Shares of Central Garden and Pet ( CENT) were among the Nasdaq's losers Monday, sliding 10% after the lawn and pet products company said that first-quarter results were worse than expected. The company expects to post a loss of 12 cents to 14 cents a share for the first quarter ended Dec. 31. Previously, the company had projected break-even results. Central Garden and Pet estimates revenue of $320 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected a break-even bottom line and revenue of $335.8 million. Shares were trading down $4.97 to $43.82. Eaton ( ETN) fell 6% after the industrial manufacturer gave a tepid guidance for 2007. The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $241 million, or $1.59 a share, up from $210 million, or $1.38 a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges, earnings were $1.66 a share. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.59 a share. Sales rose to $3.10 billion from $2.82 billion, missing Wall Street's expectation of $3.14 billion. Looking ahead, Eaton forecast flat revenue in 2007 amid a demand decline in its end markets. The company sees full-year earnings of $6.30 to $6.50 a share, before items. Analysts predict earnings of $6.30 a share. For the first quarter, Eaton predicts earnings of $1.35 to $1.45 a share, below analysts' estimate of $1.58. Shares were trading down $4.39 to $73.26. Shares of Swift Transportation ( SWFT) rose 9% after the trucking company agreed to be acquired by its founder for $31.55 a share in cash. Including about $332 million in debt, the deal is valued at about $2.74 billion. Previously, Swift rejected a $29 a share offer from its founder, Jerry Moyes. The new price represents a 14% premium to Friday's closing price of $27.74. Shares recently were up $2.55 to $30.29.
ElkCorp ( ELK) shares rose 1% after Carlyle Group agreed to increase the price of its tender offer for the building products company to $42 a share, matching a rival bid from privately held Building Materials Corp. of America. Carlyle and ElkCorp previously had a buyout agreement valued at $40.50 a share. Carlyle's tender offer, which began on Jan. 18, will expire on Feb. 14. The new price values ElkCorp at about $1.1 billion, including some $173 million in debt. Shares of ElkCorp were up 47 cents to $43.15. Shares of A.O. Smith ( AOS) rose 7% after the maker of electric motors posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The company earned $18.9 million, or 61 cents a share, on revenue of $543.6 million. Analysts expected earnings of 50 cents a share and revenue of $562.6 million. In the year-earlier quarter, A.O. Smith earned $16 million, or 52 cents a share, on revenue of $434 million. For 2007, A.O. Smith forecast earnings of $2.75 to $2.95 a share. Analysts project full-year earnings of $2.86 a share. Shares were adding $2.57 to $38.57. Patterson-UTI Energy ( PTEN) traded actively after the company said that lower rig activity hurt its fourth-quarter earnings. The company expects to report earnings of 95 cents to $1 a share for the period. Analysts project earnings of $1.07 a share. Patterson-UTI said that number of drilling rigs operating during the quarter averaged 290, down from an average of 301 during the third quarter. Despite the projected earnings shortfall, shares recently were up 21 cents to $23.82.
NYSE volume leaders included General Electric ( GE), unchanged at $36.95; Ford ( F), down 1 cent to $8.29; Motorola ( MOT), down 59 cents to $18.68; Sprint Nextel ( S), up 3 cents to $17.26; Citigroup ( C), up 62 cents to $55.12; Pfizer ( PFE), down 28 cents to $26.99; and Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), down 28 cents to $17.45. Nasdaq's heavy movers included Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 3 cents to $5.74; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), down 26 cents to $26.31; Intel ( INTC), down 5 cents to $20.77; Apple ( AAPL), down $2.52 to $85.98; Microsoft ( MSFT), down 44 cents to $30.67; Oracle ( ORCL), down 44 cents to $16.83; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 6 cents to $3.90; and Star Scientific ( STSI), down 53 cents to $1.17.