Shares of Bill Barrett ( BBG) were among the NYSE's winners Wednesday, climbing 14% after the oil and gas producer posted first-quarter results that beat expectations. The company's earnings jumped to $22.1 million, or 50 cents a share, from $3.1 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $97.8 million from $51.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $88.5 million. "We are extremely pleased with our execution in early 2006," the company said. "We had strong production growth, particularly in the Piceance and West Tavaputs areas." Shares were trading up $4.30 to $35.16. Shares of Navistar International ( NAV) jumped 10% after the diesel-engine and truck maker said that fiscal 2006 earnings would top Wall Street's forecast. While Navistar didn't offer specific numerical guidance, the company's chief executive said that "given the current strength of the industry, I am confident that Navistar will outperform the Wall Street estimate." Analysts currently have an average forecast for fiscal 2006 earnings of $5.38 a share. "Our company continues to capitalize on the strength of the industry and to build on our core business through growth in less cyclical market such as the military," Navistar said. Shares were trading up $2.60 to $27.91. Schawk ( SGK) sank 21% after the digital-imaging graphic-services company posted disappointing first-quarter results. The company reported earnings from continuing operations of $5.2 million, or 20 cents a share, on revenue of $133.8 million. Analysts expected earnings of 32 cents a share and revenue of $156.8 million. A year earlier, Schawk earned $5.8 million, or 23 cents a share, on revenue of $119.2 million. The company said its results were hurt by its European operations, which got off to a slow start in 2006; the loss of certain customers in its East Coast operations; and lower ad spending by its largest client. Shares were trading down $5.33 to $19.84.
Shares of Mirant ( MIR) rose 5% after the energy company posted a big first-quarter profit. The company, which recently emerged from bankruptcy protection, earned $467 million, or $1.51 a share. On an adjusted basis, Mirant's earnings were $142 million, or 46 cents a share. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $11 million. "Our hedging strategy has been effective," the company said. "We are substantially hedged for the year, which has produced more predictable financial results mitigating mild weather experienced across much of the U.S. during the quarter." Shares were trading up $1.27 to $25.64. Phillips-Van Heusen ( PVH) fell 3% after the apparel company priced a secondary offering at $38 a share. The company, which priced some 10.1 million shares, offered the shares at a 5% discount to Tuesday's closing price of $39.80. Lehman Brothers acted as the sole book-running agent for the offering. All of the shares were sold by affiliates of Apax Europe. Shares were down $1.36 to $38.44. NYSE volume leaders included Ford ( F), up 18 cents to $7.35; General Motors ( GM), up $1.02 to $26.57; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 79 cents to $44.59; Lucent Technologies ( LU), up 1 cent to $2.72; Nortel Networks ( NT), down 5 cents to $2.67; and Pfizer ( PFE), down 12 cents to $25.15. Nasdaq volume leaders included Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 59 cents to $21.09; Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA), down $5.03 to $37.88; Symantec ( SYMC), up 61 cents to $17.70; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 5 cents to $23.67; Intel ( INTC), down 6 cents to $19.84; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 8 cents to $4.55; and JDSU ( JDSU), down 4 cents to $3.39.