Dell Meets Estimates – Early

Dell gave stocks a late boost on Thursday after the company accidentally released results early, but it wasn’t enough for the market to finish in positive territory.

Dell’s third-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share matched estimates, and revenues of $10.62 billion topped $10.52 billion forecasts. It was the seventh straight quarter of revenue growth for the company. Dell said it expects to earn 28 cents in the fourth quarter, in line with estimates, and expected revenues of $11.5 billion were ahead of $11.2 billion estimates.

Dell finished down fractionally on the day, and slipped about 1% after hours during the conference call.

Stocks traded lower during the day on a warning and earnings miss from Wal-Mart , which raised concern that consumers may be slowing down. And Applied Materials’ better than expected results and guidance failed to excite investors, as the stock finished down 3%.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 1967, the S&P 500 was down slightly to 1058, and the Dow lost 10 to 9837. Volume rose to 1.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.87 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, but decliners led by a few issues on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 47% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 316-8 on the NYSE, and 282-16 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, BEA matched estimates, and Portal Software plunged on a revenue miss.

During the day, LSI surged 11% on plans to spin off its storage business.

eSpeed fell 13% on a warning.

Emulex rose 4% on an upgrade.

Sonus climbed 3.5% on a VOIP story in the Wall Street Journal.

Level 3 lost 6% on news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway had sold most of its shares in the company.

Gateway added 3% on a storage deal.

J2 Global climbed 2% on a pact with AOL.

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