Updated from 11:24 a.m. ESTShares of Reebok International ( RBK) were among the NYSE's winners Thursday, rising 6.4% after the shoe company posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales above expectations and said 2005 earnings would come in ahead of forecasts. Excluding items, the company earned $35.7 million, or 59 cents a share, during the fourth quarter on sales of $975.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 52 cents a share on sales of $909.4 million. A year ago the company earned $28.1 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $843.6 million. Looking ahead, Reebok said it expects earnings to grow by 15% over its 2004 earnings of $2.98 a share. That would imply 2005 earnings of $3.43 a share. Sales are expected to grow by midsingle digits. Analysts are looking for earnings of $3.34 a share on sales of $4 billion, or sales growth of about 5%. Shares traded up $2.64 to $44.24. Ball ( BLL) rose 1.2% after the packaging maker posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations. The company earned $56.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $1.26 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 49 cents a share on sales of $1.22 billion. Looking ahead, the company cautioned that some customers engaged in pre-buying during the fourth quarter in advance of price increases slated to take place in 2005. As a result, "some of that will be at the expense of 2005," the company said. Still, "our long-term goal remains to increase earnings per diluted share by an average of 10% to 15% over time," it said. Shares traded up 52 cents to $42.33. Shares of Deluxe ( DLX) rose 7.6% after the check company's fourth-quarter results topped expectations. The company earned $46.8 million, or 92 cents a share, on sales of $476.9 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 90 cents a share on sales of $460 million. The quarter's results were helped by the company's New England Business Services acquisition and by a favorable tax rate that contributed 6 cents a share to the bottom line. A year ago it earned $39.4 million, or 77 cents a share, on sales of $300.5 million. Looking ahead, Deluxe expects first-quarter earnings of 75 cents to 79 cents a share, in line with expectations. Shares traded up $2.72 to $38.33.