Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Brocade Communications, Hewlett-Packard and Novell.
Brocade shares figure to move higher Thursday after the network-equipment and software developer easily topped analysts' estimates in its third quarter.
In the quarter, it earned $20.1 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $92.1 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 14 cents a share in the quarter.
Its shares fell 5 3/4 to 196 3/4 ahead of the earnings report.
The $92.1 million marks a staggering 360 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $1.6 million, or a penny a share, on sales of $20.1 million.
"We are delighted to report our eighth consecutive period of quarter over quarter revenue and earnings growth for our shareholders," said CEO Greg Reyes in a prepared release. "Data storage requirements continue to increase across the board at a staggering rate."
In the quarter, gross profit margins jumped to 58.6 percent from 58 percent in the second quarter.
Count on HP seeing tons of action Thursday after it shattered analysts' estimates in its third quarter and announced a 2-for-1 stock split.
HP posted net income of $1.1 billion from operations in the quarter, or 97 cents a share.
First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn 85 cents a share in the quarter. Including equity income, HP in the third quarter earned 99 cents a share.
Total sales jumped to $10.73 billion, up from $9.53 billion last year.
The stock closed up 9 to 120 ahead of the earnings report.
Novell will be worth watching Thursday after it managed to slip past analysts' estimates in its third quarter, earning $8.6 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $270 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected the software developer to earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.
Ahead of the earnings report, its shares inched up 1/16 to 10 15/16.
The $270 million in sales marked a 17 percent decline from the year-ago quarter when it raked in $49.3 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $327 million.
This time around, Novell watched its U.S. sales fall 12 percent from the year-ago quarter to $160 million. Sales into the Europe, Middle East and Africa slid 30 percent to $70 million while sales to the Asia-Pacific region dropped 8 percent to $22 million.
Novell's service, education and solutions sales rose 13 percent to $56 million. Net services application sales fell 3 percent to $78 million and its NetWare server software sales plunged 29 percent to $120 million.