Shares of

Dress Barn

( DBRN) jumped in late trading Wednesday after the women's apparel retailer reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and strong May sales.

For the third quarter ended April 29, Dress Barn earned $20 million, or 29 cents a share, up from $10.2 million, or 17 cents a share, a year ago. Total sales increased 11% to $327.2 million, while same-store sales rose 7%. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $327.2 million. Meanwhile, Dress Barn said May same-store sales rose 9%, while total sales increased 13% to $118.4 million.

The company raised its fiscal-year earnings guidance, citing better-than-expected May sales. Dress Barn now expects earnings of $1.10 a share for the year ending in July, up from its previous guidance of $1.05 to $1.07 a share. Wall Street projects a profit of $1.08 a share. For the fiscal year ending in July 2007, Dress Barn forecast earnings of $1.25 to $1.30 a share, above analysts' mean estimate of $1.21 a share. Shares -- which rose 9% during regular trading Wednesday -- jumped $1.11, or 4.8%, to $24.50 in the after-hours session.

Novell

( NOVL) stumbled after the open-source software company posted in-line second-quarter earnings. Novell reported a profit of $3.34 million, or 1 cent a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $15.6 million, or 4 cents a share. Excluding various items, the company earned $10.5 million, or 3 cents a share, matching analysts' mean estimate. Total revenue for the quarter ended April 30 slipped to $278.3 million from $297.1 million, in line with analysts' forecast of $278 million.

Excluding Celerant, which Novell sold in late May, the company expects a third-quarter profit of 3 cents a share, excluding an estimated 3-cent charge for stock-based compensation. The company sees sales of $239 million to $247 million. Wall Street anticipates a profit of 4 cents a share on sales of $283 million, but it wasn't immediately clear if First Call's estimate excluded the Celerant sale. Novell shares fell 68 cents, or 8.8%, to $7.05 after hours.

Shares of

Commerce Bancorp

(CBH) - Get Report

got a lift after Standard & Poor's said it will add the financial-services company to its

S&P 500

index. Commerce will replace

Engelhard

(EC) - Get Report

, which is set to be acquired by BASF. The change will take effect after the close of trading June 5. Meanwhile,

Reliance Steel

(RS) - Get Report

will replace Commerce in the S&P MidCap 400. Commerce shares traded up $1.21, or 3%, to $40.50 after hours.

DXP Enterprises

(DXPE) - Get Report

slipped after the maker of maintenance products for industrial firms said in a

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing that it may periodically sell up to 1 million shares of its common stock. Shares fell $1.75, or 3.9%, to $43.76 after hours.

Shares of

Copart

(CPRT) - Get Report

took a hit after the salvage-vehicle services company missed Wall Street's earnings expectations. For the third quarter ended April 30, the company reported income from continuing operations of $33.2 million, or 36 cents a share, 2 cents shy of analysts forecast. A year earlier, Copart earned $30.7 million, or 33 cents a share. Third-quarter revenue totaled $149.5 million, up from $127.7 million a year ago, but below Wall Street's target of $155.8 million. Salvage same-store sales increased 12%. The company said operating results for the quarter were hurt by $2.6 million in incremental costs related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Shares slipped $1.04, or 3.8%, to $26.40 in late trading.