Shares of the following companies are having unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 9:45 a.m. in New York.
Index changes: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. (AHL US) rose 3 percent to $29.98. The insurer will replace Baldor Electric Co. (BEZ US) in the Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index, S&P said in a press release. Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (VSI US) gained 4.1 percent to $33.37. The retailer will replace Volt Information Sciences Inc. (VOL US) the S&P SmallCap 600 Index.
Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI US) fell 1.9 percent to $13.81. The provider of payroll and benefit services for employers said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William Sherertz died yesterday.
BB&T Corp. (BBT US) rose 3.8 percent to $28.12. The North Carolina bank that remained profitable through the financial crisis reported fourth-quarter profit increased 12 percent on lower credit costs. Net income was 30 cents a share. That beat the 25-cent average estimate of 34 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
CarMax Inc. (KMX US) gained 2.5 percent to $32.68. The largest U.S. seller of used cars was raised to “outperform” at Credit Suisse Group AG. The share-price estimate is $39.
Emulex Corp. (ELX US) slid 4.2 percent to $11.26. The Costa Mesa, California-based chipmaker said third-quarter earnings may be as low as 8 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimate of 11 cents, according to the average in a Bloomberg survey.
Ezcorp Inc. (EZPW US) rose 2.3 percent to $29.18. The short-term cash lender reported first-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate by 5 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company also raised its 2011 earnings forecast to $2.40 a share, higher than the average estimate.
Flextronics International Ltd. (FLEX US) advanced 2.1 percent to $8.39. The supplier of cameras and battery chargers for Apple Inc. devices said quarterly earnings and sales beat estimates and forecast profit off as much as 23 cents a share for the fourth quarter, compared with the average analyst estimate for 21 cents a share.
General Electric Co. (GE US) rallied 5.3 percent to $19.41. The world’s biggest maker of jet engines, medical-imaging equipment and power turbines posted its third straight quarter of profit growth, beating analysts’ estimates, driven by a rebound in its finance unit, health-care and transportation divisions. Fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations rose to 36 cents a share. That exceeded the 32-cent average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 13 analysts.
Google Inc. (GOOG US) climbed 1.1 percent to $633.88. The owner of the world’s most popular search engine said co-founder Larry Page will become chief executive officer on April 4, replacing Eric Schmidt, who becomes executive chairman. The company also reported fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as optimism about the economy led companies to boost spending for online advertising.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG US) jumped 14 percent to $330.53. The surgical-system maker posted earnings of $3.02 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.25 a share. Sales also exceeded forecasts.
People’s United Financial Inc. (PBCT US) fell 5.2 percent to $12.99. The Bridgeport, Connecticut-based lender said it agreed to buy Danvers Bancorp Inc. (DNBK US) in a 55 percent stock and 45 percent cash transaction valued at about $493 million. Danvers surged 27 percent to $21.62.
Polycom Inc. (PLCM US) soared 20 percent to $45.72. The largest independent maker of videoconferencing systems reported earnings of 49 cents a share, compared with the 43-cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Riverbed Technology Inc. (RVBD US) rose 2.8 percent to $36.44. The maker of computer backup and networking equipment was rated “overweight” in new coverage at JPMorgan Chase & Co. The 12-month share-price estimate is $43.
Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB US) increased 1.9 percent to $86.86. The world’s largest oilfield services provider said fourth- quarter profit rose 31 percent as surging crude prices boosted customer demand in North America. Excluding inventory adjustment and merger-related employee benefits costs, Schlumberger earned 85 cents a share, 7 cents above the average of 32 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company, based in Houston and Paris, will boost its dividend by four cents to 25 cents a share.
Tempur-Pedic International (TPX US) rose 9.1 percent to $43. The maker of luxury mattresses said 2011 earnings will be at least $2.60 a share and could reach $2.75. Analysts forecast earnings below that, at $2.49 a share, according to Bloomberg data.
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ US) gained 1.1 percent to $35. The second-largest U.S. telephone company said it has adopted a new policy that changes the method of accounting for pensions and other post-employment benefits. The policy recognizes gains and losses in the year they are incurred, rather than amortizing them over time. The company sees $600 million in pretax charges.
Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG US) rallied 21 percent to $5.70. The record label hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to solicit takeover bids, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s plans. Amanda Collins, a spokeswoman for Warner Music, declined to comment.
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