Shares of Cheesecake Factory ( CAKE) were among the Nasdaq's winners Tuesday, surging 10% after the restaurant operator posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales. The company reported sales of $360.4 million, with a same-store sales increase of 0.8%. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected fourth-quarter sales of $354 million. During the year-earlier period, the company's sales totaled $328.6 million. "We are very pleased with our improving sales trends at The Cheesecake Factory," the company said. "The positive comparable sales for the quarter gives us more confidence as we head into fiscal 2007." Shares were trading up $2.52 to $27.08. Ceradyne ( CRDN) rose 4% after the body-armor maker projected that full-year earnings would be at the upper end of its previous guidance of $4.45 to $4.55 a share. Analysts project earnings of $4.49 a share. Meanwhile, the company estimates sales of about $663 million, above Wall Street's forecast of $656 million. "We are particularly pleased with the surge in orders and backlog which provides good visibility for 2007," Ceradyne said. Shares were up $2.18 to $61.16. Shares of Stage Stores ( SSI) rose 8% after the company announced a 3-for-2 stock split and a $50 million buyback. The stock split will be paid on Jan. 31 to shareholders of record on Jan. 18. The company also said it will maintain its quarterly dividend of 5 cents after the split, increasing its yield by 50%. Stage Stores forecast 2007 split-adjusted earnings of $1.47 to $1.57 a share, with revenue of $1.61 billion to $1.64 billion. Shares were trading up $2.41 to $32.04.