Today's Early Winners and Losers

Wright Medical falls after a disappointing outlook.
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Shares of

Wright Medical

(WMGI) - Get Report

slipped 12% in after-hours trading Thursday after the orthopedic device maker posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, but issued guidance below analysts' expectations. For the fourth quarter, Wright earned $2 million, or 6 cents a share, down from $6.3 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, adjusted earnings totaled $5.9 million, or 17 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 15 cents a share. A year earlier, adjusted income was $8.2 million, or 23 cents a share. Sales increased 3% to $80.3 million, above analysts' forecast of $78.8 million.

Looking ahead, Wright predicted first-quarter adjusted earnings of 10 cents to 12 cents a share, with sales of $81 million to $83 million. Analysts had forecast earnings of 21 cents a share and sales of $86.6 million. For all of 2006, the company predicts adjusted earnings of 55 cents to 60 cents a share, with sales of $332 million to $340 million. Wall Street calls for earnings of 83 cents a share and sales of $346.4 million. Shares of Wright Medical slid $2.69 to $19.04 in late trading.

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

gained after the casino operator beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The company reported earnings of $22.9 million, or 25 cents a share, down from $46.9 million, or 53 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, earnings were 76 cents a share, above Wall Street's forecast of 61 cents. Revenue increased 4.8% to $565.4 million, above analysts' estimate of $558.4 million. Shares of Boyd Gaming advanced $1.61, or 3.6%, to $47 in after-hours trading.

Shares of

Nuance Communications

(NUAN) - Get Report

advanced after the maker of speech-recognition software beat Wall Street's fiscal first-quarter expectations. Under generally accepted accounting principles, Nuance posted a loss of $4.9 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a profit of $3.1 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. Nuance posted non-GAAP earnings of $11.4 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $9.1 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago, when the company had fewer outstanding shares. Revenue for the December quarter totaled $75.6 million, up 25% from a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting non-GAAP earnings of 5 cents a share and revenue of $74.9 million. Nuance shares rose 40 cents, or 4.5%, to $9.30 in after-hours trading.

TriQuint Semiconductor

(TQNT)

fell after the company met Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings expectations. The company reported net income of $2.9 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $25.3 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. Earnings from continuing operations were also 2 cents a share, matching analysts' estimate. Revenue totaled $84.7 million, up 26% from a year earlier, beating Wall Street's target of $84.1 million.

For the first quarter, TriQuint sees earnings between break-even and 1 cent a share, including stock-options expense. Analysts predict earnings of less than 1 cent a share. Shares were down 47 cents, or 9.3%, to $4.56 in after-hours trading.

Shares of

Quality Systems

(QSII)

fell nearly 14% in after-hours trading after the maker of health care management software posted third-quarter results well below Wall Street's expectations. The company posted earnings of $4.8 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with $4.2 million, or 32 cents a share a year ago. Sales for the quarter ended Dec. 31 increased 21% to $26.8 million. Analysts polled by First Call were looking for earnings of 45 cents a share and sales of $31.3 million. Shares of Quality Systems lost $10.45, or 13%, to $69.40 in after-hours trading.