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Stocks in Motion: Quicksilver

Updated from 11:18 a.m. EST

Shares of Linens 'n Things (LIN) were among the NYSE's losers Friday, falling 13.9% after the company lowered its first-quarter earnings outlook.

The housewares retailer now expects to post a loss of 8 cents to 12 cents a share, down significantly from its previous forecast that called for a profit of 6 cents to 9 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $591.2 million. Comparable-store sales are expected to decline by midsingle digits during the first quarter, the company said. A decline in guest traffic affected sales during the quarter, while the company's textiles business was challenged as well. Operating margin fell, though the company did say that its gross margin rate remained healthy. The first-quarter forecast also includes a loss of 2 cents, which is due to a change in the way Linens 'n Things will now account for store leases. The company plans to report first-quarter earnings on April 20. Shares traded down $3.65 to $22.65.

Nucor (NUE) rose 8.5% after the steel producer raised its first-quarter earnings outlook. The company now expects earnings of $1.95 to $2.15 a share, up from previous guidance of $1.70 to $1.90 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $2.92 billion. Nucor said that its first quarter is typically its weakness because of weather conditions. As such, the company believes that results in its second and third quarters will be stronger than first-quarter results. Analysts are expecting second-quarter earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $2.96 billion. Shares traded up $4.90 to $62.55.

Shares of Quicksilver (ZQK) rose 6.5% after the apparel retailer matched first-quarter earnings expectations and raised its 2005 earnings outlook. The company earned $14.2 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $342.9 million. Analysts expected earnings of 23 cents a share on sales of $318.1 million. A year ago the company earned $9.2 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $256.1 million. Looking ahead, Quicksilver now expects 2005 earnings of $1.62 to $1.65 a share on sales of $1.48 billion to $1.5 billion. Previously, it forecast earnings of $1.58 to $1.62 a share. Analysts are expecting 2005 earnings of $1.63 a share on sales of $1.47 billion. Shares traded up $2.14 to $34.99.

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