Monsanto (MON) shares rose in late trading Tuesday after the St. Louis-based agricultural products company increased its fiscal 2006 earnings projection. The company, citing strength in its U.S. corn- and seed-traits business, said it now sees earnings of $2.50 to $2.55 a share for the year ending in August. Monsanto had previously forecast that earnings would be near the upper end of a range of $2.35 to $2.50 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project earnings of $2.62 a share.For the fiscal third quarter, Monsanto sees earnings of $1.15 to $1.20 a share, compared with Wall Street's forecast of $1.22 a share. The company is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on June 29. Shares gained $1.03, or 1.3%, to $83.21 after hours. McData shares declined after the storage-network equipment maker posted softer-than-expected first-quarter sales. The company reported an overall loss of $9.5 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.9 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, earnings were $6.1 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with $3 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 70% to $168.3 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 4 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $170.7 million. Shares fell 19 cents, or 5%, to $3.60 in late trading Tuesday. Cubist Pharmaceuticals ( CBST) slipped after the biopharmaceutical company said it plans to offer $275 million in convertible notes. The company said it will grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional $41.25 million of notes. Cubist said it intends to use a portion of the proceeds of the offering to redeem the outstanding $165 million of its convertible subordinated notes. The company said it plans to use the remaining proceeds to increase investment in the commercialization of its Cubicin product, and for other general purposes. Shares, which reached a 52-week high of $26.77 in regular trading Tuesday, gave back $1.50, or 5.8%, to $24.53 after hours.
Shares of NPS Pharmaceuticals ( NPSP) rose after Soros Fund Management reported a 6.8% stake in the company. The fund acquired about 3.14 million shares over the last 60 days for about $8.9 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund is controlled by billionaire investor George Soros. Shares of NPS jumped 55 cents, or 10%, to 5.99 in after-hours trading. Shares of PW Eagle ( PWEI) advanced after the pipe-and-fittings company said its newly expanded board formed a committee to evaluate strategic alternatives, including a potential company sale. The board, which increased to seven members from five, approved a cash dividend of 7.5 cents a share to be paid July 6 to shareholders of record June 16. PW Eagle shares gained 78 cents, or 2.8%, to $28.54 in after-hours trading. Semtech ( SMTC - Get Report) shares fell even after the semiconductor company posted better-than-expected first-quarter results. The company's earnings rose to $12 million, or 16 cents a share, from $10.8 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as stock-option costs and amortization, earnings were $14.8 million, or 20 cents a share. Analysts, on average, predicted a profit of 18 cents a share before items. Semtech's sales rose to $65.9 million from $56.2 million, narrowly beating analysts' estimate of $65.8 million. For the quarter ending in July, Semtech sees earnings of 19 cents to 20 cents a share before items. The company anticipates revenue will be flat to up 2% from the first quarter, implying a second-quarter top line of $65.9 million to $67.2 million. Analysts predict second-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share and sales of $67.6 million. Semtech shares were down 35 cents, or 2.2%, to $15.35 in after-hours trading.