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Abercrombie, First Bancorp, Nanometrics: U.S. Equity Movers

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses, and prices are of 4 p.m. in New York.

Some retailers rose after reporting June sales that beat analysts’ estimates. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF US) advanced 7.8 percent to $35.45 for the biggest gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The teen clothing retailer said same-store sales increased 9 percent. J.C. Penney Co. (JCP US) surged 6.7 percent to $23.24. The department store operator said comparable-store sales increased 4.5 percent.

Retailers whose sales trailed analysts’ estimates declined. Gap Inc. (GPS US) fell 7.6 percent to $18.22. Buckle Inc. (BKE US) sank 9.8 percent to $28.61. TJX Cos. (TJX US) retreated 4.6 percent to $41.53.

American Physicians Capital Inc. (ACAP US) rallied 28 percent to $40.63 for the biggest gain since it went public in December 2000. The seller of medical liability insurance in the U.S. Midwest agreed to be purchased by Doctors Co. for about $386 million in cash, or $41.50 a share.

DragonWave Inc. (DRWI US) tumbled 16 percent to $4.70, the lowest price since July 2009. The maker of wireless equipment forecast second-quarter revenue of about $25 million. The average estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg survey was $46.8 million.

Ecosphere Technologies Inc. (ESPH US) climbed 9.2 percent, the most since June 30, to $1.19. The provider of water recycling services for the natural gas industry said it won a contract to help BP Plc (BP US) in its cleanup efforts after the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

First BanCorp (FBP US) surged 54 percent to 65 cents, the biggest advance in the Russell 2000 Index. The parent of FirstBank Puerto Rico said it signed an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department to issue preferred stock that it will exchange for preferred shares issued to the department under the government’s Troubled Assets Relief Program in 2009.

Popular Inc. (BPOP US), Puerto Rico’s largest bank, rose 8.7 percent to $2.75.

H&R Block Inc. (HRB US) declined 8.2 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $14.22. The biggest U.S. tax preparer named board member Alan Bennett to become chief executive officer after Russell P. Smyth resigned to lead another company.

Madison Square Garden Inc. (MSG US) fell 5.5 percent, the most since it first traded in January, to $20.38. The owner of the New York Knicks retreated after ESPN reported that LeBron James, the most-valuable player in the National Basketball Association for the past two seasons, is leaning toward playing basketball for the Miami Heat instead of the company’s team.

Nanometrics Inc. (NANO US) fell the most in the Russell 2000 Index, slumping 20 percent to $8.69. The semiconductor-gear maker was downgraded to “market perform” from “outperform” at Oppenheimer & Co.

Ruby Tuesday Inc. (RT US) gained 13 percent, the most since May 18, to $9.33. The casual-dining chain was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMI US) dropped 9.4 percent, the most since May 20, to $3.55. China’s biggest chipmaker priced a sale of 1.5 billion shares at 52 Hong Kong cents (7 U.S. cents) each, according to a regulatory filing.

Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. (SKH US) had the second-biggest gain in the Russell 2000 Index, surging 54 percent to $2.34. The nursing-home operator may avoid bankruptcy after a California jury returned a $671 million verdict against the company, Barclays Plc said. A settlement may be reached over the next few weeks, analyst Brendan Strong wrote in a note to clients.

Sun Bancorp Inc. (SNBC US) rose 37 percent to $4.95, the biggest rally since at least August 1996. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross agreed to participate in a $100 million investment in the New Jersey bank holding company.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK US) advanced 18 percent, the most since its initial public offering in 2004, to $21.52. The maker of vinyls and plastics was raised to “buy” from “hold” at BB&T Capital Markets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at

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

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