Novellus Falls on Outlook

Shares of Novellus fell 3% after hours Tuesday after the company issued earnings guidance that wasn’t quite as strong as hoped.

Novellus said it expects quarterly revenues of $330-$340 million and earnings of 20-22 cents a share. Analysts were looking for earnings of 21 cents a share on revenues of $325.6 million.

While the company’s guidance was generally strong, investors may have been looking for more after a chip sector upgrade from JP Morgan sent the sector 2.4% higher during the day.

The Wall Street firm said it sees business beginning to improve in the second quarter. However, the upturn could peak in the second half of the year because of higher than average inventories, the firm warned.

Susquehanna Financial Group also upped chip stocks, saying that channel checks showed Intel facing shortages for most of its chipsets.

The bullish comments from analysts helped boost stocks during the day.

The Nasdaq rose 19 to 2071, the S&P 500 climbed 6 to 1210, and the Dow gained 63 to 10,830. Volume declined to 1.71 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.97 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 21-11 on the NYSE, and 18-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 67% on the NYSE, and 73% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 203-18 on the NYSE, and 127-58 on the Nasdaq.

Blue Martini Software soared 59% after agreeing to be bought by Golden Gate Capital for $4 a share.

Wind River surged 16% on news that earnings at the company more than doubled. Macrovision climbed 3% on its results.

Interchange plunged 35% after missing estimates, and OmniVision lost 16% on a warning.

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