A number of tech stocks were mired in the red after the close Thursday, but emerging as a winner was Alcoa ( AA). The Pittsburgh aluminum maker
announced it will sell its packaging and consumer business, having "received strong indications from strategic buyers." The company also said it is closing in on a deal to sell its automotive castings business. The transactions should close by early 2008 and year-end, respectively. The company also set plans to "significantly restructure" its electrical and electronic solutions business in the Americas and Europe. For all of the above, it will incur third-quarter charges totaling around $845 million. Shares traded up 0.9% to $38 in recent after-hours action. On the flip side, Research In Motion ( RIMM) traded choppily despite in-line fiscal-second-quarter financials. The BlackBerry maker said earnings doubled from last year to 50 cents a share, or $287.7 million, and revenue more than doubled to $1.37 billion. Still, investors were disappointed with the relatively ho-hum results, and shares of the Canadian company were recently losing 2.1% to $98.42. One of the biggest price decliners after-hours was SupportSoft ( SPRT), which makes software for tech-problem resolution. Shares fell 17.7% to $5.21 after the Redwood City, Calif. company lowered its 2007 bottom-line outlook to a non-GAAP loss of between 35 cents and 37 cents a share. That compares with the prior loss range of between 31 cents and 35 cents a share, and would come in at least a penny under the mean Street target. SupportSoft also narrowed its expected third-quarter EPS loss, now expecting a loss of between 8 cents and 10 cents a share, instead of between 9 cents and 11 cents a share. The new range leans to the low end of consensus. Fellow tech stock, Lawson Software ( LWSN) also issued soft guidance. The St. Paul, Minn. maker of business-application software projected a non-GAAP profit of 6 cents to 8 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, which dips under the consensus range. Lawson also reported 7-cent per-share income to beat first-quarter estimates , but shares were still off 65 cents, or 5.9%, to $9.70.