RealTime IT News

NetApp Soars on Strong Sales

Network Appliance shares surged late Wednesday on better than expected results, but the news from Applied Materials wasn't nearly as good.

NetApp's earnings of 32 cents a share were six cents better than analysts expected, and sales growth of 21% to $792 million was also well ahead of estimates. The data storage company also raised current quarter guidance.

The company's message was much the same as the one from Cisco Systems that roiled stocks last week: U.S. government spending and strength in Europe and Asia "largely offset the continued sluggishness in U.S. enterprise spending," in the words of CEO Dan Warmenhoven.

NetApp shares initially soared more than 10% on the news, then gave back much of those gains in a volatile after-hours session.

Applied Materials reported results that were largely in line with expectations: 30-cent-a-share earnings were a penny ahead, while a 7% sales decline to $2.37 billion was just below estimates. Gross margins of 45.5% were a point lower than expected, and the company also lowered current quarter guidance.

The results did nothing to ease fears about a capital spending slowdown, and AMAT shares slumped 5% on the news.

Stocks pulled back during the day despite better than expected wholesale inflation numbers and solid retail sales reports, as credit market jitters sparked a late sell-off.

E*Trade was a winner for the second straight day, gaining 10% after denying bankruptcy rumors.

BEA Systems gained 3% on news that it will soon be back in SEC compliance.

Metro PCS jumped 10% on its quarterly results, and Alcatel Lucent was up 1% on a Merrill Lynch upgrade from "sell" to "neutral."

The Nasdaq lost 29 to 2644, the S&P fell 10 to 1470, and the Dow shed 76 to 13,231. Volume declined to 3.93 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.49 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 20-13 margin on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 61% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 44-202 on the NYSE, and 77-157 on the Nasdaq.