Stocks in Motion: Jack in the Box

The fast-food operator posts better-than-expected earnings and backs its guidance.
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Shares of

Dress Barn

(DBRN)

were among

Nasdaq's

winners Wednesday, climbing 20% after the women's clothing retailer posted first-quarter results that blew past Wall Street earnings estimates and also lifted its fiscal 2006 earnings forecast.

For the quarter ended Oct. 29, the company earned $20.4 million, or 64 cents a share, on sales of $318.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 40 cents a share. During last year's first quarter, Dress Barn earned $7.1 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $197.1 million. "We are extremely pleased with our record first-quarter results and are proud that both Dress Barn and Maurices contributed significantly to our success in the quarter. Our ability to exceed our internal plan was a result of several key factors," the company said, citing on-trend merchandise assortments.

Dress Barn now sees earnings of $1.90 to $1.95 a share for the fiscal year ending July 29, up from its previous guidance of $1.60 to $1.65 a share. The forecast includes stock-options expense charges of about 8 cents a share. Analysts, on average, anticipate earnings of $1.65 a share. Dress Barn shares were trading up $5.60 to $34.20.

Jack in the Box

(JBX)

jumped 7% after the fast-food restaurant company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and reiterated its first-quarter earnings forecast. The company earned $21.5 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $601.4 million, for the quarter ended Oct. 2. The results included a charge of $2 million, or 5 cents a share, related to the cancellation of the company's test of a fast-casual concept called JBX Grill. Analysts expected earnings of 59 cents a share and sales of $606 million. In last year's fourth quarter, the company earned $21 million, or 56 cents a share, on sales of $593.9 million. Last year's results benefited from an extra week, which contributed 3 cents to the bottom line.

Jack in the Box continues to expect first-quarter earnings of 67 cents to 69 cents a share, including 4 cents a share related to the stock options expensing. Analysts predict earnings of 69 cents a share. Jack in the Box shares were up $2.20 to $35.83.

Shares of

Smithfield Foods

(SFD)

fell 2% after the pork products company posted second-quarter earnings that fell just below expectations. The company earned $51.6 million, or 46 cents a share, included restructuring charges totaling 9 cents a share. Smithfield posted sales of $2.9 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 56 cents a share on sales of $2.87 billion. The company earned $58.4 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $2.72 billion, a year ago. Last year's results included pretax charges of $8.3 million, or 5 cents a share. Shares traded down 74 cents to $29.25.

Donaldson

(DCI) - Get Report

rose 3% after the maker of filtration systems posted first-quarter earnings that topped forecasts. The company earned $32.2 million, or 37 cents a share, up from $27.4 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts projected earnings of 34 cents a share. Sales rose to $403.4 million, from $372.9 million a year ago, but were slightly below Wall Street's target of $409.5 million.

Donaldson sees full-year earnings of $1.47 to $1.57 a share, in line with the $1.51 a share that analysts expect. Shares were trading up 87 cents to $32.47.

Shares of

Genworth Financial

(GNW) - Get Report

rose 1.2% after Standard & Poor's said it plans to add the insurance company to its

S&P 500

index after the close of trading on Thursday. Genworth will replace

Calpine

(CPN)

, which had a market capitalization of about $307 million on Tuesday, ranking it 500th in the index.

Meanwhile,

GE

(GE) - Get Report

said it plans to offer 38 million Genworth shares so it can meet the expected demand for the company's stock following its addition to the S&P 500. Shares of Genworth were trading up 41 cents to $34.41.

NYSE

volume leaders included

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, down 3 cents to $2.80;

Nortel Networks

(NT)

, down 8 cents to $2.76;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 12 cents to $21.35;

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, up 10 cents to $36.03;

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

, up 25 cents to $58.59; and

Time Warner

(TWX)

, up 10 cents to $17.97.

Nasdaq volume leaders included

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, up 2 cents to $40.21;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, down 2 cents to $26.76;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 12 cents to $17.63;

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals

(BCRX) - Get Report

, up $3.16 to $14.97;

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $27.69;

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 3 cents to $12.76;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $3.90;

JDSU

(JDSU)

, up 2 cents to $2.37;

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

, down 48 cents to $403.06;

Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Report

, down 28 cents to $67.82;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, down 1 cent to $7.11; and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

, up 13 cents to $30.55.