Tech stocks were modestly higher Wednesday, as networking giant Cisco ( CSCO) posted significant gains following its fourth-quarter earnings report. Cisco was up $1.28, or 5.6%, to $23.93 after the company beat Street expectations for the fourth quarter. The company posted profit of $2 billion, or 33 cents a share vs. $1.9 billion, or 31 cents a share, the year before. Excluding one-time items, it earned 40 cents a share, topping consensus estimates by a penny. Revenue rose 10% to $10.4 billion and was slightly above Wall Street's estimate of $10.3 billion. For the first quarter, Cisco expects revenue to grow 8%, with an 8.5% increase in the fiscal second quarter. After that, revenue growth should accelerate back to the 12% to 17% range, said Cisco. On Semiconductor ( ONNN) gained 62 cents, or 6.6%, to $10.05 after it reported strong results for the second quarter. Excluding charges, the company posted earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $562.7 million, compared with earnings of 21 cents a share on revenue of $381.20 million, a year ago. Analysts were looking for EPS of 19 cents on revenue of $552.45 million. For the third quarter, On guided revenue in the range of $570 million to $585 million, higher than consensus estimates of $567.9 million. Shares of Sprint Nextel ( S) were down 84 cents, or 9.8%, to $7.71 after it swung to a loss in the second quarter though it still beat Wall Street's expectations. Revenue during the quarter fell 11% to $9.06 billion and was lower than analysts' estimates of $9.17 billion. Sprint said it saw lower customer losses in the quarter but expects it to rise again in the third quarter.
Qwest ( Q) shed 10 cents, or 2.8%, to $3.49 following its second-quarter results. Profit fell 24% during the quarter but the company beat Wall Street's expectations. Qwest posted earnings of $188 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with $246 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell 2% to $3.38 billion. Analysts were expecting EPS of 10 cents on revenue of $3.4 billion. Shares of Priceline.com ( PCLN) fell $19.37, or 16.5%, to $97.80 as investors worried about the impact of the uncertain economy on the company's growth. Priceline raised its full-year earnings outlook but it wasn't enough to soothe investors. The company said it now expects earnings to range from $5.50 to $5.85 a share for the year, up from its earlier guidance range of $5.25 to $5.65 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $5.54 a share. Shares of Netsuite ( N) were down 90 cents, or 5.4%, to $15.70 following its second-quarter results. Excluding items, the business software maker reported a loss of $900,000, or 1 cent a share, narrower than a loss of $1.4 million, or 2 cents a share a year ago. Analysts were expecting a loss of 5 cents a share. Revenue rose 43% to $36.6 million from a year ago. An analyst at Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform. Cash and current deferred revenue missed expectations, said Credit Suisse analyst Philip Winslow, and guidance for the current quarter fell below estimates.