Shares of Aqua America ( WTR) were among the NYSE's losers Thursday, falling 6% after the water utility company posted fourth-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street forecasts. The company earned $22.2 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of $122.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $125 million. During the year-earlier quarter, the company earned $22.5 million, or 18 cents a share, on revenue of $115.4 million. Excluding items, the company earned $21 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Shares were trading down $1.90 to $27.41. Claire's Stores ( CLE) rose 8% after the accessories retailer posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. The company earned $69.1 million, or 69 cents a share, on sales of $414.7 million. Excluding items, the company earned 75 cents a share, beating analysts' target of 68 cents. Claire's reported revenue of $414.7 million, compared with Wall Street's forecast of $413.9 million. The company's year-earlier earnings from continuing operations totaled $58.7 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $395.9 million. Looking ahead, Claire's expects first-quarter earnings of $30 million to $32 million, or 30 cents to 32 cents a share, on sales of $314 million to $318 million. Analysts project earnings of 33 cents a share on sales of $321.5 million. Despite the lower-than-expected forecast for the first quarter, the company projected fiscal 2007 earnings of $1.96 to $2.01 a share, ahead of analysts' forecast of $1.89 a share. The company predicts sales of $1.45 billion to $1.47 billion. Analysts project sales of $1.47 billion. Claire's shares were up $2.48 to $32.68. Shares of Veritas DGC ( VTS) rose 5% after the oil and gas services company posted second-quarter results that easily topped forecasts. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, the company earned $31.1 million, or 81 cents a share, up from $17.4 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $238.9 million from $192.2 million. Analysts expected earnings of 67 cents a share on revenue of $204.7 million. "Increasing exploration activity combined with our typically strong second quarter provided the foundation for Veritas to achieve all-time quarterly records for revenue, pre-tax income and backlog," the company said. Shares recently gained $1.90 to $43.50.
OM Group ( OMG) rose 4% after the specialty chemicals company posted in-line fourth-quarter earnings and issued better-than-expected first-quarter earnings guidance. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations of $1.8 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $276.4 million. Analysts expected earnings of 6 cents a share and sales of $283.2 million. A year earlier, the company had earnings from continuing operations of $30 million, or $1.05 a share, on sales of $355.1 million. Looking ahead, OM Group sees first-quarter earnings of 25 cents to 30 cents a share. Analysts project earnings of 22 cents a share. The company also announced that Kenneth Haber has been named chief financial officer on a permanent basis. Haber had been serving as interim CFO since November. OM shares were trading up 84 cents to $20.94. Shares of Hansen Natural ( HANS) rose 3% after the maker of energy drinks posted fourth-quarter earnings that blew by estimates. The company's earnings surged to $18.4 million, or 75 cents a share, from $7.3 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier. The earnings per share beat analysts' mean estimate by 13 cents. Hansen's sales grew to $113.6 million from $61.8 million, well above Wall Street's projection of $88.9 million. Hansen attributed its sales performance to a substantial increase in sales volumes of Monster Energy drinks. Shares, which traded up as much as 9% in early trading, were recently higher by $3.37 to $103.86. NYSE volume leaders included Elan ( ELN), up 58 cents to $15.23; General Motors ( GM), up 75 cents to $21.17; Ford ( F), up 17 cents to $7.72; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 2 cents to $2.86; NYSE Group ( NYX), up $4.15 to $84.15; General Electric ( GE), up 8 cents to $33.51; Altria Group ( MO), up 26 cents to $72.91; Time Warner ( TWX), down 4 cents to $17.23; Nokia ( NOK), up 13 cents to $19.95; and Exxon Mobil ( XOM), down 38 cents to $59.33.
Nasdaq volume leaders included JDSU ( JDSU), up 7 cents to $3.82; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 21 cents to $4.56; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 17 cents to $4.94; Oracle ( ORCL), up 4 cents to $12.90; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 3 cents to $27.28; Intel ( INTC), up 5 cents to $20.06; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 20 cents to $20.66; and Lexar Media ( LEXR), up 11 cents to $8.94.