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Stocks in Motion: Sirva

Updated from 10:54 a.m. EDT

Shares of Sirva (SIR) were among the NYSE's losers Wednesday, falling 24.5% after the company posted third-quarter earnings and sales that fell significantly below expectations. It also warned that 2004 and 2005 earnings would miss.

Excluding items, the moving-services company earned 34 cents a share on sales of $710.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 53 cents a share on sales of $818.7 million. The company said that its insurance and European operations hampered its results during the quarter.

Looking ahead, Sirva forecast 2004 earnings of 85 cents to 87 cents a share. It blamed the weak outlook on higher reserves for insurance claims and poor market conditions in Europe. Analysts had been expecting Sirva to earn $1.17 a share. For 2005, Sirva forecast a profit of $1.25 to $1.30 a share, which is below the $1.47 that analysts had been expecting. Shares traded down $5.83 to $17.95.

La-Z-Boy (LZB) slumped 3.3% after the company posted second-quarter earnings that fell below expectations. The furniture maker earned 17 cents a share on sales of $533.7 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 21 cents a share on sales of $527.9 million. Looking ahead, the company said it continues to face high energy and raw material costs, rising interest rates, and indifferent consumer confidence.

As a result, La-Z-Boy forecast third-quarter earnings of 11 cents to 14 cents a share, which includes a restructuring charge of 1 cent a share and up to 3 cents a share from the consolidation of variable interest entities.

Excluding items, the company could earn anywhere from 15 cents to 19 cents a share. Analysts, however, had been expecting earnings of 25 cents a share during the third quarter. Shares traded down 47 cents to $13.86.

Shares of Wet Seal (WTSLA) rose 3.9% after the company announced the resignation of CEO Peter Whitford, and a $50 million cash infusion by investors led by the Connecticut hedge fund SAC Capital. Joseph Deckop, who will serve as interim CEO, will replace Whitford. Shares traded up 7 cents to $1.86.

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