Google, AMD Study in Contrasts

Google and AMD were true to recent form with their quarterly results: Google once again surprised to the upside, and AMD to the downside.

Google’s earnings of $3.68 a share were 38 cents better than Wall Street analysts expected, and sales after traffic acquisition costs rose more than 60% from the year-ago quarter to $2.53 billion, topping $2.49 billion forecasts. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company was “ecstatic” about the results. The company’s shares rose 3% in late trading on the news.

AMD, meanwhile, reported a $500 million loss on a 30% year-over-year sales decline to $1.23 billion, both below analysts’ forecasts. Gross margins of 31% were also lower than expected, and down from 58% in the year-ago quarter, as a price war with Intel continued to take its toll. The company also said it was considering a major restructuring. AMD had warned last week that its results would disappoint. Its shares rose modestly in after-hours trading.

Stocks were mixed during the day as investors continued to sort through the morass of earnings reports.

eBay fell despite beating estimates and raising current quarter and full-year guidance. Skype and PayPal sales were better than expected, but investors worried about the core auction business slowing.

Nokia and Intersil gained on their results, but it seemed like most of the day’s earnings news was to the downside.

Novellus , Avici , E*Trade , Logitech , Compuware and Spansion lost ground on their earnings reports.

Imation fell on its results and the acquisition of TDK.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 2505, the S&P 500 slipped 2 to 1470, and the Dow rose 4 to 12,808. Volume slipped to 2.92 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2.15 billion on the Nasdaq. Declining issues led by a 20-11 margin on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 54% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 177-24 on the NYSE, and 110-60 on the Nasdaq.

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