Tech stocks ended Tuesday on a down note, with the Nasdaq shedding 18 points, or 0.8%, to 2349. Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU) lost 4.7% to $5.89 after the company appointed Ben Verwayyan, former head of BT Group, as its new CEO. Many had expected former chief operating officer Mike Quigley to nab the spot, which helped drive up the stock last week. Alcatel-Lucent also named Philippe Camus as nonexecutive chairman. Shares of VMware ( VMW) fell 3% to $38.52. The software company revealed on Tuesday that its executive vice president of research and development, Richard Sarwal, had stepped down after serving less than a year in his position. He is moving back to Oracle ( ORCL), which he'd left in December. Intevac ( IVAC) got a boost after American Technology Research upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, citing improvements to next year's outlook for hard disk drive tool upgrades. But the firm also noted pressure on fourth-quarter revenue, cutting its estimates to $23.7 million from $29 million. Shares of Intevac closed up 11.5% to $11.35. Priceline ( PCLN) also saw its shares climb after Credit Suisse raised its rating to outperform from neutral. The firm raised Priceline's full-year earnings estimate by 5 cents to $5.65 while also raising next year's outlook to $7 from $6.88. Shares for Priceline finished up 5% to $97.60. Intersil ( ISIL)was taking a hit after Lehman Brothers cut its rating to "equal weight" from "overweight" and lowered its target price to $24 from $29.
Lehman Brothers expects Intersil's four-year winning streak to come to a halt next year as a result of market share loss in notebook power management chips. Intersil makes chips for flat panel displays, cell phones, handheld systems and notebooks. Shares were down 7.9% to $21.59.