Updated from 11:29 a.m. EDT
Worldwide Restaurant Concepts
( SZ) were among the
winners Thursday, rising 10.4% after the company said it would explore strategic alternatives.
The restaurant operator said it hired Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to find a way to achieve greater value for the company. "These alternatives may include repositioning of some or all of the company's restaurants, a complete or partial sale of the company, a merger or a decision to take no action at this time," the company said.
"Management and the board believe that our stock price does not reflect the true value of our company and our prospects." Worldwide operates more than 300 Sizzler restaurants, more than 100 KFC restaurants and 22 Pat & Oscar's restaurants. Shares traded up 38 cents to $4.03.
( GYI) rose 3% after the supplier of stock photos and images reaffirmed its 2004 earnings expectations and said 2005 results would be better than expected. The company expects 2004 earnings of $1.70 a share on sales of $615 million, in line with expectations.
For 2005, the company expects earnings of $2.05 to $2.15 on sales of $690 million to $700 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been expecting 2005 earnings of $2 a share on sales of $674.6 million. The company's guidance assumes the completion of an offer to exchange up to $265 million worth of convertible debt by year-end. Shares traded up $1.90 to $65.50.
rose 12.7% after the homebuilder posted fourth-quarter results that exceeded expectations. The Pennsylvania-based company earned $180.6 million, or $2.22 a share, on sales of $1.46 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.97 a share on sales of $1.43 billion. Looking ahead, Toll forecast 2005 sales of $5 billion to $5.35 billion and earnings growth of at least 40%, which would imply earnings of about $573 million, or $7.06 a share. Analysts had been expecting sales of $4.97 billion and earnings of $6.15 a share. Shares traded up $6.88 to $60.99.
Northeast Pennsylvania Financial
rose 34.4% after the banking company agreed to be acquired by
( KNBT) for about $98 million.
Northeast shareholders will have the option to receive either $23 a share in cash or KNBT stock. The deal, which is expected to close during the second quarter of 2005, is expected to be accretive to KNBT's earnings during the first 12 months after the deal closes. Shares of Northeast traded up $5.79 to $22.60, while shares of KNBT traded up 52 cents to $17.08.
fell 1.9% after Standard & Poor's announced that the steel processing company would be removed from the
index and added to the S&P MidCap 400 after the close of trading on Dec. 17. Shares traded down 39 cents to $19.70.
NYSE volume leaders included
( LU), up 11 cents to $3.84;
, down 13 cents to $27.37;
( NT), up 7 cents to $3.83;
( MOT), down 7 cents to $17.72; and
, up 32 cents to $34.40.
volume leaders included
Sirius Satellite Radio
, up 27 cents to $7.17;
, down 25 cents to $22.76;
, up 54 cents to $2.88;
, down 13 cents to $27.23; and
, down 40 cents to $19.40.