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Stocks in Motion: Lifeway Foods

Get Jim Cramer's picks for 2006.

Luby's (LUB) was among the best-performing stocks on the NYSE Thursday after the restaurant operator posted a better-than-expected profit for its recently ended first quarter.

Luby's swung to a profit of $2.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $1 million, or 5 cents a share. Sales rose to $73.3 million from $68.6 million a year earlier, despite the loss of 236 store days of operations due to Hurricane Rita. Analysts expected earnings of 3 cents a share and sales of $70.4 million, according to Thomson First Call. Luby's, which is based in Houston, said the loss of revenue caused by Rita was offset by increased traffic and catering events related to the hurricane help effort. The company's shares recently were up $1.23, or 10%, to $13.20.

Shares of another restaurant operator, Kona Grill (KONA), tumbled 9% after the company projected that its 2006 loss will be wider than previous forecasts. The grill and sushi bar operator expects next year's loss to be 44 cents to 53 cents a share, with revenue of $49 million to $51 million. Kona's previous forecast called for a loss of 26 cents to 35 cents a share on revenue of $53 million to $55 million. The company attributed the revised projection to delays in restaurant openings and a disappointing performance at its Sugarland, Texas, unit.

Kona backed its projections for a fourth-quarter loss of less than 1 cent a share to 5 cents a share, with a full-year 2005 loss per share of 13 cents to 23 cents. The company continues to expect revenue of $9.6 million to $10.6 million for the fourth quarter and $36 million to $37 million for the year. Kona also still expects to be profitable in 2007. The company's shares were down 80 cents to $7.95.

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