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Research in Motion Drops on Court Setback

Research In Motion (RIMM) shares fell Wednesday after the company said that the US District Court in Virginia refused to delay a patent infringement case against the BlackBerry maker and rejected the disputed settlement with patent holding company NTP Inc.

Firstenergy (FE) raises 2006 earnings per share guidance (non-GAAP) by 5 cents to $3.45 to $3.65, excluding unusual items that may occur. It also says its subsidiaries will make a voluntary contribution of $500 million to $600 million to their pension plans before 2005-end.

Wet Seal (WTSLA) posted 14 cents third quarter loss vs. 67 cents loss on 47% higher same-store sales and 17% higher sales. It says it is not providing any "go forward" estimates for the fourth quarter, but it will incur significant non-cash stock compensation charges in the fourth quarter.

Dress Barn (DBRN) posted 64 cents vs. 24 cents first quarter earnings per share on a 9% same-store sales rise and 62% total sales rise. It raises $1.60 to $1.65 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance to $1.90 to $1.95. It posted 10% higher November same-store sales and 60% higher total sales.

Tiffany (TIF) posted 16 cents vs. 12 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 7% rise in US retail same-store sales and a 8.4% total sales rise. It maintains a forecast for 8% to 10% fiscal year 2006 net sales growth and $1.55 to $1.65 earnings per share.

Ashworth (ASHW) said it expects 15 cents to 17 cents fourth quarter loss due to lower-than-anticipated sales of full-margin products. It says it will explore a full range of strategic alternatives and options to enhance shareholder value.

Skyepharma (SKYE) The Wall Street Journal reported that the company has attracted interest from pharmaceutical titans Astrazeneca (AZN), Novartis (NVS), and Merck (MRK), among others, as it looks for possible buyers, according to people close to matter.

Hurco Companies (HURC) says it is reviewing its provision for income taxes with its accountants. It expects to release fourth quarter and fiscal year 2005 results by early next week.

Microchip Technology (MCHP) reaffirmed its third quarter guidance of about 32 cents earnings per share on sales of $234 million. It says revenue growth in the current quarter is being led by its analog division, which is expected to grow about 20% sequentially and by more than 40% year over year.

Chico's FAS (CHS) posted 29 cents vs. 21 cents third quarter earnings per share on 16% higher same-store sales and 33% higher total sales. It also posted 12% higher November comparable-store sales.

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) cut its $300 million to $305 million fourth quarter revenue forecast to $285 million to $290 million due to forex. It is expected to reduce earnings per share by about 3 cents. It also sees $15 million to $25 million of restructuring charges over the upcoming few quarters, which will also impact earnings per share.

Donaldson (DCI) posted 37 cents vs. 31 cents first quarter earnings per share on an 8.2% sales rise. It sees fiscal year 2006 earnings per share of $1.47 to $1.57.

Delphi Financial Group (DFG) expects fourth quarter operating earnings per share to be reduced by a maximum of 10 cents due to losses arising from Hurricane Wilma in its non-core property insurance business. It continues to have a positive outlook for its core insurance business.

Semtech (SMTC) posted 15 cents vs. 19 cents third quarter earnings per share on a 6.3% sales decline. It sees fourth quarter earnings per share of 16 cents on a 4% to 6% sequential sales increase.

Gottschalks (GOT) posted 12 cents third quarter loss vs. 12 cents loss on flat same-store sales and 2.3% higher total sales. It cut its fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance to 50 cents to 52 cents, including Sarbanes-Oxley 404 expenses, on flat to positive 1% same-store sales.

Jack in the Box (JBX) posted 59 cents vs. 56 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on a 1.5% same-store sales rise at Jack in the Box restaurants, as well as a 1.3% total revenue rise. It affirmed $2.50 to $2.54 fiscal year 2006 earnings per share guidance.

Novellus Systems (NVLS) sees 15 cents to 17 cents fourth quarter earnings per share on revenue of $305 million to $315 million. It sees fourth quarter bookings up 5% to 10%.

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