Shares of Cogent ( COGT) were among technology's losers Wednesday, slumping 19% after the company posted solid fourth-quarter earnings but spooked the market with a cautious outlook. The company, which makes automated fingerprint identification systems, earned $20.7 million, or 22 cents a share, for the fourth quarter. Results included stock-based compensation costs of a penny a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 20 cents a share. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $9.9 million, or 11 cents a share. Cogent's revenue rose to $46.2 million from $31.8 million. Looking ahead, Cogent said "we are seeing major RFPs for large border control programs in Europe and multiple opportunities from the civil and commercial sectors." However, the company cautioned that its "visibility has decreased on the timing and potential revenue recognition of some large follow-on orders to existing customers and possible new orders." Shares recently were trading down $4.49 to $18.77. Fargo Electronics ( FRGO) tumbled 12% after the secure-card technology company posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and issued first-quarter earnings guidance below Wall Street's forecast. The company earned $2.5 million, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $21 million. Analysts expected earnings of 21 cents a share and sales of $22 million. A year earlier, the company earned $2.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $19.7 million. For the first quarter, Fargo Electronics projects earnings of 13 cents to 15 cents a share, including a penny a share in stock-based compensation costs. Analysts had forecast earnings of 17 cents a share. Shares were down $2.31 to $16.62. Shares of Autodesk ( ADSK) climbed 10% after the software company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The company earned $83 million, or 33 cents a share, on revenue of $416.8 million. Excluding items, the company earned $91.2 million, or 37 cents a share for the quarter ended Jan. 31. Analysts expected earnings of 35 cents a share and revenue of $414.4 million. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $65.8 million, or 26 cents a share, on revenue of $356.2 million. Excluding items, the company's year-earlier earnings were $75.2 million, or 30 cents a share.
Looking ahead, Autodesk sees first-quarter earnings, excluding items, of 30 cents to 32 cents a share. The company predicts revenue of $425 million to $435 million. Analysts project earnings of 32 cents a share and revenue of $419.2 million. For all of fiscal 2007, the company sees earnings, excluding items, of $1.45 to $1.50 a share. The company predicts revenue growth of 18% to 20% over fiscal 2006. Analysts project earnings of $1.45 a share and revenue of $1.76 billion, or sales growth of about 15%. Shares were recently trading up $3.75 to $41.40. Applied Signal Technology ( APSG) slid 14% after the maker of digital signal processing equipment posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter results. The company earned $1.3 million, or 11 cents a share, for the first quarter ended Jan. 31. Analysts expected earnings of 17 cents a share. Revenue totaled $33.6 million, well below Wall Street's forecast of $40.1 million. During the first quarter, the company incurred precontract costs of about $2.5 million, which should convert to revenue during fiscal 2006, Applied Signal said. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $2 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of $30.1 million. Shares were trading down $3.27 to $20.17. Shares of Rockwell Automation ( ROK) rose 1% after the automation-equipment maker reaffirmed its 2006 outlook. The company continues to see earnings from continuing operations of $3.10 to $3.20 a share. The company backed its guidance ahead of an analyst conference it plans to attend on March 8. Analysts project earnings of $3.18 a share. Shares were trading up 45 cents to $68.62. Other technology movers included Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 46 cents to $20.70; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 8 cents to $5.03; Intel ( INTC), up 29 cents to $20.89; Lucent Technologies ( LU), unchanged at $2.80; Oracle ( ORCL), up 22 cents to $12.64; JDSU ( JDSU), up 6 cents to $3.10; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 19 cents to $27.06; Apple Computer ( AAPL), up 48 cents to $68.97; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 3 cents to $4.20; Applied Materials ( AMAT), up 17 cents to $18.49; and Juniper Networks ( JNPR), up 85 cents to $19.24.