NEW YORK (
) -- Tech stocks were rising modestly Friday, helping bump the
, or 0.2%, at 2,385, as investors continued to seek clarity on Europe's financial problems.
Small business software provider
was rising about 8% after projecting strong earnings for the 2012 fiscal year during its fourth-quarter report Thursday afternoon. Intuit reported a loss of 19 cents a share on revenue of $593 million, beating EPS estimates by two cents. Analysts had expected sales of $583 million.
For the first time since 1998, Intuit posted an adjusted profit for the fourth quarter, with CFO Neil Williams citing a rise in conversion of customers from packaged software to that sold online. The company also announced its first cash dividend -- 15 cents a share.
Shares of No. 2 PC Maker
were popping 2% on news of rival HP's plans to exit the consumer market. With HP's PC business shrouded in uncertainty for what analysts say could be more than a year, Dell has the opportunity to gain market share and capitalize on gadget areas where HP ultimately failed.
Chip design software maker
saw its shares leap 10.4% to $9.77, after reporting a second-quarter profit and better-than-expected outlook. Mentor, which supplies electronic design automation (EDA) systems to a variety of sectors including the aerospace and semiconductor markets, reported earnings-per-share for the current quarter of 21 cents on revenue of about $245 million; analysts are expecting per-share earnings of 19 cents on sales of $239 million.
shares, meanwhile, were continuing to plummet more than 20% to $23.40 as investors tried to make sense of the
that arrived Thursday afternoon. HP is widely expected to move completely out of the consumer PC market and take on large, heavily-entrenched players -- like IBM and Cisco -- in the enterprise services and software markets.
Likely feeling reverberations from HP's announcements in relation to the dour PC market outlook,
was falling about 3% to $24.02. Microsoft, whose likelihood currently revolves around its Windows and Office software families, is dependent on powering the majority of the world's computers. Microsoft now faces pressure for a flawless rollout of its Windows 8 operating system, which it plans to deploy on mobile devices.
--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.
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