Shares of Levitt ( LEV) were among the NYSE's losers Wednesday, falling 13% after the company posted second-quarter results that were below expectations. The homebuilder reported earnings of $6.1 million, or 30 cents a share, on sales of $108 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 54 cents a share on sales of $143 million. A year ago the company earned $13.7 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $143.9 million. "Last year and during the previous earnings period, we disclosed that 2005 would be a transitional year with 'flattish' earnings for the company, and that we would prudently focus on several long-term strategic objectives," the company said. During the most recent period, the number of homes delivered fell to 448 units, down from 576 units a year ago. New orders, meanwhile, declined to 429 units, down from 534 during the second quarter of last year. Shares were trading down $4.04 to $27.90. Mine Safety Appliances ( MSA - Get Report) fell 15% after the safety products company posted second-quarter results that fell well below forecasts. The company earned $19.2 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $220.1 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 59 cents a share on sales of $237.8 million. A year ago the company earned $18.1 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $213.1 million. The company said that its most recent results were challenged by government funding and supply issues in a few fire-service-related product lines. Shares were trading down $7 to $40.25. Shares of Devon Energy ( DVN - Get Report) rose 1% after the independent oil and gas producer reported second-quarter results that were better than expected. The company earned $653 million, or $1.38 a share, on sales of $2.47 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.26 a share on sales of $2.12 billion. A year ago the company earned $502 million, or $1.01 a share, on sales of $2.22 billion. Devon said its most recent results were fueled by production growth from its core North American property base and by strong oil and gas prices.
Separately, the company announced a new 50-million-share repurchase plan. The company, which recently completed a 50-million-share buyback plan, said the new plan would extend through 2007. Shares were trading up 77 cents to $58.55. Noble Energy ( NBL - Get Report) rose 3% after the company posted second-quarter earnings that topped expectations. The oil and gas producer earned $136.9 million, or $1.87 a share, on total sales of $488.4 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.82 a share on sales of $454.8 million. A year ago the company posted earnings from continuing operations of $70.6 million, or $1.22 a share, on sales of $336.5 million. Shares were trading up $2.37 to $87.85. Shares of E-Loan ( EELN) rose 33% after the consumer lending company agreed to be acquired by Puerto Rico-based Popular ( BPOP) for about $300 million, or $4.25 a share, in cash. The $4.25 a share price tag represents a 38% premium over Tuesday's closing price of $3.09. The transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2005, will help Popular expand into the U.S. market, complement its existing non-prime and warehouse lending businesses and enhance its technology platform, Popular said. Shares of E-Loan were trading up $1.01 to $4.10. NYSE volume leaders included Calpine ( CPN), down 35 cents to $3.53; Time Warner ( TWX), down 31 cents to $17.11; Reebok ( RBK), up $12.95 to $56.90; Nortel Networks ( NT), up 5 cents to $2.69; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 1 cent to $2.88; Chevron ( CVX), up 78 cents to $60.34; Tyco ( TYC), down 15 cents to $27.71; and Corning ( GLW), up 46 cents to $20.12. Nasdaq volume leaders included Microsoft ( MSFT), up 49 cents to $27.30; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 4 cents to $6.79; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 1 cent to $3.83; Intel ( INTC), up 8 cents to $27.56; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 13 cents to $19.36; Oracle ( ORCL), down 22 cents to $13.36; and Brocade Communications Systems ( BRCDE), down 71 cents to $3.78.