Shares of Sapient ( SAPE) were among technology's losers Friday, dropping 17% after the information technology company posted third-quarter results that fell short of expectations. The company earned $6.3 million, or 5 cents a share, on service revenue of $81.7 million, for the third quarter. Sapient reported adjusted earnings of $7.2 million, or 6 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $82 million. Gross revenue, which includes reimbursable expenses, came in at $84.5 million. For last year's third quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings of $8.3 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $64.2 million. Gross revenue during the year-ago period was $67.4 million. "Our financial results for the third quarter confirm the strong fundamentals of our business," Sapient said. "Our profitability was solid; however, we continue to believe that our performance can be improved." Shares were trading down $1.02 to $5.16. Shares of JDS Uniphase ( JDSU) rose 8% after the company said first-quarter sales would be above the midpoint of its previous guidance. In September, the optical networking company predicted sales of $250 million, plus or minus $10 million, for the first quarter ended Sept. 30. Analysts project sales of $249.9 million. JDS Uniphase shares recently were up 15 cents to $2.07. SafeNet ( SFNT) fell 9% after the company posted third-quarter results that were well below expectations. The company, which makes network security products, earned $1.1 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $63.4 million for the third quarter. Excluding items, the company would have earned $6.5 million, or 25 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 38 cents a share and sales of $65.5 million. For last year's period, SafeNet reported adjusted earnings of $9.6 million, or 39 cents a share, on sales of $59.5 million.
SafeNet sees fourth-quarter earnings of 55 cents to 60 cents a share on sales of $78 million to $82 million. Analysts predict earnings of 55 cents a share and sales of $79.2 million. SafeNet shares were down $2.93 to $31.12. International Rectifier ( IRF) plunged 21% after the company projected limited growth in the December quarter and was subsequently downgraded by at least three analysts. For the first quarter ended Sept. 30, the maker of chips used for powering devices said its earnings fell to $26.2 million, or 36 cents a share, from $37.6 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier. Adjusted earnings, which exclude severance and restructuring charges, were $29.4 million, or 41 cents a share, matching analysts' mean estimate. Revenue declined to $272.6 million from $312.2 million. International Rectifier said it expects to have capacity constraints in the December quarter, limiting growth potential in the period. The company said costs for starting up a new wafer fab will cause its overall gross margin to decline by 200 basis points from the September quarter, when gross margin stood at 40.7%. International Rectifier forecast 1% to 4% sequential revenue growth for the second quarter, suggesting revenue of $275.3 million to $283.5 million. Analysts had projected revenue of $283.2 million. Shares recently fell $6.88 to $27.17. Conexant ( CNXT) rose 5% after the chipmaker turned in better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company reported earnings of $50.1 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $214.9 million. Excluding items, the company would have reported core earnings of $313,000, or less than a penny a share. Analysts anticipated a loss of 2 cents a share on sales of about $208 million. A year ago, the company posted a core loss of $17.6 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $213.1 million. "We stabilized our business, and we made major progress against key goals. Most importantly, we delivered core net income profitability a quarter ahead of schedule," the company said of its latest results.
Looking ahead, Conexant forecast first-quarter core earnings of 1 cent a share on sales of $225 million. Analysts are expecting break-even earnings on sales of $218.2 million. Shares gained 9 cents to $1.88. Shares of Western Digital ( WDC) climbed 3% after the maker of disk drives posted better-than-expected first-quarter results. The company earned $68.8 million, or 31 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30. Excluding items, the company would have earned $73.4 million, or 33 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 29 cents a share. Sales came in at $1.01 billion, beating analysts' mean estimate of $989.7 million. A year earlier, Western Digital earned $30.4 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $823.6 million. Shares were trading up 36 cents to $11.71. Other technology movers included Microsoft ( MSFT), up 52 cents to $25.37; Qualcomm ( QCOM), down $2.03 to $41.02; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 2 cents to $3.88; Intel ( INTC), up 28 cents to $23.12; Lucent Technologies ( LU), up 3 cents to $2.78; Cisco ( CSCO), up 11 cents to $17.16; Maxim Integrated ( MXIM), down $5.32 to $33.64; Applied Materials ( AMAT), down 45 cents to $16.26; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 9 cents to $5.95; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down 3 cents to $55.38; and Oracle ( ORCL), up 13 cents to $12.58.