NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Technology results dominated Tuesday's after-hours session after strong performances from Apple ( AAPL) and International Business Machines ( IBM).

After falling more than 2% on news that CEO and founder Steve Jobs was taking a second leave of absence for medical reasons, Apple shares were last quoted at $346.10, up 1.6%, on volume of 4.4 million after the company crushed Wall Street's expectations for its fiscal first-quarter results.



Apple said it earned $6 billion, or $6.43 a share, for the three months ended Dec. 25, up from a year-ago profit of $3.4 billion, or $3.37 a share, and almost 20% ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of $5.40 a share.

Revenue totaled $26.74 billion in the quarter, beating a consensus view of $24.43 billion, as Apple sold 4.13 million Mac computers, up 23% year-over-year; 16.24 million iPhones, up 86%; 19.45 million iPods, down 7%; and 7.33 million iPads.

Apple shares have appreciated nearly 70% in the past 52 weeks, including a run-up of more than 8% so far this year.

Meantime, IBM shares gained nearly 3% to $154.95 on volume of almost 850,000 after the Dow component topped Wall Street's expectations for its fourth-quarter results by a healthy margin.

Boosted by strong year-over-year increases in mainframe, software and services revenue, Big Blue reported adjusted earnings of $4.18 per share on sales of $29 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, well ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of $4.08 per share on revenue of $28.26 billion.

For 2011, IBM forecast adjusted earnings of at least $13 per share ahead of the current consensus estimate for earnings of $12.58 a share.

IBM's stock is up just shy of 14% in the past 52 weeks with 2.2% of that gain coming since the start of this year. Sentiment was decidedly bullish ahead of its report with 51 of the 56 analysts covering the shares at either strong buy (29) or buy (22).

Depomed

Shares of Depomed ( DEPO) dropped more than 20% late Tuesday after the small drug maker disclosed a potentially damaging contract dispute with Abbott Labs ( ABT) over the marketing of a shingles drug.

The plunge follows a brisk sell-off in the regular session ahead of the news as the stock lost 7.6% to $6.58 on volume of 3.8 million, which was more than six times the issue's daily average volume.



Depomed claims Abbott Labs is reneging on a contractual obligation to sell the shingles nerve pain drug DM-1796 across North America if approved by U.S. regulators later this month. Depomed developed DM-1796 and sold the marketing rights to Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which was subsequently acquired by Abbott.

The stock was last quoted at $5.21, down 20.2%, on volume of roughly 415,000. Based on their regular session close, the shares have risen more than 130% in the past 52 weeks.

Cree Inc.

Cree Inc. ( CREE) fell sharply on heavy volume in extended action after the Durham, N.C.-based maker of LED light-emitting diode chip products fell short with its fiscal second-quarter results on both the top and bottom lines.

After the closing bell, Cree posted adjusted earnings of $60.7 million, or 55 cents a share, on revenue of $257 million for the three months ended Dec. 26, below the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 58 cents a share on revenue of $276.6 million.

The company cited weak sales to its LED component distributors in Asia for the weaker than anticipated performance, which missed the company's own outlook for adjusted earnings of 56 to 60 cents a share on revenue of $270 million to $280 million.

"We are managing through an inventory correction in Asia in the near term, but the opportunity in LED lighting has not changed," said Chuck Swoboda, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Quarterly revenue increased 29% year-over-year and based on the market trends we are seeing, and the success of our own LED lighting business, we are more confident that we will see continued adoption of LED lighting over the next several years."

For the third quarter, Cree forecast adjusted earnings of 38 to 45 cents a share on revenue of $245 million to $265 million. That view is well below Wall Street's current consensus estimate for 58 cents a share on revenue of $288.3 million.

Cree shares were last quoted at $52.90, down 15.6%, on volume of 3.3 million, according to Nasdaq.com.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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