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Early Stocks in Motion

Hughes Supply (HUG) said second-quarter earnings fell, but the company reaffirmed third-quarter guidance. Hughes earned $39.2 million, or 59 cents a share, for the second quarter ended July 31, compared with $39.4 million, or 63 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion last year. "As a result of higher product costs, competitive pricing and product mix, some of our businesses reported lower margins than expected this quarter, resulting in lower earnings than the year-ago quarter," said CEO Tom Morgan. Analysts expected a profit of 58 cents a share on revenue of $1.3 billion, according to Thomson First Call. For the third quarter, Hughes expects to earn 58 cents to 60 cents a share on revenue of $1.35 billion to $1.365 billion, compared with Wall Street's forecast of 58 cents a share on revenue of $1.33 billion. The stock was up 82 cents, or 3%, to $28.70.

MTI Technology (MTIC) will raise $20 million by selling series B convertible preferred stock in a placement led by Advent International. The stock will be priced at the lower of $19.50 or 10 times 90% of the average closing price of MTI's common stock during the 15 trading days prior to the transaction closing date. MTI intends to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes. The stock was unchanged at $1.91.

Texas Roadhouse (TXRH - Get Report) declared a 2-for-1 split in the form of a 100% stock dividend. The additional shares will be issued on Sept. 23 to shareholders of record Sept. 6. The company said it had 32.1 million shares of class A stock and 2.6 million shares of class B stock outstanding. The stock was up 40 cents, or 1.16%, to $34.80.

Citigroup (C - Get Report) announced that Marjorie Magner, chairman and CEO of its Global Consumer Group, will be leaving the company to pursue a career change outside of the financial services industry effective Oct. 1. In a separate statement, Citigroup said that Kevin Kessinger has been appointed head of operations and technology. It also has established a new 30-person operating committee to expand the involvement in corporate decision making. The stock was down 20 cents to $44.

USI Holdings (USIH) closed the acquisition of a California-based retail property and casualty firm operating as Winthrop Insurance Plans. The acquisition is expected to provide $800,000 in revenue to USI annually. Terms were not disclosed. The stock was unchanged at $11.43.

Beazer Homes (BZH - Get Report) increased and extended its revolving credit facility. Beazer said the new credit arrangement is $750 million and matures in August 2009, replacing its previous $550 million credit facility. The company also said the new arrangement contains an "accordion feature" in which the aggregate commitment may be increased up to $1 billion, subject to the availability of additional commitments. The stock was unchanged at $60.

Allmerica Financial (AFC) entered into an agreement to sell its run-off variable life insurance and variable annuity business to Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report). Within the deal, Allmerica is seeking approval from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance for a dividend of $40 million from its remaining life businesses. Total cash proceeds from the sale are expected to be $385 million, in which around $70 million expected to be deferred and paid over three years. Allmerica said it will use up to $200 million of the proceeds to fund a share repurchase program starting after the close of the transaction and the remaining will be used for general corporate obligations. The stock was up 93 cents, or 2.4%, to $39.75.

Bea Systems (BEAS) will acquire Plumtree Software (PLUM) for $200 million in cash. Under the terms of the deal, BEA will pay $5.50 a share plus the assumption of outstanding Plumtree options. The transaction is expected to close in the fall of 2005. Bea Systems was unchanged at $8.89, while Plumtree was up 63 cents, or 12.96%, to $5.49.

WPT Enterprises (WPTE) reported a loss of $426,000, or 2 cents a share, for the second quarter ended July 3, reversing a year-ago profit of $887,000, or 6 cents a share. The creator of the World Poker Tour said revenue for the quarter rose to $6.6 million from $4.7 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected a profit of a penny a share on revenue of $5.8 million. For the third quarter, WPT expects revenue in the range of $1.5 million to $2 million, which is below Wall Street's forecast of $4.8 million. The stock was down $1.28, or 9.6%, to $12.06.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AFC $25.38 0.75%
BZH $17.72 1.37%
C $51.64 1.25%
GS $191.02 1.57%
TXRH $36.45 0.55%

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DOW 17,976.31 +263.65 1.49%
S&P 500 2,086.24 +25.22 1.22%
NASDAQ 4,947.4410 +56.2220 1.15%

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