Sun, Yahoo Reports Cheer Investors

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) posted quarterly results late Tuesday that were just good enough to cheer investors worried about the sharply slowing economy.

Sun’s sales of $3.22 billion were down 10.9% from the year-ago quarter, but better than the $3.16 billion analysts expected. Sun’s pro forma loss also topped forecasts, and the company cut cash burn by more than half from the September quarter, with cash levels decreasing by $113 million in the December quarter. Sun ended the quarter with just over $3 billion in cash and investments and $1.26 billion in debt.

Yahoo’s pro forma earnings and net revenue were both better than expected, but the company’s current quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) guidance was well below Wall Street estimates.

Sun’s shares were up 8% after hours, while Yahoo shares tacked on 3%. Also boosting stock futures in late trading were reports that the government may try to create “good” and “bad” banks to remove toxic assets from banks’ books.

Stocks gained during the day, helped in part by better than expected results from Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) even as EMC (NYSE: EMC), VMware (NYSE: VMW) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) slipped on their results.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) jumped 6% after Verizon reported solid demand for the BlackBerry Storm.

QLogic (NASDAQ: QLGC) lost 1% after beating estimates but lowering guidance, but Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) surged 15% on strong results and guidance, suggesting that it might have a solid business model for the recession.

Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) rose 6% after setting its earnings date for Feb. 10.

The Nasdaq rose 15 to 1504, the S&P 500 gained 9 to 845, and the Dow climbed 58 to 8174. Volume declined to 5.44 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.84 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 25-11 margin on the NYSE, and 17-10 edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 69% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 8-71 on the NYSE, and 8-102 on the Nasdaq.

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