Altera: More Consistent Performance on Short Side of Post-Earnings Trade

| About: Intel Corporation (INTC)
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Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR) is due out with Q1 results after the bell tonight, and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting a profit of $0.65 per share on revenue of $536 million.

Altera has demonstrated a definitive trend toward wider moves between the sessions, posting more aggressive follow-on action in the regular session in 15 of its past 27 after-hours earnings events we've tracked. In the near-term, the stock favors a reversal pattern, cutting back its evening move in next-day trade in the last five consecutive quarters.

Looking deeper into the performance data, ALTR is one for longs to watch tonight. The stock has recorded an after-hours earnings driven gain in 23 of the 27 quarters we've tracked over the last seven years, and in 12 of those upside evening moves the stock has seen a more aggressive positive run in the next day's regular session (i.e. adding to its evening move), about 52% of the time.

On the downside, ALTR has recorded an earnings-driven after-hours decline in four of the 27 quarters tracked in our database, adding to its evening slide in next-day trade in three of those events, or 75% of the time.

On Jan. 25, 2011, ALTR edged up 0.1% in after-hours action after posting better-than-expected Q4 results. The stock reversed direction the following day, closing the Jan. 26 regular session down 3%.

On Oct. 19, 2010, ALTR advanced 2% in after-hours trading after beating Q3 expectations. The stock reversed direction the following day, closing the Oct. 20 regular session down 1.8%.

On July 20, 2010, ALTR edged up 0.3% in evening trading after beating Q2 expectations. The stock lost its gain the following day, closing the July 21 regular session down 2.7%.

On April 20, 2010, the stock gained 5.6% in extended-hours trading after a Q1 beat. Shares reversed to close down 2.2% the next day.

On Jan. 26, 2010, ALTR jumped 6.5% in after-hours action after reporting better-than-expected results and guidance. The stock cut back its gains modestly the next day, ending the Jan. 27 regular session up 5.8%.

On Oct. 13, 2009, ALTR firmed 1.8% in after-hours trading after beating Q3 sales expectations and meeting the EPS number. The stock added to its upside the next day, ending the Oct. 14 regular session up 2.2%.

On July 14, 2009, ALTR advanced 2.9% in evening trading after meeting earnings expectations, beating on revenue and raising its sales guidance. The stock firmed higher the following day, rising 4.2% in the July 15 regular session.

On April 21, 2009, ALTR shed 3.1% in after-hours trading despite reporting results ahead of expectations. It firmed deeper in the red in the April 22 regular session, ending down 4.5%.

On Jan. 27, 2009, ALTR advanced 1.5% in evening trading after beating by a penny on earnings but coming in shy of sales expectations. The stock lost its gain the next day, closing the Jan. 28 regular session down 1.9%.

On Oct. 14, 2008, ALTR gained 5.8% in after-hours trading after topping Q3 expectations. It saw that gain evaporate the next day as the stock tumbled into the red in the Oct. 15 regular session, closing down 2.8%.

On July 15, 2008, the stock gained 7.9% during evening trading after reporting ahead of the Street with its latest profit. The gain widened to 12.1% the next day.

On April 16, 2008, ALTR advanced 9.7% in after-hours trading after beating Q1 expectations. Traders shaved some of the upside the following day, with ALTR closing the April 17 regular session up 8.6%.

On Jan. 31, 2008, the stock gained 3.3% in evening trading after beating with Q4. The stock jumped 15% the next day.

On Oct. 23, 2007, the stock fell 12% after the company missed with Q3 sales and guided for Q4 sales to be flat or down. The stock closed down 15.7% the next day.

On July 23, 2007, ALTR edged up 0.7% in evening trading after beating Q2 expectations. However, shares couldn't build on that momentum and slipped 1.7% by the end of the next day session.

On April 23, 2007, ALTR jumped 5.3% in after-hours trading when the company topped Q1 EPS estimates although sales missed. It also issued guidance that was below expectations. Investors, though, focused on the stronger EPS and took shares higher the next day, closing them up 7.7%.

On February 13, 2007, ALTR edged up 1.1% in night trading after beating Q4 EPS estimates but missing on sales and offering Q1 sales guidance below Street views. Shares eked out slightly more gains the next day, ending the regular session up 1.3%.

On Nov. 6, 2006, the stock gained 1% after the company reported ahead of expectations with Q3 results. The gain improved to 4.7% the next day.

On July 24, 2006 ALTR jumped 7.1% in evening trading after topping Q2 sales expectations and forecasting Q3 revenues above Street views. The shares, though, lost some of their luster and ended the next day session up 2.8%.

On April 27, 2006, the stock fell 2.5% in night trading after the company reported in line with earnings but fell short of Street expectations with revenue. The stock rebounded to put up a 1% gain the next day.

On January 25, 2006, ALTR edged up 1.8% in night trading despite missing Q4 sales estimates. It met EPS expectations. The shares gained even more the following day, ending regular trading up 3%.

On Oct. 24, 2005, ALTR shed 3.2% in after-hours trading after the company beat earnings expectations but set its forward sales goal below Street estimates. It continued to tumble further south in the Oct. 25 regular session, losing 7.3%.

On July 25, 2005, Altera ended the after hours session up 2.3%. That evening, the company reported Q2 sales ahead of expectations and met EPS estimates. It also said it expected Q3 sales growth from Q2. However, shares lost steam and closed the next day session down 0.3%.

On April 25, 2005, ALTR rose 1.9% after hours after topping Q1 revenue expectations and beating the Street's EPS forecast by 2 cents, as well guiding Q2 revenue above analysts' expectations. It accelerated its upward momentum in the April 26 regular session, closing up 7%.

On Jan. 24, 2005, ALTR gained 1.3% after hours after topping Q4 revenue expectations and beating the Street EPS view by 2 cents. It widened its upside in the Jan. 25 regular session, climbing 2.5%.

On Oct. 20, 2004, ALTR rose 2.4% in after-hours trading after reporting Q3 sales that were up 26% from the prior year but nevertheless missed Wall Street expectations, and earnings that nearly doubled year-over-year but missed the Street target by 1 cent. Traders jumped aboard in the Oct. 21 regular session, sending ALTR surging 12.2%.

On April 21, 2004, ALTR gained 2.5% after hours after reporting Q1 sales that were well above expectations, and EPS that beat the FC mean by 2 cents. It widened price action in the April 22 regular session, closing up 3.5%.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.