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Early Today's Winners and Losers

Hibbett Sporting Goods (HIBB) dropped more than 6% in after-hours trading Thursday after the retailer reported 1.7% same-store sales growth for the nine weeks ended Dec. 31. Total sales rose 12% to $90.6 million from $81 million a year earlier. Hibbett reiterated its fourth-quarter earnings forecast of 27 cents to 29 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call have an average estimate for earnings of 29 cents a share. Hibbett was down $1.93 to $29.77 in after-hours trading.

Affymetrix (AFFX) said its fourth-quarter product and product-related revenue will be about $15 million below its guidance due to low instrument sales and delays in completing genotyping processing under a services contract. In October, the company predicted total revenue of about $123 million, which is what analysts are currently targeting. Affymetrix shares tumbled $6.25, or 13%, after hours to $40.65.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) said same-restaurant sales at its Olive Garden restaurants increased about 6% for the December period. Same-restaurant sales at Darden's Red Lobster restaurants increased about 3% for fiscal December. Darden shares gained 80 cents, or 2%, to $39 after hours.

Starbucks (SBUX) posted 7% growth in December same-store sales, at the high end of the company's projection for 3% to 7% growth. Total revenue for the month rose to $791 million from $648 million. The company said it had strong demand for its espresso-based and holiday-themed beverages. Starbucks shares fell 34 cents, or 1%, to $31.27 in after-hours trading.

Hotel real estate investment trust Equity Inns (ENN) estimated its fourth-quarter adjusted funds from operations to be in the range of 23 cents a share to 25 cents a share, up from its previous expectations of 17 cents to 19 cents a share. Analysts had forecast FFO of 19 cents a share.

Insurance company AmerUs Group (AMH) said it expects 2006 adjusted earnings of $4.90 to $5.10 a share, including stock option expenses of 5 cents. Analysts predict 2006 earnings of $4.99 a share. This Des Moines, Iowa-based company said the guidance is a 9% to 13% increase over the midpoint of its 2005 guidance of $4.45 to $4.57.

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