Early Stocks in Motion - TheStreet

Lexar

(LEXR)

surged Thursday after a state jury in California awarded it $380 million in a trade secrets lawsuit against Toshiba. Lexar accused the Japanese memory titan of misappropriating technology used in NAND flash memory from a 1996 collaboration agreement between the two firms. The six-week-old trial will enter its punitive phase, now that the jury determined Toshiba actions were "oppressive, fraudulent or malicious." On Instinet, Lexar shares are up 76% to $5.57. Toshiba has declined to comment on the verdict.

General Electric's

(GE) - Get Report

shares rose early Thursday after the industrial conglomerate said first-quarter per-share earnings will be about a penny better than previously believed. The company expects to turn a quarterly profit of 37 cents or 38 cents a share in the period, up from its old forecast of 36 cents or 37 cents a share. GE cited strength in its end-markets and proceeds from a public offering of shares of

Genworth

(GNW) - Get Report

, its former insurance unit.

Xyratex

(XRTX)

said first-quarter earnings fell by about 50% from a year ago as research spending surged, but the results came in ahead of analyst expectations. The company earned $9.4 million, or 33 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $17.9 million, or $1.61 a share, last year. Excluding various items, Xyratex earned $9.9 million, or 34 cents a share in the quarter, beating estimates by a nickel. The company expects to earn 34 cents to 41 cents a share before items on revenue of $155 million to $165 million in the second quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $135.5 million.

Pixar

(PIXR)

will split its stock 2-for-1 for shareholders of record April 4. The animation studio also said it authorized a doubling in its shares outstanding to 200 million. Pixar shares are up about 9% this year and have risen 33% since the start of 2004. Trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on April 19.

Chattem

(CHTT)

swung to a first-quarter profit on a 17% jump in revenue, and earnings beat analyst estimates before a litigation expense. Chattem earned $8.7 million, or 42 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $712,000, or 4 cents a share, last year. Excluding the expense, Chattem earned 51 cents a share, beating the Thomson First Call estimate by 9 cents. Chattem expects to earn 55 cents to 57 cents in the second quarter and 52 cents to 54 cents in the third quarter. Analysts were expecting 56 cents in the second quarter and 53 cents in the third.

Celanese

(CE) - Get Report

raised first-quarter earnings guidance Wednesday, citing strength in its chemical products segment. The company expects to post adjusted earnings of 73 cents to 76 cents a share, well above the Thomson First Call consensus estimate of 23 cents a share. For the full year, the company expects to post adjusted earnings of $1.61 to $1.77 a share, well above analysts' estimate of $1.26 a share. Celanese will report a first-quarter loss of 23 cents to 26 cents a share after factoring in various charges.

Darden

(DRI) - Get Report

reported a better-than-expected 20% jump in third-quarter earnings and guided expectations for its current fiscal year higher. The restaurant company earned $92.6 million, or 56 cents a share, in the just-completed quarter, compared with earnings of $77.1 million, or 45 cents a share, last year. Revenue rose 10.8% from a year ago to $1.38 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 51 cents a share on sales of $1.33 billion in the latest quarter. For the fiscal year ending in May, Darden expects per-share earnings growth of 19% to 21% over 2004's earnings, which were $1.50 a share excluding an asset impairment charge. That implies earnings of $1.79 to $1.82 a share. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.69 a share for the year.