Tech stocks gained ground on Wednesday, recovering from a morning slide after the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate target by 50 basis points to 1%. The Nasdaq edged up 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1653 in recent trading. Shares of Qwest ( Q) tumbled 7.5% to $2.41 after offering a disappointing forecast for the rest of the year. The company reported third-quarter earnings Wednesday morning, posting a 93% drop in profit from a year ago. It attributed a large part of the decline to a reversal of the valuation allowance against deferred tax assets in 2007. It now expects full-year results to come in at the low end of its guidance. Garmin ( GRMN) shares were up 2.9% to $22.05 after beating third-quarter estimates . But the company also lowered guidance for full-year profit and revenue, falling short of Wall Street expectations. The Cayman Islands-based digital navigation device maker chopped its profit guidance to $3.78 a share from $3.86 a share, which excludes a gain related to the tender of Tele Atlas shares. It also cuts its revenue target to $3.6 billion, from the previous forecast of $3.9 billion. Analysts had expected Garmin to post a full-year profit of $3.89 a share on revenue of $3.8 billion. Shares of Corning ( GLW) slipped 7.4% to $10.57 after missing third-quarter revenue targets and warning that sales would fall short in the fourth quarter. Corning expects non-GAAP fourth-quarter earnings in a range of 20 cents to 28 cents a share on sales between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion. That was below Wall Street's expected earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $1.54 billion.
Comcast ( CMCSA) shares dropped 4.8% to $16.14 after falling below Wall Street estimates for third-quarter revenue. Revenue increased 10% to $8.54 billion in the quarter compared to a year ago. That was below the Street's average target of $8.59 billion. Shares of RF Micro Devices ( RFMD) were climbing 4.2% to $1.98 after it beat Wall Street estimates for the second quarter. The chipmaker also offered a forecast that was somewhat more hopeful than its competitors. Sony ( SNE) shares sank 3.7% to $21.17 after reporting a 72% drop in quarterly sales. The company said it was hurt by the appreciation of the yen against the U.S. dollar, despite higher sales of products like LCD televisions and personal computers. Shares of Ultimate Software ( ULTI) saw a sharp drop in its shares after the company cut its forecast for next year. The company now expects revenue to rise 22% to 23% from 2008, with non-GAAP operating margins of 10%-12%. That's down from its previous guidance for a 25% to 30% growth in revenue with operating margins of 15% to 18%. Ultimate Software was down 16.5% to $12.97.