Updated from 11:42 a.m. EDTShares of American Woodwork ( AMWD) were among the Nasdaq's losers Tuesday, falling 18.1% after the company posted fourth-quarter results that fell below Wall Street expectations. The maker of kitchen cabinets earned $7.5 million, or 44 cents a share, on sales of $207.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $207.6 million. A year ago the company earned $8.4 million, or 50 cents a share, on sales of $180.4 million. Looking ahead, American Woodwork forecast first-quarter earnings of 30 cents to 40 cents a share on sales growth of 10% to 15%, or sales of $206 million to $216 million. Analysts are expecting earnings of 61 cents a share on sales of $213.4 million. Shares traded down $6.37 to $28.78. Albertson's ( ABS) traded actively after the company posted first-quarter earnings that topped expectations. The supermarket chain earned $100 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $9.99 billion. Earnings from continuing operations were $107 million, or 29 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $10.26 billion. Results were fueled by the continuing recovery in Southern California and by the addition of Shaw's. A year ago the company earned $36 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $8.61 billion. Earnings from continuing operations were $56 million, or 15 cents a share, a year ago. Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance of $1.37 to $1.47 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.38 a share. Shares traded down 5 cents to $21.45 on volume of almost 9 million shares. Shares of ConAgra Foods ( CAG) fell 5.5% after the food company cut its fourth-quarter earnings outlook and announced that it would cut several hundred jobs as part of a plan to reduce costs at the company. The company said that analysts should lower their earnings estimates by 10 cents a share for the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share. ConAgra attributed the shortfall to weakness in its packaged meats business. Regarding the job cuts, the company said it is in the process of eliminating several hundred salaried positions across the company. The job cuts, which should be completed by the end of August 2005, are expected to save the company about $100 million a year. Shares traded down $1.41 to $24.48.
Monsanto ( MON) rose 4.8% after the agricultural products company raised its third-quarter earnings outlook. The company now expects to post adjusted earnings of $1.05 a share, up from previous guidance of $1 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 94 cents a share. Including charges from acquisitions and other items, the company now expects earnings of 12 cents to 17 cents a share, down from earlier guidance of 15 cents to 22 cents a share. Shares traded up $2.83 to $61.63. Shares of Spartech ( SEH) fell 13.8% after the company posted second-quarter earnings that beat expectations but said that second-half earnings would be lower than expected. During the second quarter, the plastics maker reported a loss of $80,000, or break-even, on sales of $377.7 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned $11.3 million, or 35 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 32 cents a share on sales of $340 million. A year ago the company posted earnings of $13.5 million, or 41 cents a share, on sales of $287.6 million. Looking ahead, Spartech forecast second-half earnings of 56 cents to 61 cents a share, which excludes charges. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 90 cents a share during the second half of the year. Shares traded down $2.72 to $17. NYSE volume leaders included Motorola ( MOT), up 21 cents to $18.13; Lucent Technologies ( LU), unchanged at $2.79; Pfizer ( PFE), down 5 cents to $27.96; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), up 55 cents to $17.56; and Time Warner ( TWX), up 3 cents to $17.05. Nasdaq volume leaders included Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK), up 12 cents to $10.96; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 3 cents to $19.41; Intel ( INTC), down 31 cents to $26.86; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 14 cents to $25.51; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 1 cent to $3.61; Oracle ( ORCL), down 6 cents to $12.59; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 5 cents to $5.84; CMGI ( CMGI), down 32 cents to $1.95; Apple Computer ( AAPL), down $1.38 to $36.54; Applied Materials ( AMAT), down 24 cents to $16.58; and Google ( GOOG), up $2.18 to $293.12.