Shares of Fastenal ( FAST) were among Nasdaq's winners Wednesday, rising 8% after the industrial and construction supplies company posted third-quarter results that topped Wall Street forecasts. The company earned $46 million, or 61 cents a share, on sales of $402.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 57 cents a share on sales of $394.1 million. A year earlier, the company earned $34.7 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $325.7 million. Separately, Fastenal announced a 2-for-1 stock split. Shareholders of record on Oct. 31 will receive one additional share for each share they hold, with the stock split occurring on Nov. 10. After the split, there will be more than 151 million shares outstanding. Shares recently traded up $5.02 to $66.31. Titan International ( TWI) rose 32% after the company received a proposal from One Equity Partners to acquire the company for $18 a share in cash. Titan, a holding company whose units make wheels, tires and assemblies for off-highway equipment, said it has formed a special committee to pursue discussions with One Equity, which is a private equity affiliate of J.P. Morgan ( JPM). If the deal is accepted, the price would represent a 36% premium to Tuesday's closing price of $13.28. Titan shares recently jumped $4.26 to $17.54. Shares of Titanium Metals ( TIE) rose 10% after the company lifted its 2005 earnings and sales guidance. The maker of titanium metal products now expects operating income of $155 million to $165 million, up from its prior view of $123 million to $138 million. The company sees sales of $740 million to $760 million, up $10 million over the lower end of the company's previous guidance. Titanium Metals attributed the improved outlook to higher selling prices and lower-than-expected raw-material costs. Shares were trading up $3.57 to $40.04.
Apollo Group ( APOL) fell 4% after the for-profit education company posted in-line fourth-quarter earnings on sales that were below analysts' average forecast. The company earned $106.2 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $591.8 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned $118.2 million, or 65 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 65 cents a share on sales of $594.5 million. A year ago, the company posted earnings, before items, of $93.1 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $492.8 million. Apollo's board also announced a $300 million share repurchase plan. Shares were recently trading down $2.28 to $60.35. Shares of Regis ( RGS) rose 2% after the hair services company previewed first-quarter sales that jumped 15% from a year ago. The company, which will report its financial results on Oct. 26, expects to post sales of $584.2 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. That's roughly in line with the $584.1 million that analysts are expecting. A year earlier, the company posted sales of $506.2 million. Regis said that first-quarter sales were hurt by the loss of 2,400 salon days caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The closures cut sales by about $2.1 million, the company said. Last year, Regis lost 3,300 salon days because of hurricanes, resulting in the loss of about $4 million in sales. Shares were trading up 75 cents to $36.56. NYSE volume leaders included Pfizer ( PFE), up 60 cents to $24.90; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 2 cents to $3.07; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), down $1.98 to $22.02; Refco ( RFX), down $2.90 to $10.95; Motorola ( MOT), down 31 cents to $20.24; General Motors ( GM), down 14 cents to $26.28; Ford ( F), down 1 cent to $8.70; and Harley-Davidson ( HDI), up 58 cents to $46.18. Nasdaq volume leaders included Apple Computer ( AAPL), down $1.75 to $49.84; JDSU ( JDSU), down 5 cents to $1.97; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 17 cents to $17.02; Intel ( INTC), down 59 cents $22.83; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 9 cents to $24.50; Oracle ( ORCL), up 10 cents to $12.18; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 1 cent to $6.43; and Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 3 cents to $3.97.