Atmel, Perceptron: After-Hours Trading

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Atmel ( ATML) surged in late trades on Tuesday after the San Jose, Calif.-based maker of microcontrollers and other electronic component products reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

After the closing bell, the company posted an adjusted profit of $119.5 million, or 25 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, on revenue of $457.8 million, up 33% year-over-year and 3% on a sequential basis. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 16 cents a share in the December period for revenue of $436.1 million.

The company said its gross margin was 49.5% in the fourth quarter, its highest level since the third quarter of 1996, and up from 46.8% in the third quarter and 37% in last year's fourth quarter. Atmel cited increased volumes, an improved mix of higher margin products, and its divestiture of its Smart Card business for the better gross margins.

The stock was last quoted at $15.38, up 4.9%, on volume of 1.4 million, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on their regular session close at $14.66, the shares are up more than 200% in the past 52 weeks. Of the 13 analysts covering the stock, 10 are at either strong buy (6) or buy (4).

Perceptron

Perceptron ( PRCP) was on the rise in extended trading after Plymouth, Mich.-based maker of commercial and industrial measurement and inspection products reported a surprise quarterly profit.

The company said it earned $1 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $16.3 million in the three months ended Dec. 31. A single analyst polled by Thomson Reuters was looking for a loss of 2 cents a share on revenue of $13.5 million in the quarter.

The stock leapt 19% to $6.98 in after-hours action on volume of roughly 20,000. Year-to-date, the shares have risen more than 60%.

Perceptron attributed the strong results in its fiscal second quarter to the performance of its industrial business unit, which turned in its best sales performance since its fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. The company finished the quarter with bookings of $18.3 million, up from $14.7 million at the same time last year.

Sierra Wireless

Shares of Sierra Wireless ( SWIR) sank in late trades on Tuesday after the Canadian company gave a weak forecast for its fiscal first quarter ending in March.

The company said it now expects between a loss of 6 cents a share and breakeven results for the quarter on revenue of between $140 million and $145 million, down from its profit of 8 cents a share on revenue of $167.2 million in the fourth quarter ended in December.

"In the first quarter, we anticipate some weakness in our Mobile Computing business as major operator customers transition to new 4G products, and we expect lower sales of embedded modules to a single large consumer M2M customer as they transition to a next generation platform," said Jason Cohenour, the company's president and CEO, in a press release.

The stock was last quoted at $11.70, down 24.5%, on volume of nearly 40,000, according to Nasdaq.com. The shares had run up more than 8% in Tuesday's regular session to close at $15.50. The volatile stock, which has appreciate more than 25% in the past year, hit a 52-week high of $16.50 on Jan. 13.

Other stocks seeing big moves in late trades included Walt Disney ( DIS), which rose after the company reported strong quarterly results; Motricity ( MOTR), which fell sharply after the company reported weak quarterly results and cut its outlook; 3M ( MMM), which edged up after the Dow component's board approved a 5% boost to its quarterly dividend and $7 billion buyback program; and Wells Fargo ( WFC), which slipped after announcing the surprise resignation of CFO Howard Atkins.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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