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Thursday's Winners & Losers

General Mills is rising.
Author:

Foodmaker

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

rose nearly 3% to $57.89 after the company offered an optimistic financial forecast.

The company said fiscal first-quarter sales growth should exceed its long-term target of low-single-digit expansion. Earnings will likely be 81 cents a share, including previously announced pretax restructuring expenses of $13 million.

General Mills reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast of $3.39 to $3.43 a share.

Fellow foodmaker

ConAgra

(CAG) - Get Report

gained 0.8% to $25.62 after confirming its own fiscal 2008 adjusted earnings forecast of around $1.48 a share. The company also kept its growth guidance for sales and earnings through 2010.

Merck

TheStreet Recommends

(MRK) - Get Report

was up 2% to $50.43 following word that the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that granted nationwide class-action status to insurance companies and HMOs seeking reimbursement for Vioxx expenses. Merck had opposed class-action status in the case.

The drugmaker said the court agreed with the company's position that the case wasn't an appropriate one to be handled as a class action because the claims of the insurance companies and HMOs involved different facts.

Airgas

(ARG)

was stronger on news the company has set a goal to have more than $5 billion in sales by fiscal 2011.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, the distributor of gases, welding equipment and supplies expects sales of about $4 billion. Shares of Airgas tacked on 1.1% to $46.94.

Stun-gun seller

Taser International

(TASR)

received an order from the California Highway Patrol for 1,659 X26 electronic control devices and related accessories.

The order is expected to ship over the third and fourth quarters. Shares of Taser were gaining 4.2% to $15.28.