Microsoft, AMD stand out as techs retreat
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Tech stocks ended the week largely in the red, led by a slump by
Offsetting those drops were strong gains by
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) ended up falling more than 40 points, or 1.4%, to close at 2,925, yet still ended the week up by 0.6% . The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) was off by closed Friday with a loss of 1.7% and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) shed 1.5% on the day.
Microsoft (MSFT) shares edged up early, but retreated by 55 cents to close with a loss of 1.8% at $30.11 following the software giant's fiscal fourth-quarter report late Thursday. Due to a $6.2 billion writedown associated with its acquisition of online ad agency aQuantive, Microsoft reported a loss of $492 million, or 6 cents a share -- its first-ever quarterly loss as a public company.
However, excluding that writedown, and deferred revenue associated with a Windows upgrade program, Microsoft's results beat the estimates of analysts surveyed by FactSet Research. Read more about Microsoft's results and outlook.
Google (GOOG) shares rose 3% to $610.82. The Internet kingpin reported second-quarter results that included gains in its core advertising business. Investors have been concerned about Google's growth in the core advertising business as well as the integration of Motorola, and the company's shares have been under pressure through most of this year. Read more about how the quarter turned out for Google.
Carlos Kirjner of Bernstein Research maintained his outperform rating and $727 price target on the stock, saying the results "give us increased confidence in our view that there is still material ROI [return on investment] upside available to advertisers from search advertising."
SanDisk (SNDK) shares climbed by $3.62, or more than 10% to end the day at $38.70. The flash-memory and storage technology company on Thursday reported a decline in its second-quarter earnings, but its results still topped the estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
SanDisk said it earned $13 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $248.4 million, or $1.02 a share, in the same period a year ago. However, excluding one-time items, SanDisk would have earned 21 cents a share on $1.03 billion in sales, while analysts had forecast a profit of 8 cents on revenue of $1.02 billion. Caris & Co. analyst Craig Ellis raised his rating on SanDisk to above average from average and also raised his price target on the stock to $45 a share from $38.
Demand for Palo Alto's shares was high, as the company priced its IPO at $42 a share after earlier this week raising its target price range to between $38 and $40 a share. Palo Alto's stock climbed ended the day with a gain of $11.13 a share, or more than 26%, to close at $53.13.
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Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) fell 64 cents a share, or morea than 13%, to close at $4.22. Late Thursday, AMD reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter results and gave a third-quarter outlook that disappointed investors as AMD has seen demand drop among consumers in the U.S., and weakness in sales in Europe and China.