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Early Stocks in Motion

Express Scripts (ESRX - Get Report) after the bell Monday announced that it now expects 2006 earnings of $3.10 to $3.22 a share, including 10 cents in stock option expenses. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project 2006 earnings of $2.98 a share. The pharmacy benefit manager said its financial performance will benefit from growth in generic utilization and home delivery, lower retail and home delivery costs, and increased productivity and other cost management plans. The company's shares gained $2.49, or 3.1%, to $82.38 in after-hours trading.

Applebee's International (APPB) reported a 0.7% increase in systemwide same-store sales for the November period. Franchise-owned restaurants saw same-store sales rise 1.4%, while same-store sales for company restaurants fell 1.4% amid a decrease in guest traffic. The casual-dining chain said its Midwest and New England markets continued to be weak. The stock was down a penny to $23.28 in after-hours trading.

Inter Parfums (IPAR - Get Report) announced its 2006 guidance after the bell Monday. The perfume and cosmetics maker said it expects to earn $16.9 million, or 83 cents a share, on sales of $301 million, for the year. The guidance includes about 3 cents a share in costs from stock-options expensing. Analysts on average predict 2006 earnings of 80 cents a share and sales of $305 million. "We are looking for earnings to increase at a faster rate than sales and for 2006 to be a record year for profits as well as sales for Inter Parfums," Jean Madar, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Inter Parfums shares rose 32 cents, or 2.1%, to $15.75 in after-hours trading.

ViroPharma (VPHM - Get Report) announced a 7 million-share public stock offering. Underwriters will have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1 million shares. The drug company said the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. The stock fell $1.34, or 7.9%, to $15.66 after hours.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
VPHM $49.96 -0.02%
DNDN $0.06 -6.02%
SYNM $3.35 -1.18%
COP $64.78 0.00%
ESRX $84.35 0.00%

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