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Wednesday's Early Winners & Losers

Asyst Technologies (ASYT) shares tumbled in late trading Tuesday after the chip-equipment manufacturer became the latest company to disclose an inquiry into its past stock-option grants.

Asyst said it would delay filing its annual report while a special committee of independent directors conducts an inquiry into its past option grants and practices. In addition, Asyst said it had received a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 7 seeking documents relating to stock options granted from 1997 to the present. Asyst said it anticipates that its inquiry will be completed in time to enable the company to file the report on or before June 29. Shares sank 63 cents, or 10%, to $5.63 after hours.

Another company, Meade Instruments (MEAD), said late Tuesday that it received notification of an informal SEC inquiry related to stock-option practices. Meade said last month that its audit committee had begun its own review into its grant practices.

Shares of Casey's General Stores (CASY) moved higher in late trading Tuesday after the convenience-store operator beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The company posted a profit of $10.4 million, or 21 cents a share, for the quarter ended April 30, up from $7.3 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had an average estimate for earnings of 14 cents a share. Casey's revenue rose to $890.2 million from $726.7 million a year ago, while same-store grocery sales rose 5.7%. Shares rose 91 cents, or 4.4%, to $21.70 in after-hours trading.

Parlux Fragrances (PARL) soared after the company said it received a buyout offer from a group that includes its chief executive. Parlux said the group offered $29 a share, a premium of nearly 55% over its closing price Tuesday. Chairman and CEO Ilia Lekach said in a press release that he's making the buyout bid to eliminate the costs of being a publicly traded company and to get away from short sellers. Shares jumped $6.51, or 38%, to $25.25 in after-hours trading.

Fastenal (FAST) said its board of directors has authorized the purchase of up to an additional 500,000 shares of its common stock. The seller of industrial and construction supplies has about 151 million shares outstanding. Shares rose about 5 cents to $36.59 after hours.

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