Shares of National Technical Systems ( NTSC) were among technology's losers Wednesday, slumping 15% after the company posted a big decline in first-quarter earnings. The company, a supplier of technical services and products to the aerospace, computer and telecom industries, earned $352,000, or 4 cents a share, for the period ended April 30. The results included $111,000 in stock-based compensation costs. During the year-earlier period, which did not include stock-based compensation costs, the company earned $734,000, or 8 cents a share. First-quarter revenue rose to $28.2 million from $27.4 million. National Technical said its results were hurt by lower revenue and margins in its automotive and telecom sectors, which the company attributed to a decline in overall market demand. Meanwhile, the company's technical-solutions business was hurt by a decline in demand for domestic information-technology services. Shares were trading down $1.04 to $5.99. Asyst Technologies fell 4% after the semiconductor-equipment maker said it would delay the filing of its annual report until a special committee of independent directors investigates the company's past stock-option grants and practices. The company said that it set up the special committee after it received a letter dated June 7 from the Securities and Exchange Commission that seeks documents related to the company's stock-option grants from 1997 to present. Shares were recently down 27 cents to $5.99. Shares of Axcelis Technologies ( ACLS - Get Report) rose 5% after the maker of semiconductor-processing equipment received an order for its single-wafer Optima MD ion implanter from National Semiconductor ( NSM). National Semiconductor plans to use the Optima product to produce advanced analog chips. "The Optima MD's low energy capability, superior angle control and zero energy contamination made the choice to continue our relationship with Axcelis an easy one," National Semiconductor said in a press release. Axcelis plans to ship the product during the third quarter. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Shares of Axcelis were trading up 25 cents to $5.56.
Shares of Power-One ( PWER) rose 9% after the power-supply products company said it signed a supply agreement with Ericsson . Under the deal, Power-One will provide power-supply products that Ericcson will deploy around the world. Financial details weren't disclosed. Shares were trading up 54 cents to $6.50. Qiao Xing Universal Telephone jumped 15% after the telecom-products company said that it expects 2005 basic earnings to be significantly higher than 2004 results. Excluding items, the company sees earnings that will be well above $1 a share. During 2004, the company earned 17 cents a share. Qiao Xing said that cash flow from operations turned positive as well. The company plans to release its full-year results on June 20. Shares were trading up $1.07 to $8.28. Other technology movers included Intel ( INTC), up 67 cents to $17.79; JDSU ( JDSU), up 5 cents to $2.38; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 29 cents to $21.80; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 12 cents to $4.30; Lucent Technologies , unchanged at $2.30; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 31 cents to $19.67; Ciena ( CIEN), up 27 cents to $4.06; Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), up 13 cents to $4.23; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down 69 cents to $57.64; Applied Materials ( AMAT), up 30 cents to $16.44; and Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 1 cent to $4.10.