|From Briefing.com: 4:15PM Applied Materials beats by $0.06, beats on revs; guides Q2 EPS, revs above consensus (AMAT) 13.21 +0.31 : Reports Q1 (Jan) earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.06 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.12; revenues fell 18.5% year/year to $2.19 bln vs the $1.97 bln consensus. Co issues upside guidance for Q2, sees EPS of $0.20-0.28, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.16 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q2 revs +5-15% QoQ to ~$2.30-2.52 bln vs. $2.09 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Backlog -$230 mln QoQ to $2.2 bln.|
4:12PM SunPower reports surprise profit, misses on revs; guides Q1 EPS in-line, revs below consensus; guides FY12 revs in-line (SPWR) 7.48 +0.15 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $0.16 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.27 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.11); revenues fell 39.9% year/year to $563.4 mln vs the $652.4 mln consensus. Co issues guidance for Q1, sees EPS of ($0.05)-(0.20), excluding non-recurring items, vs. ($0.23) Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; sees Q1 revs of $420-495 mln vs. $596.22 mln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. Co issues in-line guidance for FY12, sees FY12 revs of $2.6-3.0 bln vs. $2.69 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate. and MW recognized to be in the range of 900 MW to 1,200 MW. SunPower remains committed to achieving break even or better non-GAAP profitability and a year-end unrestricted cash balance of more than $300 million, while investing in cost reduction initiatives.
3:32PM Semiconductor Hldrs reaches new high of 35.30, nearing its eight month high from July at 35.36 (SMH) 35.28 +0.79 : INTC +1.2%, MRVL +3.6%, KLAC +3.5%, ALTR +2.8%, BRCM +2.8%, LRCX =2.7%, XLNX +2.7%.
11:18AM NVIDIA continues its opening reversal higher following earnings as buyers take it up into modest gap down high territory near $16.00 (NVDA) 16.00 -0.16 :
11:10AM RF Micro Device responds to patent infringement claim - will vigorously defend its position (RFMD) 5.02 +0.14 : Co responded to the filing of a patent infringement lawsuit by Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation relating to radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) and switching technology:
RF Micro Devices has a strong intellectual property portfolio relating to RFICs and switching technology that it has developed over many years, and RFMD intends to vigorously defend its position in this lawsuit. As a leading technology company, RFMD respects the intellectual property rights of others and takes care to avoid infringements. RFMD is fully committed to its entire product portfolio, and all RFMD products will continue to be provided to RFMD's customers without interruption while this lawsuit is being contested.
10:31AM Ramtron signs global distribution agreement with Digi-Key Corporation (RMTR) 2.25 +0.01 : The distribution agreement will make Ramtron's entire line of F-RAM-enabled semiconductors available for purchase from www.digikey.com and Digi-Key's international websites.
8:02AM Trina Solar subsidary announces $100 mln structured term loan facility (TSL) 9.16 : Co announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology Co. Ltd., has obtained a three-year structured term loan facility from Standard Chartered Bank. The structured term loan facility is for an amount of up to $100 mln dollars, which may be drawn down in single or multiple tranches within the first 12 months. Each tranche is for a term of up to 36 months from the initial drawdown date, and may be extended for up to another two years. The facility will support the Company's announced East Campus project, which is expected to add approximately 500 MW of cell and module capacity and feature its high-efficiency Honey cell technology.
7:34AM Freescale Semi announces launch of new financing under senior secured credit facilities (FSL) 17.20 : Co announced that Freescale Semiconductor, its wholly owned indirect subsidiary, is seeking commitments for a new senior secured term loan facility under its existing senior secured credit facilities in an aggregate principal amount of up to $500 mln. The proceeds from the new term loans are intended to be used to redeem, repurchase or otherwise acquire a portion of Freescale's senior subordinated notes due 2016 and, at Freescale's option, a portion of its senior notes due 2014, and to pay related redemption premiums, fees and expenses.
Socket Mobile (SCKT) announced a partnership with nSales. The collaboration enables sales representatives to quickly enter orders, look up account information, and check inventory levels during customer visits using a solution based on the Apple iPad (AAPL).
NetApp (NTAP $42.41 +2.56) reported third quarter earnings of $0.58 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.58, while revenues rose 21.4% year/year to $1.57 billion versus the $1.56 billion consensus. The company issued in-line guidance for the fourth quarter EPS of $0.60-0.65, excluding non-recurring items, versus the $0.63 consensus with revenues of $1.645-1.725 billion versus the $1.68 billion consensus.
Agilent (A $42.32 -1.32) reported first quarter earnings of $0.69 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.69, while revenues rose 7.6% year/year to $1.64 billion versus the $1.65 bln consensus. The company issued downside guidance for the first quarter with EPS of $0.71-0.73, excluding non-recurring items, versus the $0.78 Capital IQ Consensus with revenues of $1.70-1.72 billion versus the $1.75 billion consensus The company issued in-line guidance for fiscal year 2012 with EPS of $3.13-3.23, excluding non-recurring items versus the $3.16 consensus with fiscal year 2012 revenues of $6.92-7.02 billion versus the $6.97 billion consensus.
Nvidia (NVDA $15.46 -0.77) reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the consensus of $0.24, while revenues rose 7.5% year/year to $953.2 million versus the $950.1 million consensus. Co issues downside guidance for the first quarter with revenues of $900-930 million versus the 948.7 million consensus. Non-GAAP gross margin in Q4 was 52.5%, and the company guided first quarter on-GAAP gross margin at 48.5-50.5%.
4:30 pm : Stocks staged a steady ascent that settled with the S&P 500 at its best level in about nine months. The effort was broad-based, but lacked share volume.
