Q.E.P. ( QEPC), a maker of tools for flooring and tiling, saw its shares soar amid extremely active trading in the wake of the company's latest quarterly report. First-quarter earnings rose to $900,000, or 23 cents a share, from $300,000 and 8 cents a share in the year-ago period. Sales rose to nearly $57 million from $54 million last year. Those results carried the stock up 65% recently to $10.63. Meanwhile, positive comments from a Wall Street research firm lifted shares of STEC ( STEC) 18.1% to $8.49. STEC, a seller of computer memory and data-storage products, was upgraded by CIBC to sector outperform and given a $9 price target. The firm also raised its earnings estimates for 2008. Volume in the stock was heavy. HandHeld Entertainment ( ZVUE), a digital-entertainment company, was rising 17.7% to $2.06 after it announced the release of the ZVUE 260, its third-generation, value-priced MP3 video player. The 260 will be available for purchase at Walmart.com Tuesday with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of less than $100. Sonesta International Hotels ( SNSTA) rose on word that Mercury Real Estate Advisors, the owner of 9.8% of its stock, is pushing for a sale of the company. Last month, Sonesta said it was examining its strategic options. The stock was up 16.7% to $47.24.
Qiao Xing Universal Telephone ( XING), a China-based distributor of telecommunications products, was sinking after the company said it would restate its financial data for 2003, 2004 and 2005. Because of the restatement, net income will be reduced by 16.3 million yuan for 2003. Profits will be cut by 21.5 million yuan for 2004 and by 3.8 million yuan for 2005. Shares of Qiao Xing were dropping 20.3% to $11.13. Jewelry retailer LJ International ( JADE) was weaker on news that the company will delay filing its annual report for the year ended Dec. 31 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The delay is mainly because LJ's new accounting firm needs more time to complete its audit. Shares were losing 13.4% to $10.70.