Updated from 11:36 a.m. EDTShares of Eastman Chemical ( EMN) were among the NYSE's losers Tuesday, falling 8.9% after the company warned that its fourth-quarter earnings would fall below previous guidance and Wall Street expectations. Excluding items, the company now expects earnings to be near the low end of its previously announced earnings range of 42 cents to 63 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 59 cents a share. Eastman blamed the shortfall on higher raw material and energy costs. The company said costs increased by more than $100 million in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter. Looking ahead, Eastman said it plans to implement price increases during the first quarter in an effort to offset higher raw material and energy costs. Shares traded down $5.11 to $52.19. Sonic ( SONC) rose 6.1% after the restaurant operator posted first-quarter earnings that topped expectations. The company posted a profit of $16 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $142.2 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 25 cents a share on sales of $136.7 million. A year ago Sonic earned $12.8 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $118.7 million. Same-store sales rose 8.1%, ahead of the company's long-term target range of 2% to 4%. Looking ahead, Sonic forecast second-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share on sales growth of 13% to 15%, which implies sales of $126.1 million to $128.3 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 20 cents a share on sales of $127.3 million. Shares traded up $1.80 to $31.44. Shares of Steel Technologies ( STTX) rose modestly after the company said that first-quarter earnings would beat expectations. The flat-rolled steel processor expects earnings of about $1.10 a share on sales of $250 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 96 cents a share on sales of $221.3 million. The company expects to announce its earnings results on Jan. 24. Shares traded up 6 cents to $27.87.
Jacobs Engineering Group ( JEC) rose slightly Tuesday after the company said that one of its subsidiaries won a five-year contract worth up to $1.15 billion. The company said the subsidiary would begin work on the contract beginning Feb. 1. As part of the deal, Jacobs will provide engineering and science services to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Shares traded up 1 cent to $46.39. Shares of Rayovac ( ROV) jumped 17.2% after the company said it would buy privately held United Industries for about $476 million in cash and stock, based on Rayovac's closing price of $29.56 a share on Monday. As part of the deal, Rayovac will issue 13.75 million shares and pay United Industries $70 million in cash. Rayovac will also assume about $880 million in debt and assume a cash tax benefit of $140 million, bringing the total value of the deal to about $1.2 billion. The battery maker said the acquisition would extend its household products offerings into the lawn and garden and specialty pet-supply categories. The acquisition, which is expected to close in February, should be slightly accretive to earnings during the first year, the company said. Shares traded up $5.09 to $34.65. NYSE volume leaders included Lucent ( LU), down 6 cents to $3.72; Pfizer ( PFE), unchanged at $26.45; Nortel ( NT), down 20 cents to $3.35; Sprint ( FON), down 80 cents to $24.05; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), down $1.20 to $20.21; and General Electric ( GE), down 44 cents to $36.15. Nasdaq volume leaders included Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 48 cents to $4.63; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 10 cents to $26.84; Cisco ( CSCO), down 76 cents to $18.56; Intel ( INTC), down 46 cents to $22.61; Oracle ( ORCL), down 35 cents to $13.06; and Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 3 cents to $7.51.