RealTime IT News

Tech Giants Come Up Short

Apple , eBay and Intel all posted results late Wednesday that came up short of Wall Street estimates, but only eBay shares were punished on the news.

eBay fell 5% in late trading after meeting estimates with earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $1.39 billion, a 35% growth rate. But the company's June quarter guidance of 22-23 cent earnings and sales of $1.37-1.415 billion were below forecasts. eBay, PayPal and Skype all posted growth of 30-40% in the quarter.

Apple's earnings of 47 cents a share were better than expected, but sales of $4.36 billion were well below $4.52 billion forecasts, and the company's 8.53 million iPod shipments were down nearly 40% from the holiday season. Mac sales also slowed to 1.11 million units, and June quarter sales guidance of $4.2-$4.4 billion was well below forecasts of $4.73 billion. But after a warning in January, investors appeared to be expecting worse, and they bid the stock 5% higher after hours.

Intel met estimates with earnings of 23 cents a share on sales of $8.93 billion, but the company’s June quarter guidance of $8-$8.6 billion in sales was below $8.85 billion estimates. The company's gross margins fell to 55.1% in the quarter and will fall even further to 49% in the second quarter, the result of the chip giant's battle with AMD and general PC softness. Still, with the stock down 20% year to date, the results were good enough for a 1% gain in late trading.

"We believe PC growth rates have moderated over the course of the past few quarters, leading to slower chip-level inventory reductions at our customers and affecting our revenue in the first half of the year," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in a statement.

Tech stocks rose again Wednesday despite rising oil prices and higher than expected consumer inflation, as strong results from Yahoo and Texas Instruments encouraged investors. IBM and Motorola fell on their results.

The Nasdaq gained 15 to 2370, the S&P 500 rose 2 to 1309, and the Dow added 10 to 11,278. Volume declined to 2.47 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.24 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 63% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 354-128 on the NYSE, and 309-39 on the Nasdaq.