance, Arris Group ( ARRS) shares fell 7%. The telecommunications technology company now expects to report earnings of 16 cents to 18 cents a share on sales of $197 million to $201 million. Previously, the company projected it would earn 12 cents to 15 cents a share on sales of $180 million to $190 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 14 cents a share and sales of $186.1 million.

Looking ahead, Arris forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 15 cents to 18 cents a share on sales of $185 million to $200 million, in line with the earnings of 16 cents a share and sales of $191.3 million that analysts had been expecting. Brokerage firm Brean Murray applauded the third-quarter forecast but said it doesn't believe recent strength will continue at the company. As a result, the firm downgraded the stock to "hold" from "accumulate." Shares were trading down 78 cents to $10.14.

Shares of Fairchild Semiconductor ( FCS) fell 3% after the company posted disappointing third-quarter results and announced the resignation of its chief financial officer. Excluding certain items, the company earned $3 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $345.5 million. Analysts were expecting a smaller loss of 1 cent a share and sales of $346.5 million. A year ago, the company reported earnings, before items, of $32 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $409.7 million.

Looking ahead, Fairchild forecast sequential sales growth of 5%, implying sales of $362.8 million. Analysts project sales of $362.9 million.

Separately, the chipmaker said Matthew Towse, who had been with the company for over 14 years, has resigned. Towse will remain with the company in an advisory role until the end of the year. In the meantime, Fairchild said Robin Sawyer, vice president and corporate controller, and Stephen Cumming, vice president of business finance, would assume the CFO's duties until a permanent financial chief is named. Shares were trading down 47 cents to $14.35.

C-Cor ( CCBL) fell modestly after the company said its first-quarter earnings would be in line with expectations while sales would be below forecasts. The company, which makes network distribution equipment, expects to post a pro forma loss of 10 cents to 14 cents a share on sales of $63 million to $64 million. Analysts are expecting a loss of 12 cents a share on sales of $66.8 million. Previously, the company said that it would post a pro forma loss of 9 cents to 14 cents a share on sales of $65 million to $70 million. Shares were trading down 1 cent to $6.08.

Shares of Komag ( KOMG) rose 2% after the company raised its third-quarter sales outlook. The company now expects sales of about $180 million. Previously, the company said that figure would be similar to second-quarter sales of $172.4 million. Analysts had anticipated third-quarter sales of $175.1 million. The company now expects net margin of 17% to 18%, up from its previous guidance of 16%. Shares rose 43 cents to $28.25.

Other technology movers included Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 28 cents to $6.02; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 20 cents to $24.50; Intel ( INTC), down 24 cents to $23; Apple Computer ( AAPL), up $2.37 to $51.62; Cisco ( CSCO), down 11 cents to $17.32; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 1 cent to $3.04; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 2 cents to $3.94; Oracle ( ORCL), up 12 cents to $12.12; and Applied Materials ( AMAT), up 13 cents to $17.08.

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