Shares of InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC), a pioneer wireless software developer, tanked Thursday after it missed first-quarter estimates, despite renewed reports it was engaged in a self-auction.

In late trading, InterDigital shares were at $28.34, down $4.21 or 13 percent, lowering the King of Prussia, Pa., developer's market value to $1.26 billion.

Last July, in the aftermath of the $4.5 billion patent sale by Nortel Networks to a syndicate headed by Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, InterDigital hired Evercore Partners to sell itself because it had similar technologies.

The value of InterDigital rose as high as $3.7 billion, before coming back down to its current 52-week lows.

On Wednesday, the company reported first-quarter net income of only $10.9 million, or 24 cents a share, on revenue of $69.3 million, missing analyst estimates by 6 cents.

InterDigital shares had rallied earlier after dealReporter, a specialist service owned by Pearson (LON: PSON), reported a new patent auction is under way, but this time the portfolio is split up so as to appeal to different buyers.

As in the earlier round, Evercore is shopping the patents to Apple, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Samsung Electronics (PINK: SSNLF), which are heavily involved in wireless technology.

We have offered the portfolio to, I would say, all the logical candidates, InterDigital CEO Bill Merritt told investors after earnings were announced.