Stocks in Motion: Swift Energy

Shares rise on a big third-quarter earnings beat.
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Updated from 2:05 p.m. EDT

Shares of

Swift Energy

(SFY) - Get Report

were among the

NYSE's

winners Thursday, rising 5% after the company posted third-quarter numbers that easily beat Wall Street expectations.

Excluding items, the oil and gas concern earned 65 cents a share on sales of $74.9 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share on sales of $72 million. The Houston company attributed its strong quarterly sales to higher commodity prices and higher production levels. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, analysts are expecting earnings of 69 cents a share on sales of $76.5 million. Shares traded up $1.21 to $25.23.

Ultimate Electronics

(ULTE)

fell 7.9% after the electronics retailer previewed third-quarter sales that were below expectations. Sales of $157 million were down 1.7% from a year ago and below the $158.9 million that analysts were expecting. Comparable-store sales, meanwhile, were down about 8%. When the company releases its full third-quarter earnings results on Dec. 2, analysts are expecting the company to post a loss of 47 cents a share. Shares traded down 23 cents to $2.70.

Shares of

Tesoro Petroleum

(TSO)

fell 4.2% after the company missed third-quarter earnings estimates by a wide margin. Excluding items, the refinery operator earned $1.11 a share on sales of $3.29 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.22 a share. A year ago the company earned $1.19 a share. Tesoro said that a planned shutdown at its Golden Eagle facility limited the company's total throughput during the quarter, which resulted in a lost opportunity to generate another $34 million in operating income. The company also purchased higher-cost, lighter crudes and processed more immediate feedstocks so that it could sustain gasoline production during the quarter, which impacted margins. Shares traded down $1.27 to $29.31.

Sharper Image

(SHRP)

fell 10.2% after the specialty retailer warned that third-quarter results would fall short of expectations. The company forecast a loss of 19 cents to 23 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 10 cents a share. Sharper Image said October sales were good, but they were at the low end of the company's expectations. Slow processing of inventory going through West Coast ports contributed to the company's weakness, it said. In an attempt to bypass the port problems, the company spent more money on air-freight services. A year ago the company posted third-quarter earnings of 6 cents a share. Shares traded down $2.20 to $19.48.

Shares of

Argosy Gaming

(AGY)

rose 11.2% after the gaming company agreed late Wednesday to be acquired by

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Report

for about $1.4 billion in cash. Argosy shareholders will receive $47 a share, which represents a 16% premium over Tuesday's closing price of $40.38 a share. The combined company will have annual sales of more than $2 billion, operate more than 20,000 slot machines, and have about 700,000 square feet of casino space. Shares of Argosy traded up $4.57 to $45.32. Penn shares traded up $10.78, or 26%, to $52.22.

NYSE volume leaders included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 39 cents to $29.06;

Lucent

(LU)

, down 3 cents to $3.58;

Calpine

(CPN)

, up 34 cents to $2.77;

Altria Group

(MO) - Get Report

, up $4.23 to $54.23; and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 85 cents to $27.02.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 53 cents to $29;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 21 cents to $22.88;

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 24 cents to $19.52;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 14 cents to $4.62; and

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, up 12 cents to $16.24.