Shares of Safeway ( SWY) were among the NYSE's winners Thursday, rising 7% after the grocery store operator posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Safeway earned $173.5 million, or 39 cents a share, on sales of $12.04 billion. Excluding certain items, the company earned $230.6 million, or 51 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 46 cents a share, before items, and sales of $11.93 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $202.7 million, or 45 cents a share, on sales of $11.39 billion. Looking ahead, Safeway continues to project 2006 earnings of $1.55 to $1.65 a share, excluding employee buyouts. Analysts project earnings of $1.58 a share. Shares were trading up $1.68 to $24.93. Shares of Tuesday Morning ( TUES) rose 3% after the home furnishings retailer posted fourth-quarter results that narrowly beat expectations. The company earned $35.5 million, or 85 cents a share, on sales of $335.2 million. Analysts expected earnings of 84 cents a share and sales of $334.4 million. During the year-ago quarter, the company earned $36.9 million, or 88 cents a share, on sales of $332.4 million. The company also announced a cash dividend of 80 cents a share. The dividend will be paid on March 30 to shareholders of record on March 10. The current value of the dividend is about $33 million, the company said. Tuesday Morning plans to continue paying a dividend on an annual basis. "In an obviously challenging environment for home furnishings focused retailers, we were able to achieve solid double-digit operating profit for 2005, pay our first cash dividend and provide a return on assets of 17% for our stockholders," the company said. Looking ahead, Tuesday Morning sees 2006 earnings of $1.62 to $1.67 a share, excluding stock-based compensation costs of 9 cents a share. The company predicts sales growth of about 10%, which would translate into sales of about $1.02 billion. Analysts project earnings, including stock-based compensation costs, of $1.58 a share. Sales are projected at $1.01 billion. Shares were trading up 62 cents to $22.14.
Mobile Mini ( MINI) rose 5% after the provider of portable storage containers posted fourth-quarter results that topped forecasts. The company earned $9.8 million, or 63 cents a share, up from $7.1 million, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $57.9 from $47.2 million. Analysts expected earnings of 59 cents a share, with sales of $56.2 million. Mobile Mini also announced a 2-for-1 stock split, payable March 10 to shareholders of record on March 6. "This action was taken to increase the number of shares in the public float available for trading and enhance the potential for broader ownership of our common stock by improving liquidity," the company said. For 2006, Mobile Mini continues to expect earnings of $2.32 to $2.42 a share. The forecast doesn't reflect about stock-based compensation costs of 12 cents a share or the upcoming stock split. Analysts project earnings of $2.36 a share. Shares were trading up $2.75 to $56.90. Hurco ( HURC) slumped 17% after the maker of machine tools posted flat year-over-year first-quarter earnings. The company earned $3 million, or 48 cents, on sales and service fees of $31.9 million. The single-analyst forecast called for earnings of 54 cents a share and sales of $36.8 million. During the year-ago quarter, the company earned $3 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $30.2 million. Shares were trading down $6.12 to $29.75. JLG Industries ( JLG) rose 3% after the maker of construction equipment posted better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised its full-year guidance. The company's earnings fore the quarter ended Jan. 29 jumped to $27.4 million, or 52 cents a share, from $7.5 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of 48 cents a share. Sales rose to $494.4 million from $353.4 million, easily beating Wall Street's target of $442 million.
For fiscal 2006, JLG now expects earnings of $2.35 to $2.45 a share, up from an earlier view of $2.15 to $2.25 a share. The company expects sales growth to be near the top end of its previous sales growth estimate of 20% to 25%. Analysts project earnings of $2.45 a share and sales of $2.15 billion. Separately, JLG increased its quarterly dividend to 1 cent a share and announced a 2-for-1 stock split. The stock split is payable on March 27 to shareholders of record March 13. Shares were trading up $1.69 to $57.48. NYSE volume leaders included Time Warner ( TWX), down 17 cents to $17.26; Sherwin Williams ( SHW), down $2.61 to $40.59; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 3 cents to $2.82; Pfizer ( PFE), down 10 cents to $26.09; General Electric ( GE), down 8 cents to $33.31; Symbol Technologies ( SBL), down $1.27 to $11.62; and Sprint Nextel ( S), up 44 cents to $24.24. Nasdaq volume leaders included Intel ( INTC), up 17 cents to $20.32; JDSU ( JDSU), up 9 cents to $3.04; GTC Biotherapeutics ( GTCB), down 92 cents to $1.33; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 3 cents to $5.26; Apple Computer ( AAPL), up $1.44 to $72.76; Oracle ( ORCL), up 2 cents to $12.50; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 9 cents to $19.58; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 6 cents to $26.66; Ivanhoe Energy ( IVAN), up 21 cents to $2.75; and Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 1 cent to $4.31.