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Tech Sector Rising Again; Microsoft Rallies After CEO Discloses Plan to Retire Within Next Year

By: MT Newswires
Posted: 8/23/2013 2:00:00 PM
Referenced Stocks: HSII;MSFT

Top Tech Stocks

MSFT +6.8%

AAPL -0.5%

IBM FLAT

CSCO -0.02%

GOOG -0.3%

Technology stocks are higher with shares of technology companies in the S&P 500 about rising about 0.7%.

In company news, Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT ) is up 6.6% at near $34.50, climbing as much as 8.7% today after CEO Steve Ballmer said he would retire within the next 12 months once a successor is identified and hired.

The MSFT board has appointed a special committee, which includes co-founder Bill Gates, to work with executive head-hunters Heidrick & Struggles International Inc ( HSII ) on finding a new CEO.

The upcoming move comes as MSFT works to transition from its roots as a software firm into a devices and services company. Ballmer said his original timetable would have had him retiring mid-way through that change-over but he changed his timing in order to find a chief executive "who will be here longer term for this new direction."

In other sector news,

(+) ADSK, (+9.5%, has hit fresh 52 week highs) Non-GAAP earnings of $0.45 per share beat the Capital IQ consensus by $0.03. Revenue falls 1% from last year to $562 mln but still tops Street view by $1.44 mln. Sees Q3 EPS, revenue trailing estimates by $0.10 and $25.9 mln, respectively.

(-) P, (-11.6%) Expects to earn between $0.03 to $0.06 per share, ex items, in Q3, lag Thomson Reuters consensus by at least $0.02. Issues in-line EPS guidance for 12 months ending in January. Q2 EPS of $0.04, ex items, on 55% rise in revenue both top estimates.