Interface ( IFSIA) slumped after the floor-coverings and fabrics company was downgraded by two research firms. Raymond James cut its rating on the stock to outperform from strong buy, and Stifel Nicolaus dropped Interface to hold from buy. Shares of Interface were falling 94 cents, or 6.7%, to $13.13. Mindspeed Technologies ( MSPD) was surging a day after Jim Cramer mentioned the company positively on his "Mad Money" television show. The company, which makes processors and fiber-to-the-premises necessary for VoIP, saw its shares jump 47 cents, or 14.2%, to $3.77. More than 27 million shares had traded, compared with average daily volume of about 1.6 million shares. Outlook Group ( OUTL) was rising more than 13% after word that the company signed a deal to be acquired by Vista Group Holdings for $13.50 a share. Outlook, a printing, packaging and direct-marketing company, also said net sales for the third quarter rose 7.4% from a year ago to $18.4 million. The company earned $4,000, or less than a penny a share, compared with a profit of $570,000, or 17 cents a share, for the same period last year. Outlook's shares were gaining $1.55 to $13.12. Shares of Core Molding Technologies ( CMT) were plunging 30% in the wake of the company's latest quarterly financial results. The company said total sales for the quarter fell to $32.8 million from $35.1 million in the same quarter of 2004. Net income for the quarter dropped to $1.1 million, or 10 cents a share, from $2.8 million and 29 cents a share, a year ago. The results from the 2004 quarter include a gain of $1.4 million, or 15 cents a share. Core Molding, a molder of fiberglass-reinforced plastics, saw its stock sink $2.56 to $5.82. Air-freight carrier Kitty Hawk ( KHK) said fourth-quarter revenue rose to $45.9 million from $44.4 million last year, but it swung to a loss of $3.8 million, or 8 cents a share, from a profit of $5.4 million and 11 cents a share, a year ago. The year-ago period included the reversal of $4.7 million of aircraft-maintenance expenses.
Kitty Hawk is forecasting a loss in the first quarter that will be wider than that of the fourth quarter. During the first two quarters of this year, the company expects its transportation and freight-handling expenses to continue to increase from the fourth quarter because of added investments in its scheduled airport-to-airport ground network. Shares of Kitty Hawk sank 18 cents, or 14.5%, to $1.06. Corus Group ( CGA), a steelmaker, gained nearly 9% following a report that the company has held talks about merging with another steel company, Evraz Group of Russia. The talks were first reported by the Financial Times, which cited a person who had knowledge of the matter. Corus was higher by $1.33 to $16.23. Bally Total Fitness ( BFT) sprinted ahead on a news report in the New York Post that Virgin Group is considering buying the Chicago-based fitness chain. Shares of Bally surged $1.22, or 15.6%, to $9.06.