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Shares of

J. Jill Group

(JILL) - Get Free Report

were among the


winners Monday, soaring 23% after the women's clothing retailer agreed to be acquired by



for about $517 million in cash.

The offer values J. Jill at $24.05 a share, representing a premium of 34% over

Liz Claiborne's

( LIZ) competing offer of $18 a share. The bid offers a premium of 25% over J. Jill's closing price of $19.20 on Friday.

In response to the Talbots offer, Liz Claiborne said it was disappointed that it was unable to buy J. Jill. "We are disappointed that we were unable to acquire J. Jill at a price that makes sense for our shareholders. However, we are financially disciplined and will not overpay," it said.

Talbots said it expects the deal to be accretive to earnings in fiscal 2007. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter. Shares of J. Jill recently were trading up $4.34 to $23.50; shares of Talbots fell $1.16, or 3.6%, to $26.11; and Liz Claiborne was down 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $34.22.


(NLS) - Get Free Report

fell 7% after the company posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and warned that first-quarter earnings would miss the mark as well. The fitness equipment maker reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.8 million, or 8 cents a share, on sales of $181.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 10 cents a share on sales of $181.2 million. "I am very disappointed in our fourth-quarter performance," said Gregg Hammann, chief executive, in a statement.

Nautilus said its manufacturing and "go-to-market" processes were unable to successfully manage the rollout of six new products during the busy holiday season. "This operational issue accounted for the majority of our revenue shortfall," the company said. During the year-earlier quarter, Nautilus earned $14.2 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $169.6 million.

Looking ahead, Nautilus sees first-quarter earnings of 14 cents to 18 cents a share, including 2 cents a share in stock-based compensation expense. The company predicts sales of $180 million to $185 million. Analysts project earnings of 22 cents a share on sales of $181.2 million. Shares recently were trading down $1.06 to $14.94.

Shares of


(HUN) - Get Free Report

slumped 12% after the chemical company ended merger discussions and warned that fourth-quarter results would be marred by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "After careful review of the proposals received, the company's prospects and other strategic initiatives available, as well as thorough discussions with the parties, the board of directors of the company and its special committee have concluded that none of the proposals were in the best interests of the shareholders," the company said. Huntsman said the buyout offers were at prices above last year's initial public offering, but in the end the offers were deemed "not adequate."

As for the company's fourth-quarter results, Huntsman said its business was hurt by hurricanes Rita and Katrina and by spikes in energy prices. The company estimates the hurricanes cut earnings by $140 million, or about 60 cents a share. Analysts project fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share and sales of $3.29 billion. Shares were down $2.69 to $20.26.


(RIG) - Get Free Report

rose 4% after the offshore drilling contractor was awarded contracts totaling $805 million. The contracts call for five rigs to be used for three years each, with each rig receiving revenue of about $161 million during the three-year period. The contracts were awarded by Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. of India. Shares of Transocean were trading up $3.12 to $83.74.

Shares of

Granite Construction

(GVA) - Get Free Report

rose 7% after the construction materials company put 2005 earnings above its earlier forecast. The company expects to report full-year earnings of $1.95 to $2 a share, up from an earlier view of $1.55 to $1.60 a share. "The improved results are primarily driven by continued strong demand for Branch Division construction services and materials, as well as the ability to work late into the fourth quarter due to mild weather conditions in the West," the company said. Analysts project earnings of $1.53 a share and sales of $2.57 billion. Shares were trading up $2.71 to $42.70.


volume leaders included

Lucent Technologies

( LU), up 4 cents to $2.70;


( MOT), down 60 cents to $20.57;

Time Warner


, up 11 cents to $18.51;


( GTW), up 1 cent to $2.43;

Chicago Bridge & Iron


, down $7.80 to $21.20;

Nortel Networks

( NT), down 5 cents to $3.05; and


(PFE) - Get Free Report

, down 14 cents to $25.14.

Nasdaq volume leaders included

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Free Report

, up 21 cents to $5.54;


(INTC) - Get Free Report

, down 18 cents to $20.56;

Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Free Report

, down $2.59 to $69.26;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Free Report

, down 13 cents to $18.02;


(ORCL) - Get Free Report

, down 11 cents to $12.10;


(MSFT) - Get Free Report

, down 24 cents to $27.30;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Free Report

, down 8 cents to $4.35; and



, unchanged at $2.95.