Updated from 11:41 a.m. EDT

Shares of

Payless ShoeSource

(PSS)

were among the

NYSE's

winners Thursday, rising 15.2% after the company posted first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations by a wide margin.

The shoe retailer posted earnings of $30.2 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $695.2 million. Excluding discontinued operations, the company would have earned 47 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 27 cents a share on sales of $708 million. A year ago, the company earned $14.1 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $692.3 million. Excluding discontinued operations, the company would have earned 26 cents a share a year ago. Shares traded up $2.15 to $16.28.

Advance Auto Parts

(AAP) - Get Report

rose 6% after the auto parts retailer posted first-quarter earnings ahead of expectations. The company earned $68.6 million, or 94 cents a share, on sales of $1.26 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 87 cents a share on sales of $1.24 billion. A year ago, the company earned $51.3 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $1.12 billion. Looking ahead, Advance Auto Parts reaffirmed its second-quarter outlook, saying that it still expects earnings of 82 cents to 88 cents a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of 85 cents a share. During last year's second quarter, the company earned 70 cents a share. Shares traded up $3.30 to $58.47.

Shares of

Stein Mart

(SMRT) - Get Report

rose 10% after the discount clothing retailer posted first-quarter earnings that were better than expected and said that second-quarter earnings would be above analysts' expectations. The company earned $16.8 million, or 38 cents a share, on sales of $380.7 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share on sales of $383.4 million. A year ago, the company earned $11.5 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $363.6 million. Looking ahead, Stein Mart forecast second-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 22 cents a share. Analysts are expecting 17 cents a share. During last year's second quarter, the company earned 13 cents a share.

In addition to reporting financial results, the company also initiated an annual dividend payment of 25 cents a share, which will be paid quarterly. The first dividend -- of 0.0625 cents -- will be paid on June 24 to shareholders of record on June 10. "Given the company's solid financial performance, the board believes adding a dividend as well as continuing our ongoing store network expansion and share repurchase programs will return the most value to our shareholders," the company said. Shares traded up $2.34 to $25.77.

Stage Stores

( STGS) fell 2% after the company posted first-quarter earnings that fell a penny short of estimates and forecast second-quarter earnings below expectations. The retailer posted earnings of $20.5 million, or $1.03 a share, on sales of $310.1 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.04 a share on sales of $308.2 million. A year ago, the company earned $18.5 million, or 89 cents a share, on sales of $289.7 million. Looking ahead, Stage Stores forecast second-quarter earnings of 26 cents to 30 cents a share on sales of $298 million to $304 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 32 cents a share on sales of $299.5 million. Shares traded down 80 cents to $38.43.

Shares of

Cracker Barrel

(CBRL) - Get Report

fell 5.7% after the restaurant operator posted third-quarter earnings that fell below expectations. The company earned $26.6 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $628 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $633.5 million. A year ago, the company earned $25.8 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $584.3 million. Looking ahead, Cracker Barrel said it would earn 73 cents to 76 cents a share during the fourth quarter, 2 cents below analysts' expectations of 78 cents a share. Sales are expected to be 9% to 11% above last year's fourth quarter. Analysts are expecting sales of $664.6 million, or sales growth of about 9%. Shares traded down $2.37 to $39.16.

NYSE volume leaders included

Motorola

( MOT), up 41 cents to $17.31;

Lucent Technologies

( LU), up 1 cent to $2.89;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 28 cents to $28.72;

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

, up $1.18 to $54.83;

Ford

(F) - Get Report

, up 9 cents to $10.01;

Time Warner

(TWX)

, up 41 cents to $17.75; and

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, up 2 cents to $36.92.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 22 cents to $25.92;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 8 cents to $26.01;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 14 cents to $19.38; and

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 10 cents to $12.43.