Updated from 11:25 a.m. EDT

CKE Restaurants

( CKR) closed near the top of the

NYSE

leader board Wednesday after the fast-food chain operator swung to a first-quarter profit and reported strong same-store sales.

CKE reported earnings of 20 cents a share on sales of $455.3 million vs. a year-ago loss of 10 cents a share on sales of $419.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for CKE to report earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $452.6 million.

The Carpinteria, Calif.-based company also reported a same-store sales gain of 9.8% at its company-run Carl's Jr. stores and an 11.9% boost at its Hardee's restaurants. Shares of CKE Restaurants traded up $2.24, or 20%, to $13.45 on volume of 9.1 million shares.

Performance Food Group

(PFGC) - Get Report

fell after the company warned that its second- and third-quarter earnings would fall short of expectations. Performance Food now expects to earn 38 to 40 cents a share in the second quarter vs. previous guidance of 50 to 54 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 50 cents a share.

For the third quarter, the company expects to earn 42 to 46 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting a forecast of 53 cents a share. Shares of Performance Group traded down $6.18, or 18.5%, to $27.21.

Mobile Mini

(MINI) - Get Report

rose after it raised earnings estimates for the second quarter and full year. Mobile Mini now expects to earn 28 to 29 cents a share during the second quarter vs. its previous estimate of 25 cents a share. For the full year it now expects to earn $1.28 to $1.30 a share.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 25 cents a share during the second quarter and $1.22 a share for the full year. Shares of Mobile Mini traded up $4.17, or 18.7%, to $26.47.

Career Education

(CECO) - Get Report

slumped after it said the

Securities and Exchange Commission

notified the company that

it is the subject of a formal investigation. The company was named last week in a shareholder suit that alleges wrongdoing in recordkeeping at its colleges. Career Education previously had announced that it was the subject of an informal inquiry. The stock traded down $14.47, or 24.7%, to $44.11.

Shares in

R.J. Reynolds

( RJR) rose after the company received Federal Trade Commission clearance to combine its operations with the U.S. business of

Brown & Williamson Tobacco

, a subsidiary of U.K.-based

British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get Report

.

"The combination is expected to be accretive to earnings, and improve shareholder value. We estimate the combination of the companies will generate at least $500 million in synergies once full integration is complete -- which we expect will be about 18 to 24 months after the deal closes," R.J. Reynolds said in a statement. The transaction is expected to close by the end of July. Shares of R.J. Reynolds traded up $2.43, or 3.7%, to $68.33.

NYSE volume leaders included

Lucent

( LU), up 12 cents to $3.83;

Nortel

( NT), up 20 cents to $4.79;

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, up 57 cents to $33.42; and

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, down 51 cents to $53.55.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 75 cents to $23.97;

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

up 22 cents to $3.80;

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $28.30;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

up 48 cents to $28.52; and

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

; up 1 cent to $3.01.