Retailers

Michaels Stores

(MIK) - Get Report

and

Coldwater Creek

(CWTR)

were among the best-performing stocks Wednesday, as investors looked favorably upon the companies' third-quarter reports.

Michaels reported a profit of $55.4 million, or 40 cents a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 29. According to Thomson First Call, analysts expected the arts and crafts retailer to post earnings of 37 cents a share. The company earned $42.5 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. Michaels' revenue rose to $839.7 million from $799.9 million last year, compared with analysts' prediction of $846.3 million. Same-store sales rose 0.8%.

For the fourth-quarter, Michaels said it has a cautious outlook, given consumer confidence worries and the competitive and promotional retail landscape. The company predicted earnings of 88 cents to 92 cents a share, bracketing analysts' forecast of 90 cents. Michaels shares were trading up $2.99, or 8.4%, to $38.49.

Coldwater Creek's earnings rose to $12.4 million, or 20 cents a share, from $9.1 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier. The earnings matched analysts' average estimate. The women's apparel and accessories company reported sales of $190.1 million, up 26% from a year earlier, as growth in retail store and Internet sales offset a decline in catalog sales. Coldwater Creek shares recently changed hands at $33.49, up $2.24, or 7.2%.

Another retailer,

Petco Animal Supplies

( PETC), didn't fare as well in trading Wednesday. The company's shares fell 6% after its third-quarter results and fourth-quarter guidance fell short of expectations. The pet-supply retailer's third-quarter earnings dropped to $13.2 million, or 23 cents a share, from $21 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $492.5 million from $455.5 million last year. Analysts had predicted earnings of 26 cents a share and sales of $497.2 million. For the fourth quarter, Petco anticipates earnings of 44 cents to 48 cents a share, below Wall Street's forecast of 50 cents. Petco shares were down $1.58 to $21.79.

Shares of

Eastman Kodak

( EK) rose 7% after the photography products company said it has settled a tax dispute, leading to a big boost to fourth-quarter earnings. As a result of the settlement, which concerned the audit of the tax years 1993 through 1998, Kodak is set to receive a tax refund of $15 million to $20 million. In addition, the company will reverse certain tax accruals, which will increase fourth-quarter earnings by $230 million to $260 million, or 80 cents 90 cents a share. Analysts are currently predicting fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, before any gains or charges. Kodak shares recently traded up $1.57, or 7.1%, to $23.72.

Shares of

Sitel

( SWW) jumped 11% after the company said it is exploring various strategies for long-term shareholder value. The company, which provides outsourced customer support services, has formed a special board committee and hired Citigroup Global Markets to evaluate the various plans. "Given the dynamic trends of consolidation and increased competition in our industry we have to be prepared to quickly evaluate and possibly act on various opportunities as they become available," said Sitel Chairman and CEO Jim Lynch in a statement. Sitel shares were up 33 cents to $3.33.

Atwood Oceanics

fell 4% after the offshore drilling company said its fiscal fourth-quarter results would be lower than projected. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Atwood expects to report earnings of 20 cents to 25 cents a share, compared with its prior estimate of 30 cents to 40 cents. Analysts were calling for earnings of 39 cents a share. Atwood said its Seahawk rig had several days of reduced revenue due to customer-related delays. In addition, the company said its general and administrative expenses and tax rate were higher than expected. Atwood shares were down $2.93 to $70.60.

NYSE

volume leaders Wednesday included

Lucent

( LU), up 6 cents to $2.96;

Motorola

( MOT), up 61 cents to $24.61;

United Microelectron

(UMC) - Get Report

, up 18 cents to $3.16;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 29 cents to $21.67;

Nortel Networks

( NT), up 4 cents to $3.08;

Chesapeake Energy

(CHK) - Get Report

, down 54 cents to $29.48;

Time Warner

(TWX)

, up 10 cents to $18.27; and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, down 6 cents to $36.

Nasdaq's

actively traded stocks included

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 56 cents to $26.72;

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 3 cents to $27.94;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 14 cents to $3.91;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 22 cents to $17.50;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, up 4 cents to $7.14;

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 7 cents to $12.46;

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

, up 95 cents to $43.31;

Alamosa Holdings

( APCS), down 2 cents to $18.38; and

Research in Motion

( RIMM), down $2.86 to $64.22.