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A123, Education Management, First Solar: U.S. Equity Movers

Shares of the following companies had unusual moves in U.S. trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are as of 4 p.m. in New York.

For-profit schools advanced after the Hill reported that the industry is working with lobbying firms to battle against government regulation. At least 47 Democrats have expressed reservations about a proposed rule to require schools to show their graduates’ annual student loan payments are less than 8 percent of their starting salaries, the report said.

Education Management Corp. (EDMC US) rallied 16 percent to $10.65 after BMO Capital Markets said the company will survive the regulatory crackdown. Corinthian Colleges Inc. (COCO US) climbed 8.3 percent to $6.11. Strayer Education Inc. (STRA US) rallied 4.6 percent to $157.10. Career Education Corp. (CECO US) increased 4.4 percent to $19.54. ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI US) rose 5 percent to $60.68.

Homebuilders declined as a report from RealtyTrac Inc. showed U.S. home seizures reached a record for the third time in five months in August.

Pulte Group Inc. (PHM US) slipped 3.9 percent to $8.24 for the second-biggest loss in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Lennar Corp. (LEN US) fell 2.8 percent to $14.09. D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI US) decreased 3.5 percent to $10.60. KB Home (KBH US) retreated 3.9 percent to $11.27.

A123 Systems Inc. (AONE US) rose 9.2 percent, the most since July 26, to $8.79. The battery maker said General Motors Co. and Daimler AG (DAI GR) have expressed interested in the company’s products, Hometown Life reported, citing officials at A123.

AAR Corp. (AIR US) climbed 6 percent to $18.71, the highest price since June 17. The aircraft parts and maintenance provider reported first-quarter profit of 35 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate by 18 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL US) slipped 8 percent, the most since Oct. 1, to $10. The underwriter of annuity and insurance products proposed to sell $150 million of notes convertible to shares.

Augusta Resources Corp. (AZC US) jumped 10 percent, the most since July 12, to $3.40. The mining company agreed to sell a stake in the Rosemont copper mine in the U.S. to Korea Resources Corp., the state-run minerals explorer, and Korean trader LG International Corp.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG US) slid 3.5 percent to $27.82, the lowest price since April 2009. The Houston-based company was cut to “sell” from “hold” at Lazard Capital Markets.

CareFusion Corp. (CFN US) slipped 1.4 percent to $24.16 for the biggest decline since Aug. 30. Cardinal Health Inc. sold its 14 percent stake in CareFusion, totaling 30 million shares, last night at $23.50 in a private transaction, according to Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP.

Cellu Tissue Holdings Inc. (CLU US) surged 50 percent to $11.87 for the biggest advance in Russell 2000 Index. The maker of machine glazed papers and crepe tissues agreed to be bought by Clearwater Paper Corp. (CLW US) for $12 a share.

China MediaExpress Holdings Inc. (CCME US) jumped 9.7 percent, the most since July 12, to $8.59. The television advertising operator said it may buy back as much as $30 million shares.

Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN US) added 3.7 percent to $69.40, the highest price since April 23. The biggest U.S. maker of plastics for water bottles boosted its full-year forecast, saying it expects profit to rise to about $7 a share. The company had previously estimated $6.40 at most.

FedEx Corp. (FDX US) decreased 3.8 percent to $82.72 the biggest decline since Aug. 11. The second-largest U.S. package-shipping company reported a first-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates and said it plans to eliminate 1,700 jobs.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR US) rallied 3.2 percent to $144.74, the highest price since May 3. Credit Suisse Group AG raised its share-price estimate for the world’s biggest maker of solar power modules to $160 from $150, saying it’s confident that the company will meet its 2011 earnings estimate of $9.13 a share.

Ford Motor Co. (F US) rose 4.8 percent to $12.44 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Barclays Plc upgraded the second-biggest U.S. carmaker to “overweight” from “equal-weight,” citing improved earnings power because of cost cutting and pricing.

GameStop Corp. (GME US) had the second biggest gain in the S&P 500, jumping 4.4 percent to $19.40. The world’s largest video-game retailer said it will buy back $500 million in shares and debt.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. (HP US) fell the most in the S&P 500, sinking 4.5 percent to $38.52. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based oil-and-gas drilling company said it expects fourth-quarter average daily rig margins to decrease by at least 15 percent from the previous three months at its offshore business, according to a regulatory filing.

NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NPSP US) lost 4.7 percent to $6.30, the biggest decline since Sept. 7. The biopharmaceutical company said it plans to sell $41.2 million shares in a public offering.

Occam Networks Inc. (OCNW US) rallied 36 percent, the most since March 2004, to $7.19. The telephone equipment maker agreed to be bought by Calix Inc. (CALX US) for $7.75 a share in stock and cash. Calix slid 6.8 percent to $12.40.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (PIR US) rose 6.5 percent to $8.48, the highest price since May 13. The retailer of imported furniture reported second-quarter sales and profit that exceeded the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Williams Cos. (WMB US) declined 3.5 percent, the most since Aug. 11, to $18.44. The U.S. natural-gas pipeline operator forecast profit excluding some items of as little as 85 cents a share in 2011 and as little as 95 cents a share in 2010. The average analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey were $1.47 for 2011 and $1.80 for 2012.

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