Shares of Michaels Stores ( MIK) were among the NYSE's winners Monday, jumping nearly 13% after the arts and craft retailer said it is exploring strategic options, including a possible company sale. The company hired J.P. Morgan to assist in the process, which could take a number of months, Michaels said. The company also announced the retirement of its chief executive. R. Michael Rouleau, 67, is retiring after a decade at the helm. Rouleau, while stepping down from both his president and CEO posts, will become a special adviser to the board. Jeffrey Boyer and Gregory Sandfort will take over for Rouleau, serving as co-presidents. Boyer previously served as chief financial officer while Sandfort was general merchandise manager. Michaels said Boyer will continue as financial chief. Sandfort, in addition to his role as president, will serve as chief operating officer. The office of CEO will be left vacant by the board, Michaels said. "Jeff Boyer and Greg Sandfort have all the necessary skills -- strategic vision, financial acumen, merchandising savvy and operational expertise -- to lead Michaels Stores into its next phase," the company said. Shares were trading up $4.29 to $38.25. Evergreen Solar ( ESLR) slid 7% after the company backed its prior financial guidance, but said in its annual report that it lost a major silicon supplier. The solar-products maker continues to expect revenue of $10 million to $12 million at its main Marlboro, Mass., operations during the first and second quarters. The company anticipates gross margins of 5% to 10%. For the second half of the year, meanwhile, Evergreen Solar sees gross margins improving to roughly 8% to 15%. The company also continues to project incremental revenue from its EverQ partnership beginning in the second quarter, with $6 million to $12 million during the period. Evergreen Solar anticipates revenue from the partnership of $16 million to $22 million in the third quarter, and $23 million to $25 million for the fourth quarter. Evergreen's shares, however, were hit after its 10-K, filed Friday, said that MEMC ( WFR) broke its contract to supply the company with granular silicon. Evergreen was subsequently downgraded by Thomas Weisel and RBC Capital Markets. Shares were trading down $1.13 to $14.22.
Fording Canadian Coal Trust ( FDG) fell 6% after the company cut its first-quarter sales volumes forecast. The company blamed the shortfall on high inventory levels at its customers' plants and some substitution of hard coking coal with lower-priced coals, which was caused by widening price differentials. Fording expects first-quarter sales volumes of roughly 5 million tons during the first quarter. For the full year, Fording sees sales of 22 million to 25 million tons, depending on global demand for steel, the company said. Shares were trading down $2.39 to $40.34. Shares of Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI) rose 6% after the satellite radio company said it now has more than 4 million subscribers. The company, which had more than 3.3 million subscribers at the end of 2005, still trails XM Satellite Radio ( XMSR), which started the year at 5.9 million subscribers. XM expects to have about 9 million subscribers by the end of 2006. Sirius expects to have more than 6 million subscribers by the end of 2006. Shares were trading up 31 cents to $5.20. Shares of Williams-Sonoma ( WSM) rose 2% after the retailer posted in-line fourth-quarter results and issued a 2006 earnings guidance that topped expectations. For the fourth quarter, the company earned $120.8 million, or $1.02 a share, on sales of $1.21 billion. Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $129.1 million, or $1.09 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of $1.09 a share, before items, on sales of $1.22 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $113.7 million, or 95 cents a share, on sales of $1.08 billion. Looking ahead, Williams-Sonoma sees 2006 earnings, excluding items, of $2.15 to $2.19 a share. Analysts project earnings of $1.98 a share. The company predicts sales of $3.9 billion to $3.97 billion, compared with Wall Street's forecast of $3.98 billion. Shares were trading up 70 cents to $43.16.
NYSE volume leaders included Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 11 cents to $2.79; Nortel Networks ( NT), down 4 cents to $2.89; Wal-Mart ( WMT), up 85 cents to $47.54; Time Warner ( TWX), down 2 cents to $17.05; and General Electric ( GE), up 2 cents to $34.53. Nasdaq volume leaders included Oracle ( ORCL), up 17 cents to $13.77; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 43 cents to $27.93; JDSU ( JDSU), down 4 cents to $4.01; Intel ( INTC), unchanged at $19.54; ViroPharma ( VPHM), down 93 cents to $9.92; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 3 cents to $4.72; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 6 cents to $21.56; and Avanex ( AVNX), down 17 cents to $2.91.