Although a bullish bias prevailed, action opened with the broad market near the neutral line. Participants were initially somewhat divided on how to respond to the latest wave of headlines. Without any reports of progress traders continued to express concern about potential problems in delivering bailout funds to Greece after it became apparent earlier in the week that eurozone officials are skepitcal of the flagging country's commitment to newly approved austerity measures.
Morning sentiment was also challenged by the threat that analysts at Moody's might reduce their ratings on a bevy of major banks and financial institutions, including Bank of America (BAC 8.09, +0.31), Citigroup (C 32.71, +0.99), JPMorgan Chase (JPM 38.00, +0.60), and Goldman Sachs (GS 114.74, +1.57).
There was a substantial dose of traders to digest, too. Overall, though, it proved pleasing.
The latest weekly initial jobless claims count totaled 348,000, which is less than 365,000 initial claims that had been broadly expected to follow the upwardly revised prior week tally of 361,000. Continuing claims made a significant decline to 3.43 million from 3.53 million.
Housing starts improved in January to an annualized rate of 699,000 from an upwardly revised rate of 689,000 in the prior month. That surpassed the pace of 671,000 housing starts that had been broadly expected. Building permits made a modest improvement to an annualized rate of 676,000 from a downwardly revised rate of 671,000, but that was on par with what had been widely expected.
Producer prices proved more mixed. Total producer prices in January were up 0.1%, which is less than the 0.3% increase that had been broadly predicted, but core producer prices climbed at a clip of 0.4% to double the increase that had been widely expected.
After the open, the Philadelphia Fed Survey for February rang in at 10.2. That marked strong improvement over the 7.3 posted in the prior month and narrowly surpassed the 10.0 that had been expected, on average, among economists polled by Briefing.com.
Once the data was out of the way stocks engaged in a steady ascent that was initially led by the financial sector. Financials were able to overcome early weakness associated with the threat of a downgrade to many of the sector's major constituents to collectively climb to a 1.6% gain.
The Financial sector's effort was matched by the Tech sector, which is the largest sector by market weight. A break-out by Microsoft (MSFT 31.28, +1.24) to a four-year high made the stock a leader among tech issues. It also helped the Nasdaq move ahead of its counterparts.
Although short-covering likely played a part, General Motors (GM 27.17, +2.24) shares also staged an impressive move that settled with the stock at its best level since summer. The automaker's earnings fell short of the consensus estimate, but that was countered by a strong revenue figure and news of increased market share.
As market participants returned to riskier assets the dollar dropped out of favor after it had been bid higher in the early going. By session's end the euro had climbed 0.6% against the greenback, while the sterling pound advanced 0.7% against it.
Treasuries also traded lower. Their slide sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Note back up to almost 2.0% after it had been at a weekly low near 1.90% just yesterday.
Apathy continues to detract from share volume. More specifically, a lack of participation today kept total share volume on the NYSE near 800 million, which is on par with trends of the past several months.
Advancing Sectors: Materials +1.7%, Financials +1.6%, Tech +1.6%, Energy +1.2%, Utilities +1.1%, Industrials +0.8%, Consumer Staples +0.7%, Health Care +0.7%, Telecom +0.7%, Consumer Discretionary +0.5%
Declining Sectors: (None)DJ30 +123.13 NASDAQ +44.02 NQ100 +1.4% R2K +2.0% SP400 +1.5% SP500 +14.81 NASDAQ Adv/Vol/Dec 1945/1.92 bln/602 NYSE Adv/Vol/Dec 2293/805 mln/750
10:45 am S&P Tech Sector Up Modestly
The tech sector is trading higher higher today by 0.3%, in line with gains in the broader market. Semiconductors are showing relative strength in the tech space; the Philly Semi Index is trading 0.8% higher. NITT (+1.4%) is a notable leader in the chip index. Among other major indices, the SPY & NASDAQ are trading 0.3% higher. Among tech bellwethers, AAPL (-1.0%) is showing weakness.
In earnings last night, NVDA (-1.8%) posted a slight beat, however reported disappointing guidance. Elsewhere, NTAP (+6.0%) reported an in line quarter.
In news, there were reports that Alibaba was planning on agreeing to terms for a $3 billion loan. In addition, there were reports that More cities in China have stopped AAPL (-1.0%) Ipad orders
Among notable analyst upgrades this morning, ITRI (+18.6%) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity following strong earnings, AMZN (-4.1%) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley, WFT (-0.8%) was upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. MXIM (+1.6%) was initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital.
AMAT (+0.8%), BIDU (+0.6%) and RP (-8.0%) are among notable tech names to report tonight after the close.
09:54 am Nvidia trades lower by over 4% following guidance
Nvidia (NVDA $15.46 -0.77) reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.26 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.02 better than the consensus of $0.24, while revenues rose 7.5% year/year to $953.2 million versus the $950.1 million consensus.
The company issued downside guidance for the first quarter with revenues of $900-930 million versus the 948.7 million consensus. Non-GAAP gross margin in Q4 was 52.5%, and the company guided first quarter on-GAAP gross margin at 48.5-50.5%.
09:51 am NetApp trades higher By Over 6% following earnings and guidance
NetApp (NTAP $42.41 +2.56) reported third quarter earnings of $0.58 per share, excluding non-recurring items, in-line with the Capital IQ Consensus of $0.58, while revenues rose 21.4% year/year to $1.57 billion versus the $1.56 billion consensus.
The company issued in-line guidance for the fourth quarter EPS of $0.60-0.65, excluding non-recurring items, versus the $0.63 consensus with revenues of $1.645-1.725 billion versus the $1.68 billion consensus.