Trex ( TWP) saw its shares surge after the Winchester, Va., company beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations.

The company, a maker of composite decking and railing, said sales rose 17.1% from a year ago to $105.3 million. Earnings fell to $4.2 million, or 29 cents a share, from $8.4 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting the company to post earnings of 24 cents a share on revenue of $113.8 million.

Trex also affirmed its previously announced guidance for the first six months of the year, which calls for net sales of $220 million to $230 million and earnings of 57 cents to 62 cents a share. For the first half of last year, the company had sales of $173 million and earnings of 50 cents a share.

Shares of Trex were rising $3.31, or 12%, to $30.77 in recent trading.

American Retirement ( ACR), a Brentwood, Tenn., operator of senior-living communities, raised its 2006 guidance, lifting its shares Thursday.

The company said it expects to earn 69 cents to 72 cents a share this year, after an estimated cost of 12 cents for share-based compensation. American had previously forecast 65 cents to 67 cents.

American Retirement is scheduled to release its first-quarter results on May 4.

Also, the company said it agreed to acquire the lessee's interest in a Denver community that American currently manages. Upon closing the purchase, the property will convert from a managed community to a leased community, and its operating results will be included in American's consolidated financial statements.

Shares of American gained $1.80, or 7.7%, to $25.21 in recent trading.

Gorman-Rupp's ( GRC) shares advanced after the Mansfield, Ohio, maker of fluid-control equipment said its first-quarter sales and earnings were much stronger than a year ago.

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