Apple, AMD Beat The Street

Apple and AMD reported better than expected results after the close on Wednesday.

AMD reported earnings of three cents a share, well above analysts’ estimates for a six-cent loss, and the company’s first profit in three quarters. Revenues of $1.26 billion were flat with the year-ago quarter and above $1.22 billion forecasts. The company reported strength in microprocessors and flash memory sales. AMD said it expects strong third-quarter chip sales, but it declined to offer a forecast for its memory business, which it plans to spin out in an IPO.

Apple earned 37 cents a share in the June quarter, blowing past 31-cent estimates, and sales of $3.52 billion topped $3.34 billion forecasts. The company shipped 6.15 million iPods — well above estimates — and Mac shipments of 1.18 million units were also stronger than expected.

But Apple’s September quarter guidance of 32-cent earnings and $3.5 billion in sales was slightly below estimates, due in part to uncertainty about Mac sales following the release of the Tiger operating system and the company’s switch from IBM to Intel chips.

Stocks posted modest gains Wednesday on a narrowing trade deficit and optimism ahead of earnings and inflation reports.

The Nasdaq rose 1 to 2144, the S&P added 1 to 1223, and the Dow gained 43 to 10,557. Volume declined to 1.81 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.56 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-14 on the NYSE, and 16-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 251-22 on the NYSE, and 132-26 on the Nasdaq.

IBM rose 1.8% on a Bernstein upgrade, and Seagate and Symantec rallied on Merrill Lynch upgrades.

August Tech rose 5% after the Justice Department cleared a takeover bid from KLA-Tencor , even though August has said it favors a lesser merger offer from Rudolph Tech .

Eastman Kodak climbed 2.5% on rumors of interest from Hewlett-Packard .

Datalink soared 51% after reporting a profit.

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