Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Intuit, Novell and Portal Software.
Intuit easily topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter, losing $21.4 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $187.5 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected it to lose 16 cents a share in the quarter.
Intuit shares finished off $5.19 to $48.19 ahead of the earnings report.
The $187.5 million in sales topped most analysts' estimates by $2 million and represents a 6 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it posted a net loss of $65.9, or 33 cents a share, on sales of $176.9 million.
Including a variety of charges, Intuit posted a net loss of $33.8 million, or 16 cents a share.
Company officials said it expects sales of between $1.32 billion to $1.34 billion in the fiscal year, up 22 percent from fiscal 2000.
It sees operating income growing to between $202 million to $208 million and operating margins in the 15-percent range.
Portal doubled the Street estimate in its third quarter, posting a profit of $7 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $72 million.
First Call Corp. consensus expected the Internet software developer to earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.
Its shares closed off 63 cents to $18.63 ahead of the earnings report.
The $72 million in sales marks a 157 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it lost $1.7 million, or 1 cent a share, on sales of $28.1 million.
Last quarter, Portal Software topped analysts' estimates when it posted a profit of $5.6 million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $64.5 million.
Novell will be active after it met analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter by breaking even on a per-share basis on sales of $273 million.
Its shares finished off 9 cents to $7.44 ahead of the earnings report.
In the year-ago quarter, it earned 17 cents a share on sales of $344.5 million.
Company officials said packaged software sales fell faster than growth in new Net services.
Including a $48 million restructuring charge due to Novell's layoff of 900 employees, or 16 percent of its workforce, in September, the company lost 11 cents a share in the quarter.