NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Wall Street is set to open the final session of the week on a more positive note Thursday as shares of Yahoo! Inc. and Genentech Inc. rose after the bell Wednesday after the companies reported quarterly earnings well ahead of forecasts.
Shares of Dell Inc. (DELL: Research, Estimates) also inched higher in after-hours trading as the PC maker raised the revenue forecast for its current quarter by $200 million but left its earnings per share forecast unchanged.
Dell stock reached $35.62 on the INET electronic brokerage system from a close at $34.82 in regular Nasdaq trade.
Shares of Intel Corp. (INTC: Research, Estimates), which supplies computer chips to Dell, also got a lift on Dell's optimistic forecast. Intel stock rose to $28.25 from a close at $27.62 on Nasdaq. Intel is set to report quarterly earnings Tuesday.
After the closing bell, Yahoo (YHOO: Research, Estimates)! said quarterly profit and revenue rose, helped by the recovery in traditional online advertising and strength in Web-search advertising.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., company had a first-quarter net profit of $101 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, easily beating Wall Street analysts' average forecast of 11 cents a share.
Shares of Yahoo! jumped to $52.95 after the bell from a Nasdaq close at $48.35.
Genentech (DNA: Research, Estimates), the world's second-biggest biotechnology company, said first-quarter earnings rose as a sharp rise in revenue offset the cost of launching its new cancer drug Avastin, which was approved for U.S. sale in late February.
Genentech posted a net profit of $176.6 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $151.5 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.
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Excluding one-time items, the South San Francisco, Calif.-based company reported a profit of 38 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average expected 31 cents per share, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.
Shares of Genentech rose to $112.10 on the INET electronic brokerage system from a Nasdaq close at $108.45.
Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM: Research, Estimates) stock fell from near 52-week highs, despite reporting a third consecutive quarterly profit, as sales rose on strong demand for its BlackBerry wireless device.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm also said its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split, but shares of Research In Motion fell to $105.25 after the bell from a Nasdaq close at $107.98.
Investors will also look ahead to earnings reports due early Thursday, while some market experts will keep an eye on U.S. national security advisor Condoleezza Rice's testimony on President Bush's anti-terror policy.
General Electric (GE: Research, Estimates), the second Dow company after Alcoa, will report earnings before the opening bell Thursday. Late Tuesday, the conglomerate won a big commercial engine contract, along with Britain's Roll Royce, to supply engines for Boeing's proposed 7E7 jetliner.
GE is expected to post earnings of 31 cents a share for its first quarter.