Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are Intel Corp., Merck Co. Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc.

After Thursday's closing bell, Intel Corp. (INTC) lowered the top end of its sales forecast for the fourth quarter.

Watch list

Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) and its flight attendants union announced they have reached a tentative four-year contract deal after more than a year of talks.

Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) said it has agreed to pay $680 million in cash to acquire Jamdat Mobile Inc. (JMDT) , the top publisher of video games for wireless devices.

Credence Systems Corp. (CMOS) reported a fourth-quarter loss of $22.5 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $24.1 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The Milpitas, Calif.-based semiconductor component company said quarterly revenue was $121.6 million, compared with $112.8 million last year.

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP) lowered its 2005 earnings forecast to a range of $1.90 to $2 a share. The Coral Gables, Fla.-based company had previously forecast 2005 earnings of $2.30 to $2.40 a share. Del Monte said the revised outlook was primarily due to lower-than-expected demand for pineapples in North America during the month of November. The company said it still expects 2005 sales to be higher than a year ago.

The New England Journal of Medicine alleges authors of a Merck-sponsored study on the safety of Vioxx omitted negative data about the pain-killer when they published an article on the results in 2000. In an editorial, the medical journal said that the Merck (MRK) study failed to mention three heart attacks suffered by participants using Vioxx, which has since been taken off the market because of safety concerns.

NeoMagic Corp. (NMGC) reported third-quarter earnings of $779,000, or 11 cents a share, compared with a loss of $6 million, or 91 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of applications processors said quarterly revenue was $8.65 million, compared with $552,000 last year.

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $8.51 million, or 24 cents a share, up 30% from $6.54 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Las Vegas-based gaming supply company rose to $33.8 million from $25.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had estimated earnings of 24 cents a share on revenue of $31 million.

Zila Inc. (ZILA) reported a first-quarter net loss of $5 million, or 11 cents a share, vs. a net loss of $2.71 million, or 6 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Phoenix-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology company dipped to $9.68 million from $9.88 million and gross margin was 58% vs. 65% last year. Separately, Zila said it has reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration on the design and size of its new Phase III clinical trial for OraTest, an oral cancer detection drug. The agreement, reached under FDA's special protocol assessment process, will permit Zila to begin the trial.