Updated from 11:18 a.m. ESTShares of Linens 'n Things ( LIN) were among the NYSE's losers Friday, falling 13.9% after the company lowered its first-quarter earnings outlook. The housewares retailer now expects to post a loss of 8 cents to 12 cents a share, down significantly from its previous forecast that called for a profit of 6 cents to 9 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $591.2 million. Comparable-store sales are expected to decline by midsingle digits during the first quarter, the company said. A decline in guest traffic affected sales during the quarter, while the company's textiles business was challenged as well. Operating margin fell, though the company did say that its gross margin rate remained healthy. The first-quarter forecast also includes a loss of 2 cents, which is due to a change in the way Linens 'n Things will now account for store leases. The company plans to report first-quarter earnings on April 20. Shares traded down $3.65 to $22.65. Nucor ( NUE) rose 8.5% after the steel producer raised its first-quarter earnings outlook. The company now expects earnings of $1.95 to $2.15 a share, up from previous guidance of $1.70 to $1.90 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $2.92 billion. Nucor said that its first quarter is typically its weakness because of weather conditions. As such, the company believes that results in its second and third quarters will be stronger than first-quarter results. Analysts are expecting second-quarter earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $2.96 billion. Shares traded up $4.90 to $62.55. Shares of Quicksilver ( ZQK) rose 6.5% after the apparel retailer matched first-quarter earnings expectations and raised its 2005 earnings outlook. The company earned $14.2 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $342.9 million. Analysts expected earnings of 23 cents a share on sales of $318.1 million. A year ago the company earned $9.2 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $256.1 million. Looking ahead, Quicksilver now expects 2005 earnings of $1.62 to $1.65 a share on sales of $1.48 billion to $1.5 billion. Previously, it forecast earnings of $1.58 to $1.62 a share. Analysts are expecting 2005 earnings of $1.63 a share on sales of $1.47 billion. Shares traded up $2.14 to $34.99.
Armor Holdings ( AH) rose 3.4% after the company received a $35 million order from AM General. The teaming agreement calls for the delivery of a new armoring system for the M1151 and M1152 high-mobility, multipurpose-wheeled vehicle, which will be incorporated in the vehicle manufacturing process. Armor Holdings' Aerospace and Defense group will perform work under the contract during 2005. Shares traded up $1.35 to $41.64. Shares of Interpublic Group ( IPG) rose 1.3% after the company said it would delay its annual report and fourth-quarter results and said that it may restate previously issued financial statements. The delay will extend past March 31, which is the due date for filing its 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said the delay was due to the amount of internal work and analysis required as part of its previously disclosed material weaknesses in internal controls. Interpublic also said that it has identified a number of items that may require a restatement of previous financial statements. The most significant of these items concerns the way the company consolidated the results of acquired companies during 1996 through 2001. The review is still in the early stages, but Interpublic has identified about $145 million in sales and $25 million in earnings that may have been improperly recognized during those years. Other issues may require a restatement as well, but the company has not yet determined the amounts and periods affected. The company said it plans to get waivers and amendments of its covenants and indentures from debt holders. Interpublic will update the status and timing of its 10-K and earnings release on March 17. Shares traded up 16 cents to $12.51. NYSE volume leaders included Elan ( ELN), down 40 cents to $7.07; Lucent ( LU), down 8 cents to $2.92; Exxon Mobil ( XOM), up 68 cents to $61.05; Texas Instruments ( TXN), down 88 cents to $26.20; and Time Warner ( TWX), down 25 cents to $17.50. Nasdaq volume leaders included Intel ( INTC), down 65 cents to $24.20; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 34 cents to $25.09; Cisco ( CSCO), down 26 cents to $18.45; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 9 cents to $5.36; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 7 cents to $4.45; Oracle ( ORCL), down 17 cents to $13.09; Applied Materials ( AMAT), down 43 cents to $16.40; and Apple Computer ( AAPL), up 44 cents to $40.27.cents to $18.74.