Updated from 11:04 a.m. EDTShares of Choice Hotels International ( CHH) were among the NYSE's losers Wednesday, plunging 23% after the hotel operator's second-quarter earnings and third-quarter guidance came in below Wall Street's forecasts. For the second quarter, Choice Hotels earned $24.1 million, or 36 cents a share, on revenue of $140.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 38 cents a share and revenue of $134.2 million. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $21.5 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $122.3 million. Looking ahead, Choice Hotels sees third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, below the 49 cents a share that analysts project. Shares were trading down $13.68 to $45.17. Getty Images ( GYI) sank 15% after the supplier of stock photographs and images posted softer-than-anticipated revenue and projected third-quarter results below expectations. Getty earned $22.3 million, or 35 cents a share, in the second quarter. Excluding items, the company earned $40.2 million, or 64 cents a share, beating analysts' average estimate of 61 cents. Revenue, however, came in at $204.8 million, short of Wall Street's projection of $207.4 million. A year earlier, the company posted adjusted earnings of $37.5 million, or 58 cents a share, on revenue of $185.3 million. For the third quarter, Getty forecast earnings of 64 cents to 66 cents a share, below analysts' prediction of 67 cents. The company sees revenue of $205 million to $210 million, shy of Wall Street's expectation of $212.6 million. Shares were down $8.46 to $46.74. Shares of Norfolk Southern ( NSC) tumbled 11% after the transportation company posted second-quarter earnings that fell short of Wall Street's forecast. The company earned $375 million, or 89 cents a share, on revenue of $2.39 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings of 92 cents a share and revenue of $2.39 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company recorded adjusted earnings of $304 million, or 75 cents a share, on revenue of $2.15 billion. Shares were trading down $4.86 to $40.39.
Yankee Candle ( YCC) jumped 13% after the candle maker posted in-line second-quarter earnings and said it is exploring strategic options, including the sale of the company. The company earned $4.8 million, or 12 cents a share, on revenue of $116.3 million. Analysts expected earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $115.9 million. A year earlier, the company earned $8.5 million, or 19 cents a share, on revenue of $108.5 million. Looking ahead, Yankee Candle sees third-quarter earnings of 28 cents to 30 cents a share, below analysts' forecasts of 35 cents a share. The company predicts sales growth of 7% to 9%. Yankee Candle said that it hired Lehman Brothers to help it seek strategic alternatives. "We are confident in our business strategy and optimistic about our future financial performance," the company said. "We and our board of directors also believe that we owe it to our shareholders to explore whether there are strategic alternatives available to us that would optimize shareholder value." The company also said it agreed to acquire the Illuminations brand and assets for $22 million. Illuminations makes premium scented candles and candle accessories, and will be operated as a separate brand from Yankee Candle. The acquisition is expected to close by Aug. 1. Yankee Candle shares were trading up $2.88 to $24.96. Shares of Amazon.com ( AMZN) tumbled 19% after the online retailer posted disappointing second-quarter earnings and slashed its full-year operating income forecast. For the second quarter, the company earned $22 million, or 5 cents a share, on sales of $2.14 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $2.1 billion. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $52 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $1.75 billion. Amazon projects third-quarter operating income of $7 million to $42 million, with sales of $2.17 billion to $2.33 billion. For the full year, the company sees operating income of $310 million to $440 million, down from an earlier view of $390 million to $520 million. The company now predicts sales of $10.15 billion to $10.65 billion, up from an earlier view of $9.95 billion to $10.5 billion. Shares were trading down $6.51 to $27.08. Panera Bread ( PNRA) shares tumbled 11% after the soup-and-sandwich shop reported solid second-quarter results but widened its full-year forecast lower. The company posted net income of $14.1 million, or 44 cents a share, on revenue of $197.1 million. System-wide same-store sales rose 3.2%. Results for the year-ago quarter aren't directly comparable due to a change in the reporting calendar, but pro forma earnings for the same period in 2005 were $10.7 million, or 34 cents a share, with revenue of $151.9 million. Panera, noting greater uncertainty about same-store sales and the costs from its launch of "Crispani" pizza product, now sees full-year earnings of $1.93 to $2 a share. Previously, the company forecast earnings of $1.97 to $2. Analysts, on average, forecast full-year EPS of $2. The company said it expects to meet its full-year targets for system-wide same-store sales growth of 4.5% to 6.5%. For the third quarter, Panera forecast earnings of 34 cents to 37 cents a share, including 2 cents to 4 cents in costs related to Crispani, and 6 cents to 7 cents in costs for certain expenses shifted forward from the fourth quarter to third. Wall Street targeted earnings of 44 cents a share. Panera shares were trading at $52.74, down $6.53.
NYSE volume leaders included Ford ( F), up 23 cents to $6.82; Corning ( GLW), down $2.27 to $19.38; General Motors ( GM), up $1.56 to $32.22; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 2 cents to $2.06; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), up 55 cents to $18.35; AT&T ( T), up 25 cents to $29.20; Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), up 25 cents to $31.58; UPS ( UPS), down $2.73 to $69.07; Pfizer ( PFE), up 6 cents to $25.02; Motorola ( MOT), up 16 cents to $21.76; and Halliburton ( HAL), up 20 cents to $31.65. Nasdaq volume leaders included Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 12 cents to $4.21; Intel ( INTC), down 19 cents to $17.35; Charter Communications ( CHTR), unchanged at $1.26; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 4 cents to $24.18; RF Micro Devices ( RFMD), up 21 cents to $6.17; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 2 cents to $3.90; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 1 cent to $18.08; and ATI Technologies ( ATYT), up 16 cents to $19.87.