Shares of

Darden Restaurants

(DRI) - Get Report

were among the

NYSE's

winners Wednesday, rising 6% after the restaurant operator posted in-line fourth-quarter results and gave a better-than-expected forecast for fiscal 2007 earnings.

The company earned $92.3 million, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $1.51 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 60 cents a share and sales of $1.5 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $84 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $1.39 billion.

Looking ahead, Darden sees fiscal 2007 earnings growth of 9% to 10%, implying earnings of $2.35 to $2.38 a share. Analysts project earnings of $2.33 a share. The stock recently was up $2.02 to $37.58.

FedEx

(FDX) - Get Report

rose 4% after the package-delivery giant posted fourth-quarter results that topped forecasts. The company earned $568 million, or $1.82 a share, on revenue of $8.49 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.77 a share on revenue of $8.42 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $448 million, or $1.46 a share, on revenue of $7.72 billion.

Looking ahead, FedEx sees first-quarter earnings of $1.45 to $1.60 a share. Analysts project earnings of $1.43 a share. For the full fiscal year, FedEx expects earnings of $6.45 to $6.80 a share, in line with the $6.73 that analysts project. Shares were trading up $4 to $112.32.

Shares of

Ruby Tuesday

(RI)

fell 3% after the restaurant operator backed its fourth-quarter earnings forecast. For the period ended June 6, the company continues to see earnings of 50 cents to 52 cents a share, bracketing analysts' average estimate of 51 cents a share. The company also announced same-store sales growth of 2.9% in its company-owned stores during the quarter and growth of 7.1% in its domestic franchise stores.

While earnings and sales were generally in line with the company's expectations, Ruby Tuesday said that sales were "progressively softer" during the last three weeks of May and first half of June. "The sales softness," the company said, "was driven by losing our positive check as we began overlapping our prior year menu roll-out and the consumer began spending less, which affected add-ons, as well as the softening guest count trends affecting the industry." Shares were recently down 64 cents to $24.96.

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

traded actively after the consumer electronics retailer increased its dividend and announced a new $1.5 billion stock buyback plan. The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 10 shares a share, a 25% increase over its prior dividend of 8 cents a share. The new dividend rate will be payable on Oct. 24 to shareholders of record on Oct. 3.

The company's new buyback program, meanwhile, will replace its prior $1.5 billion buyback plan, which was initiated in April 2005. Under that buyback, Best Buy had purchased some $948 million in stock. Shares were recently trading down 4 cents to $52.89.

Shares of

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

rose 5% after the brokerage firm posted second-quarter results that easily topped forecasts. The company earned $1.96 billion, or $1.86 a share, on revenue of $8.94 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $1.45 a share on revenue of $7.87 billion. During the year-earlier quarter, the company earned $928 million, or 86 cents a share, on revenue of $6.03 billion. Shares were up $2.92 to $59.94.

NYSE volume leaders included

Ford

(F) - Get Report

, up 3 cents to $6.43;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 20 cents to $23.15;

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

, up 6 cents to $2.41;

Nortel Networks

(NT)

, up 2 cents to $2.10;

Hewlett Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

, up 82 cents to $33.68;

Motorola

(MOT)

, up 24 cents to $20.07;

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $33.71;

Univision

(UVN)

, down $1.54 to $33.86; and

EMC

(EMC)

, up 6 cents to $11.66.

Nasdaq

volume leaders included

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

, up 30 cents to $22.86;

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, up 29 cents to $18.44;

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, up 49 cents to $14.74;

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, up 56 cents to $20.29;

JDSU

(JDSU)

, up 4 cents to $2.59;

Teva

(TEVA) - Get Report

, down $1.58 to $34.09;

Level 3 Communications

(LVLT)

, up 5 cents to $4.12;

Apple Computer

(AAPL) - Get Report

, up 2 cents to $57.49;

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

, up 9 cents to $4.10;

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

, up 2 cents to $4.24; and

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, up 24 cents to $16.69.