Shares of Tempur-Pedic International ( TPX) were among the NYSE's losers Thursday, falling 6% after the company said that funds managed by TA Associates distributed some 5 million shares of the mattress maker's stock. The share distribution represents about 32% of TA's interest in Tempur-Pedic. The shares were first acquired by TA in November 2002. Shares of Tempur-Pedic were trading down $1.03 to $17.09. Shares of Stanley Furniture ( STLY) tumbled 8% after the furniture maker slashed its third-quarter earnings and sales guidance. The company now sees earnings of 27 cents to 29 cents a share, down from an earlier view of 38 cents to 41 cents a share. The company predicts an 8% to 10% drop in sales from a year earlier, when sales totaled $85.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project third-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share and sales of $82.3 million. Stanley plans to issue third-quarter results on Oct. 16. For the year, Stanley predicts a profit of $1.24 to $1.32 a share, with a 4% to 7% sales drop. Wall Street anticipates earnings of $1.56 a share, with a top line of $324.9 million. Shares were trading down $1.78 to $20.97. Measurement Specialties ( MEAS) fell 5% after the company cut its second-quarter earnings forecast for the September quarter. The maker of measurement instruments now anticipates earnings of 19 cents to 22 cents a share for the second quarter, down from earlier guidance of 24 cents to 26 cents a share. Analysts, on average, project earnings of 24 cents a share. The company expects revenue to meet or beat its previous estimate of $48 million. Measurement Specialties attributed the weaker earnings outlook to lower-than-expected gross margins. "Based on our preliminary July and August results, and in light of our investor presentation this afternoon and previously released material, we felt if prudent to adjust guidance, at this time," the company said. Shares were down 92 cents to $19.01.
Shares of Pier 1 ( PIR) fell 2% after the retailer posted a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss. For the period ended Aug. 26, the company's loss swelled to $73.1 million, or 84 cents a share, from $6.4 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Pier 1 had a loss of $29.3 million, or 34 cents a share, for the recent quarter. Revenue fell to $370.7 million from $423.7 million, while same-store sales declined 14.8%. Analysts expected a loss of 28 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $386.7 million. Shares were trading down 11 cents to $6.77. Applica ( APN) vaulted 20% after Harbinger Capital offered to buy the household appliance company for $6 a share. Harbinger, Applica's largest shareholder, already owns 40% of the company and contends its offer is superior to that proposed by Hamilton Beach, a unit of Nacco Industries ( NC). Harbinger said its offer represents a 73% premium to the closing price for Applica's stock on July 21, the last trading day prior to the announcement of the Hamilton Beach merger agreement. It's a 38% premium to the average closing price for the company's stock for the period since the original merger announcement through Sept. 13. Applica shares recently changed hands at $5.49, up 93 cents. NYSE volume leaders included Ford ( F), down 30 cents to $8.89; Pfizer ( PFE), down 10 cents to $28.09; Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 35 cents to $16.56; Lucent Technologies ( LU), down 4 cents to $2.32; ExxonMobil ( XOM), down 32 cents to $65.04; Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), down 16 cents to $26.99; and General Electric ( GE), down 23 cents to $34.61. Nasdaq volume leaders included Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), up 17 cents to $4.72; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 33 cents to $26.31; Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), up 11 cents to $5.33; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 9 cents to $4.12; Intel ( INTC), down 16 cents to $19.67; JDSU ( JDSU), down 10 cents to $2.14; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 7 cents to $22.72; and Apple Computer ( AAPL), up 38 cents to $74.58.