Shares of H&R Block ( HRB - Get Report) were among the NYSE's losers Wednesday, falling 3% after the financial services company said that its first-quarter loss was larger than originally reported. H&R Block blamed the wider loss on a reduction in the carrying value of its discontinued mortgage operations. Because of the reduction, the company's quarterly loss widened to $60.3 million, or 18 cents a share, from the $44.7 million, or 14 cents a share, that it reported in February. "In light of the extreme volatility in the mortgage market, we conducted a rigorous review of the carrying value of all the assets of our Option One Mortgage Corporation subsidiary," the company said. "We continue to believe that the net asset value in this business is appropriate and prudent." H&R Block said that its plans to sell Option One continue to move ahead. Shares were trading down 60 cents to $19.45. Shares of Clean Harbors ( CLHB) tumbled 11% after the hazardous-waste services company posted disappointing fourth-quarter earnings. The company reported earnings of $11.4 million, or 56 cents a share, on revenue of $231.8 million. Analysts expected earnings of 59 cents a share and revenue of $216 million. In the year-earlier quarter, the company earned $7.9 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $193.7 million. For the first quarter, Clean Harbors forecast revenue of $200 million to $205 million, below Wall Street's target of $206.4 million. Shares were trading down $5.51 to $45.39.
Excel Maritime Carriers ( EXM) slid 10% after the transportation services company posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations. The company earned $9.3 million, or 47 cents a share, on revenue of $35.2 million. Excluding items, Excel earned 56 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 58 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $33.6 million. In the year-earlier quarter, the company earned $13.8 million, or 69 cents a share, on revenue of $35.7 million. The year-earlier results benefited from a one-time gain of $2.5 million, or 12 cents a share. Shares of Excel were trading down $1.89 to $16.10. Shares of Furniture Brands ( FBN) slipped 1% after the furniture maker cut its first-quarter earnings guidance. The company now sees adjusted earnings of 8 cents to 12 cents a share, down from an earlier view of 17 cents to 21 cents a share. The company projects revenue will fall nearly 15% from $661.4 million in last year's first quarter, implying revenue of about $562 million. Analysts project earnings of 18 cents a share on revenue of $596.6 million. Shares were trading down 18 cents to $15.73. Shares of Gymboree ( GYMB) rose 8% after the children's apparel retailer posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. For the period ended Feb. 3, the company posted earnings from continuing operations of $26.8 million, or 82 cents a share, on revenue of $241 million. Excluding items, earnings were 84 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 72 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $242 million. During the year-earlier period, Gymboree earned $21.2 million, or 63 cents a share, on revenue of $203.7 million. Looking ahead, Gymboree forecasts first-quarter earnings from continuing operations of 60 cents to 63 cents a share. Analysts, on average, project earnings of 63 cents a share. For the full year, the company sees earnings of $2.36 to $2.40 a share. Wall Street expects earnings of $2.36 a share. Shares were trading up $2.72 to $37.86.
Friedman Billings Ramsey ( FBR) rose 3% after the financial services concern indicated that it may get out of the struggling subprime market. The company said is exploring options for its First NLC nonconforming mortgage origination business. The company said the business has more than sufficient liquidity to meet margin calls and is in compliance with all warehouse agreements. Shares of Friedman Billings Ramsey were up 16 cents to $4.80. NYSE volume leaders included Ford ( F), down 12 cents to $7.52; Pfizer ( PFE), down 15 cents to $24.79; Wal-Mart ( WMT), down 34 cents to $45.62; CVS ( CVS - Get Report), up 43 cents to $32.33; General Electric ( GE), unchanged at $34.09; Micron ( MU), up 24 cents to $11.50; Lehman Brothers ( LEH), down $2.29 to $69.71; Exxon Mobil ( XOM), up 61 cents to $70.52; and Motorola ( MOT), up 1 cent to $18.25. Nasdaq volume leaders included Sun Microsystems ( SUNW), down 3 cents to $6.12; Intel ( INTC), down 7 cents to $19.05; Microsoft ( MSFT), up 30 cents to $27.02; Cisco Systems ( CSCO), up 13 cents to $25.63; Qualcomm ( QCOM), up $1.22 to $43.05; Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), down 5 cents to $3.24; Level 3 Communications ( LVLT), down 4 cents to $6.12; Apple ( AAPL), up 12 cents to $88.52; and Oracle ( ORCL), up 13 cents to $16.78.