Stocks in Motion: Mace Catches Security Bid

Also, Ligand sags while Beverly Enterprises takes off.
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Updated from 12:55 p.m. EDT

Momentum prospectors looking to mine the next

Taser International

(TASR)

bid up

Mace Security International

(MACE)

on heavy volume Wednesday, after the maker of personal-defense products reported first-quarter results.

The company reported earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $12.7 million in the latest quarter, compared with earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $12.6 million last year. Investors seemed to be keying on the company's performance in the electronic-surveillance division, which saw a 200% jump in revenue. Shares of Mace finished the day up $2.64, or 80.5%, to $5.92, on more than eight times the company's normal volume.

Shares of

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Report

slumped on volume of more than 10 million shares after reporting

a disappointing quarter. The San Diego-based pharmaceuticals concern lost 18 cents a share during the first quarter on revenue of $36.6 million. Analysts were looking for a loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $47.3 million.

Ligand expects to earn 12 cents to 19 cents a share on revenue of $240 million to $265 million in the second quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $259.1 million. Shares ended down $3.36, or 15.5%, to $18.30.

Beverly Enterprises

(BEV)

was a big winner Wednesday after the company announced blowout first-quarter earnings. Excluding items, the health care services company earned 18 cents a share on revenue of $527.4 million. Analysts were looking for 10 cents a share on revenue of $513.5 million. Shares of Beverly ended up $1.16, or 17.8%, to $7.67, on volume of more than 14 million shares.

Nasdaq

companies on the high-volume list included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

.

NYSE

high-volume leaders included

Nortel

(NT)

,

Lucent

(LU)

,

Charter One Financial

(CF) - Get Report

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

.

Looking at Nasdaq price movers, shares of several video-monitoring, security and surveillance companies vaulted Wednesday after Mace's earnings report and Taser's announcement that it had received roughly $500,000 in new orders for its products.

Shares of

IPIX

(IPIX)

, which supplies video technology for commercial and security applications, rose $2.26, or 37.5%, to $8.29, on volume of nearly 24 million shares.

First Virtual

(FVCX)

, which last week announced that its audit committee is investigating certain irregular sales transactions in its China operations, saw its shares rise 42 cents, or 22.6%, to $2.28.

Shares of

Digital Recorders

(TBUS)

rose $1.43, or 26.8%, to $6.76.

International Electronics

(IEIB)

, which makes electronic security systems, was off to the races on Wednesday as well. Shares traded up $1.36, or 34.3%, to $5.33.

In other Nasdaq action, shares of

Zix

(ZIXI) - Get Report

got hammered after the company said that second-quarter revenue would fall short of expectations. After announcing a wider-than-expected loss of 30 cents per share (excluding items) on revenue of $2.8 million during the first quarter, the company told Wall Street that it expected to deliver revenue of $3.4 million to $3.8 million during the second quarter.

Analysts were looking for the e-prescriptions company to report revenue of $4 million. Shares of Zix finished down $2.12, or 15.6%, to $11.49.

Shares of

CNT

(CMNT)

, a data-storage company, slumped after the company preannounced weak first-quarter results. The company said that instead of reporting pro forma earnings of 2 cents to 5 cents, as previously stated, it will lose 3 cents to 5 cents a share when it reports first-quarter earnings on May 17.

CNT said that the shortfall is "primarily due to product mix, managed service orders, availability of new features and inventory lead times." Shares of CNT traded down $1.22, or 17.1%, to $5.92.

Over on the Big Board, shares of

Charter One Financial

(CF) - Get Report

lifted after it agreed to be acquired.

Royal Bank of Scotland

, through its

Citizens Financial Group

,

agreed to buy Charter One for $10.5 billion, or $44.50 per share. Shares of Charter One ended up $7.91, or 22%, to $43.86.

Shares of

Compass Minerals

(CMP) - Get Report

soared after it announced first-quarter earnings and revenue that easily outpaced estimates. The company earned 94 cents per share on revenue of $250.5 million. Analysts were looking for earnings of 74 cents on revenue of $195 million. Separately, Compass also announced a 33% dividend hike, to 25 cents. Shares of Compass ended up $1.13, or 6.9%, to $17.63.

Cypress Semiconductor's

(CY) - Get Report

shares climbed after the company said earnings in its second quarter would be higher than expectations. For the second quarter ending June, Cypress expects to earn 23 cents per share on revenue of $262 million. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 21 cents per share of $262 million. Shares of Cypress traded up 82 cents, or 5.8%, to $14.87.

Several oil-services companies were under pressure Wednesday after an analyst at Banc of America reduced the group to underweight from overweight.

Smith International

(SII)

was hit hard, falling $2.34, or 4.2%, to $53.05.

National Oilwell

(NOI)

slumped 70 cents, or 2.5%, to $27.21. Shares of

Ensco

(ESV)

fell after it was downgraded from buy to neutral by the same analyst who downgraded the entire oil-services group on Wednesday. Shares of Ensco traded down 68 cents, or 2.4%, to $27.27.

Shares of

Quicksilver Resources

(KWK)

fell after the oil-production company disappointed investors with weaker-than-expected first-quarter results. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company earned 24 cents per share on revenue of $39.8 million. Analysts were looking for the company to earn 29 cents per share on revenue of $39 million. Shares of Quicksilver traded down $1.86, or 3.7%, to $49.15.