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.
Williams-Sonoma ( WSM) climbed 5% after the home-goods retailer backed its fourth-quarter profit expectation. The company said its revenue for the eight-week holiday period ended Dec. 25 rose to $900.4 million from $868.7 million, while same-store sales increased 1.1%. The company said the sales were in line with expectations, and as a result it still expects earnings of $1 to $1.06 a share for the fourth quarter and $1.74 to $1.80 a share for the full year. Looking ahead, Williams-Sonoma said it is "cautious" in its outlook for 2007 due to macroeconomic concerns, competition and margin pressure related to its efforts to turn around the Pottery Barn brand. The company predicts a flat to mid-single-digit percentage increase in its earnings per share for 2007. Shares were trading up $1.71 to $32.98. ScanSource ( SCSC) shares slid 6% after the maker of bar code scanners cut its second-quarter revenue projection. For the period ended Dec. 31, the company estimates revenue of $467 million to $475 million. Previously, the company forecast revenue of $477 million to $497 million. Analysts, on average, predicted revenue of $489.4 million. Shares of ScanSource recently changed hands at $28.18, down $1.93. Tween Brands ( TWB) tumbled 11% after the retailer cut its fourth-quarter forecast. For the period ending Feb. 3, the company now anticipates earnings of 85 cents to 88 cents a share, down from an earlier forecast of 95 cents to $1 a share. Analysts expect earnings of 98 cents a share. The company now projects same-store sales growth of 3% to 4%, down from an earlier forecast of mid-single-digit growth. Tween Brands blamed the shortfall on flat December same-store sales at its Limited Too chain and lower merchandise margins. Shares were falling $4.45 to $36.60.
NYSE volume leaders included Sprint Nextel ( S), down $1.96 to $17.68; Ford ( F), up 9 cents to $7.82; Motorola ( MOT), down 13 cents to $18.47; Boston Scientific ( BSX), up 35 cents to $18.16; Time Warner ( TWX), down 15 cents to $22.22; EMC ( EMC), up 4 cents to $14.12; Pfizer ( PFE), up 3 cents to $26.19; and General Electric ( GE), up 37 cents to $37.92. Among Nasdaq's heavily traded stocks were Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), up 5 cents to $3.81; Intel ( INTC), up 8 cents to $21.09; Apple Computer ( AAPL), up 79 cents to $86.26; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 5 cents to $29.98; Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), up 5 cents to $6.13; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 2 cents to $28.65; and Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 1 cent to $5.64.