Updated from 11:57 a.m. EDTShares of Mueller Industries ( MLI) were among the NYSE's losers Thursday after the company posted third-quarter earnings and sales that were below expectations. The maker of copper, brass and plastic construction parts earned 51 cents a share on sales of $322.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $361 million. The company said that volumes during the quarter were lower than second-quarter results and lower than a year ago. Mueller said first-half demand might have been influenced by availability and rising material costs, which led to customers adjusting their third-quarter inventory levels. Shares traded down $5.23, or 12.5%, to $36.70. CEC Entertainment ( CEC) rose 2.7% after the company posted strong third-quarter earnings and said it expects fourth-quarter earnings to top expectations. The owner of Chuck E. Cheese's restaurants earned 58 cents a share during the third quarter on sales of $183.6 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 53 cents a share on sales of $185.6 million. Looking ahead, the company expects fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents to 45 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 41 cents a share. Shares of CEC Entertainment traded up 99 cents to $37.50. Shares of Linens 'n Things ( LIN) fell 7.7% after the company lowered its third-quarter earnings guidance and announced preliminary sales figures that fell short of Wall Street expectations. The housewares retailer now expects earnings of 37 cents to 38 cents a share, down from its previous guidance of 44 cents to 50 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 46 cents a share. Sales are expected to be about $654.2 million, which would be below expectations of $666.5 million. The company said the quarter was impacted by a decline in store traffic and by hurricanes that impacted stores in the southeastern part of the U.S. Shares traded down $1.80 to $21.70.
General Motors ( GM) fell 6% after the company missed third-quarter earnings targets and warned that full-year earnings results would fall short of expectations. The automaker earned 78 cents a share on sales of $44.86 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 96 cents a share. Incentive costs and lower vehicle production in North America, along with higher health care costs, led to the earnings shortfall. Looking ahead, the company now expects full-year earnings of $6 to $6.50 a share, down from previous guidance of $7. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $7.05 a share. In an effort to cut costs, the company also announced that it is slashing about 12,000 jobs in Europe over the next two years. Shares traded down $2.46 to $38.84. Shares of TCF Financial ( TCB) fell 4.4% after the company posted third-quarter earnings and sales that fell below expectations. The finance company earned 45 cents a share on sales of $244 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 47 cents a share on sales of $248.9 million. Shares traded down $1.39 to $30.13. NYSE volume leaders included American International Group ( AIG), down $6.99 to $60; Marsh & McLennan ( MMC), down $11.28 to $34.85; Lucent ( LU), up 6 cents to $3.48; Pfizer ( PFE), down 47 cents to $29.08; and Ford ( F), down 57 cents to $13.12. Nasdaq volume leaders included Intel ( INTC), down 48 cents to $20.51; SanDisk ( SNDK), down $7.68 to $20.52; Apple Computer ( AAPL), up $5.23 to $44.98; Sirius Satellite ( SIRI), down 9 cents to $3.65; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 23 cents to $27.80; and Applied Materials ( AMAT), down 69 cents to $15.70.