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Stocks in Motion: MTR Gaming

Shares of MTR Gaming (MNTG) were among Nasdaq's winners Friday, climbing 25% after the casino operator received a management-led acquisition proposal that would pay shareholders $9.50 a share.

The nonbinding proposal from TBR Acquisition Group, which is controlled by MTR's chief executive and executive vice president, represents a 20% premium over Thursday's closing price of $7.89. MTR will organize a special committee to evaluate the deal. "MTR cautions shareholders and investors that the special committee of the board of directors' consideration of the proposal is only in its beginning stages; no decisions whatsoever have been made by the special committee in respect to MTR's response, if any, to the proposal and shareholders are not now being asked to take any action with respect to the proposal," the company said. Shares were recently up $1.97 to $9.86.

Starbucks (SBUX) rose 2% after the coffee retailer posted better-than-expected November sales. Same-store sales rose 7%, well ahead of the 3.9% that analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected. Total sales for the four weeks ended Nov. 27 rose to $593 million from $486 million in the year-ago period. "Starbucks handcrafted espresso beverages, including both core and holiday offerings, were the leading contributors to our strong November results," the company said. Shares were trading up 71 cents to $31.85.

Shares of Ceradyne (CRDN) fell 8% after the body-armor company said that it would concurrently sell 1.8 million shares of stock and $100 million in convertible notes in two separate transactions. Ceradyne plans to use proceeds from the offerings to repay outstanding debt under its credit facility and for working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate needs. Shares were trading down $3.57 to $43.90.

Safeco (SAFC) boosted its share repurchase authorization to 10 million shares. The current authorization represents 8.1% of Safeco's outstanding shares as of Oct. 31. Since 2003, the property and casualty insurance company has repurchased some 18.6 million shares at a cost of $918 million. Shares were little changed Friday morning, trading up 10 cents to $56.34.

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