Shares of Novellus ( NVLS) were among technology's losers Tuesday, falling 13% after the semiconductor-equipment maker posted in-line third-quarter earnings but warned that fourth-quarter results would fall short of Wall Street forecasts. The company posted third-quarter earnings of $23.4 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $338.9 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned $28.7 million, or 21 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 21 cents a share on sales of $321 million. A year ago, the company earned $64.7 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $415.9 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned $54.7 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Looking ahead, Novellus forecast fourth-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 15 cents to 17 cents a share. The company projected sales will be flat to up 10%. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $330.7 million. Shares were trading down $3.31 to $21.58. Open Solutions ( OPEN) fell 10% after the software company cut its third-quarter earnings forecast. The company now expects to report earnings of $3.7 million to $3.9 million, or 17 cents to 19 cents a share. Previously, the company predicted it would earn $4.4 million to $4.9 million, or 20 cents to 21 cents a share. Sales, meanwhile, are now expected to be between $48.5 million and $49.5 million, narrower than Open Solutions' forecast of $47.5 million to $49.5 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 21 cents a share on sales of $48.6 million. "Despite a quarter of very strong revenues and contract value sold, our expected profitability for the third quarter is lower than anticipated due to higher than forecasted implementation costs and bonus commissions, and the company's decision to invest more in R&D in the quarter," the company said in a statement. Open Solutions called some of its third-quarter costs one-time items, and said that it is seeing increased demand for its products. As a result, the company left its full-year guidance unchanged. Shares were trading down $2.12 to $19.46.
Blackboard ( BBBB) shares surged 14% after the software company announced a development deal with Microsoft ( MSFT). The two companies plan to create a tighter integration between Microsoft's office system and Blackboard's education software, helping academic institutions have a higher degree of interoperability between the products. Blackboard recently traded at $27.28, up $3.39. Shares of UTStarcom ( UTSI) rose 2% after the company said it eceived $42 million in contracts with China Telecom ( CHA). Under the contracts, UTStarcom will help China Telecom expand its IP-based personal access system networks in regions throughout China. "More than 84 million people currently subscribe for PAS service in China and subscriber growth has continued to be strong, representing better than 40% annual growth from 2004," UTStarcom said. "Although total network capacity has topped 100 million lines, overall network utilization throughout China has remained high at approximately 78%." UTStarcom shares recently rose 9 cents to $5.63. Rambus ( RMBS) rose 5% after the company posted third-quarter results that pleased investors. The company, which licenses its memory chip technology, earned $14.5 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $36 million. Results included an $18.6 million pretax gain related to the repurchase of notes during the quarter. A year earlier, the company earned $10.4 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $38.8 million. The single analyst forecast called for earnings of 2 cents a share on sales of $33.1 million. Shares were trading up 58 cents to $12.18. Shares of Excel Technology ( XLTC) rose 11% after the company posted third-quarter results that topped forecasts. The maker of laser systems and electro-optical components reported earnings of $4.4 million, or 36 cents a share, on sales of $37.8 million. Excluding a charge, the company would have earned $4.8 million, or 40 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share, before items, on sales of $36.5 million. A year earlier, the company earned $4.1 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $34.9 million. Shares were trading up $2.54 to $26.24. Other technology movers included Intel ( INTC), up 41 cents to $23.87; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 23 cents to $24.76; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 5 cents to $3.13; Cisco ( CSCO), down 6 cents to $17.11; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 10 cents to $6.05; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down 29 cents to $53.15; Dell ( DELL), down 77 cents to $32.38; Oracle ( ORCL), up 3 cents to $12.41; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 3 cents to $3.97; and Applied Materials ( AMAT), down 17 cents to $17.20.