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Altria, Big Lots, Green Dot, Lorillard: U.S. Equity Preview

Shares of the following companies may have unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are as of 8:45 a.m. in New York.

Makers of menthol cigarettes may rise as Lorillard Inc. (LO US), the maker of Newport cigarettes, the top-selling U.S. menthol brand, may win a $5 billion reprieve from a ban on menthol cigarettes after a one-year study for U.S. regulators found conflicting evidence of health risks. Other manufacturers are Altria Group Inc. (MO US) and Reynolds American Inc. (RAI US).

Big Lots Inc. (BIG US): The discount retailer exploring a possible sale may be worth $4.8 billion, or about $60, in a sale, a 47 percent premium to the current share price, said Cowen Group Inc.

Blue Nile Inc. (NILE US) declined 12 percent to $56.10. The online retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry reported fourth- quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, missing the average analyst estimate of 43 cents, Bloomberg data show.

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. (CPKI US) fell 3.2 percent to $16.05. The Los Angeles-based restaurant chain reported fourth- quarter adjusted earnings were 17 cents a share, topping the 10- cent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Cephalon Inc. (CEPH US) dropped 3.8 percent to $57.80. The Frazer, Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.19 a share on an adjusted basis, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.92, according to Bloomberg data.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG US) gained 2.4 percent to $250.50. The Denver-based restaurant chain reported fourth- quarter earnings on an adjusted basis of $1.47, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.30, according to Bloomberg data.

Coca-Cola Co. (KO US): The world’s largest soft-drink maker said 2011 adjusted earnings will be between $1.95 and $2.00, missing the average analyst estimate of $2.01, according to Bloomberg data.

DaVita Inc. (DVA US) gained 1.2 percent to $77. The provider of dialysis services reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.13 a share, excluding some items, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.12, Bloomberg data show.

Expedia Inc. (EXPE US) slumped 14 percent to $22.15. The online travel company was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Benchmark Co. The 12-month price estimate is $26.

FalconStor Software Inc. (FALC US) gained 17 percent to $4.35. The maker of data-protection software reported fourth- quarter earnings excluding some items of 5 cents a share. Gary Spivak, an analyst at Noble Financial Group Inc., estimated a loss of 6 cents.

Ford Motor Co. (F US) rose 1.5 percent to $16.19. The second-largest U.S. automaker will redeem $2.98 billion of convertible notes in March as the company works to gain an investment-grade credit rating.

Green Dot Corp. (GDOT US) declined 5.7 percent to $55. The provider of pre-paid debit cards reported fourth-quarter earnings excluding certain items that missed the average analyst estimate by 35 percent. The shares were cut to “sell” from “neutral” at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT US) fell 2.3 percent to $30.38. The world’s second-largest food company lowered its full-year earnings forecasts because of rising commodity costs. Profit excluding certain items such as integration costs will increase 11 percent to 13 percent. That’s down from the company’s November projection of a rise in the “mid-teens.”

Leapfrog Enterprises Inc. (LF US) dropped 5 percent to $4.21. The maker of electronic children’s learning products forecast earnings in 2011 will be no more than 20 cents, below the average analyst estimate of 29 cents.

LivePerson Inc. (LPSN US) fell 13 percent to $10.01. The New York customer-service software maker forecast first-quarter sales of $30.5 million at most, trailing the average analyst estimate of $30.8 million in a Bloomberg survey.

MannKind Corp. (MNKD US) slumped 11 percent to $4.49. The Valencia, California-based biotechnology company founded by billionaire inventor Alfred Mann said it is cutting about 41 percent of its workforce.

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NBIX US) gained 9.3 percent to $8.02. The San Diego-based drugmaker reported fourth-quarter sales of $13.7 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $12.6 million in a Bloomberg survey.

Nokia Oyj (NOK US) dropped 9.3 percent to $9.87. The world’s biggest maker of mobile phones announced that it will use Microsoft’s Windows Phone as its primary software platform - - a sign of the depth of the challenge in taking on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT US) gained 1.2 percent to $27.84.

Orthovita Inc. (VITA US) soared 23 percent to $2.70. The maker of synthetic tissue and bone products said it received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell Vitoss BA Bimodal Bone Graft Substitute and the product will be introduced in nine to 12 months.

Panera Bread Co. (PNRA US) climbed 8.1 percent to $107.75. The bakery-cafe chain lifted its full-year earnings estimate for 2011 to as much as $4.45 a share, up from previous guidance of as much as $4.35 a share.

Rackspace Hosting Inc. (RAX US) gained 2.7 percent to $38. The web-based IT system delivery company reported fourth-quarter revenue of $214.7 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $210.1 million, Bloomberg data show.

TTM Technologies Inc. (TTMI US) declined 2.4 percent to $17.70. The maker of printed circuit boards forecast first- quarter adjusted earnings to be as low as 35 cents a share, compared with the 39-cent average estimate of analysts.

Wright Medical Group Inc. (WMGI US) rose 5.8 percent to $15.98. The orthopedic device company forecast earnings in 2011 to be as much as 95 cents a share, exceeding the 88-cent average estimate of analysts.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN US): The owner of the Wynn and Encore casinos reported fourth-quarter profit was 91 cents a share, beating analysts’ estimates of 70 cents s share after opening a second resort in Macau.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lu Wang in New York at; Jennifer Johnson in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at

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