Updated from 11:35 a.m. EDT

Shares of

Patina Oil and Gas

( POG) were among the

NYSE's

winners Thursday, rising 14.7% after the company agreed to be acquired by

Noble Energy

(NBL) - Get Report

for about $3.4 billion in cash, stock and debt.

Patina shareholders will receive 60% of the deal's value in Noble stock and 40% in cash, which translates into 27 million Noble shares and $1.1 billion in cash. The implied acquisition price of $37.89 a share represents an 18.7% premium over Patina's closing price of $31.92 on Wednesday. The deal, which is due to close in March or April 2005, is expected to be accretive to Noble's earnings in 2005. Shares of Patina Oil and Gas traded up $4.69 to $36.61; shares of Noble were trading down $2.16 to $59.38.

Activision

(ATVI) - Get Report

rose 4.7% after the company raised its third-quarter guidance above Wall Street estimates. The video game publisher now expects earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $615 million, up from previous guidance of 49 cents a share on sales of $500 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 50 cents a share on sales of $505.4 million. Activision said that "better-than-expected consumer response to its holiday slate and catalog titles, as well as the strength of its distribution and value divisions" led to the upward revision. Shares traded up 88 cents to $19.50.

Shares of

Apollo Group

(APOL)

fell 6.7% after the education company posted first-quarter results that topped expectations but warned that second-quarter sales would come in slightly below expectations. The company earned 58 cents a share on sales of $534.9 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share on sales of $533.2 million. Looking ahead, Apollo forecast second-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, in line with expectations, on sales of $507 million to $511 million, which is slightly below the $511.6 million that analysts had been expecting. Shares traded down $5.70 to $79.63.

Carnival

(CCL) - Get Report

rose 1.8% after the cruise company posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that easily surpassed analysts' expectations. The company earned 36 cents a share on sales of $2.24 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 31 cents a share on sales of $2.17 billion. Carnival said that hurricane activity during the fall knocked 4 cents off its bottom line for the fourth quarter. Looking ahead, Carnival forecast first-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share on a 4% to 6% jump in constant-dollar sales. Analysts are expecting first-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share on $2.36 billion. Shares traded up 97 cents to $55.82.

Shares of

Tupperware

(TUP) - Get Report

rose 1.3% after the maker of food storage containers raised its 2004 earnings outlook. The company now expects earnings of $1.40 to $1.45 a share, up from its previous estimate of $1.30 to $1.35 a share. Tupperware said that 5 cents of the increase is due to favorable foreign currency translation; the remaining increase is due to higher segment profit in Europe, where German trends have strengthened, the company said. Both sets of guidance include 13 cents from land-development gains and 6 cents of re-engineering costs. Shares traded up 25 cents to $19.69.

NYSE volume leaders included

Lucent

( LU), up 13 cents to $3.73;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 66 cents to $28.98;

Sprint

( FON), up 50 cents to $24.52;

Guidant

( GDT), down 35 cents to $71.70; and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, up $1.31 to $31.79.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, down 47 cents to $7.18;

Symantec

(SYMC) - Get Report

, down $2.25 to $25.13;

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 5 cents to $27.16;

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, unchanged at $19.40;

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Report

, down 12 cents to $27.99;

Nextel Communications

( NXTL), up $1.08 to $29.78; and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, down 27 cents to $22.87.