Among the companies whose share are expected to see active trade in Thursday's session are MetLife Inc., News Corp., Marriott International Inc. and Whole Foods Markets Inc.

Aetna Inc. (AET) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.23 a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Allied Waste Industries Inc.'s (AW) fourth-quarter profit is expected to be 8 cents a share.

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) is seen posting fiscal first-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share.

Aon Corp. (AOC) is expected to report a per-share profit of 57 cents in its fourth quarter.

Boyd Gaming Corp.'s (BYD) fourth quarter is expected to show earnings of 16 cents a share.

Marriott International Inc. (MAR) is seen posting a fourth- quarter profit of 98 cents a share

McAfee Inc. (MFE) is expected to report a per-share profit of 28 cents a share in its fourth quarter.

MetLife Inc.'s (MET) fourth-quarter earnings are expected to be $1.01 a share.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TAP) is seen posting a fourth-quarter profit of 88 cents a share.

Thomson Corp. (TOC) is expected to post a per-share profit of 55 cents in its fourth quarter.

After Wednesday's closing, News Corp. (NWS) (NWSA) said its fiscal first-quarter profit nearly tripled on a gain related to the sale of its TSL Education business, along with revenue gains at its cable television networks. See full story. See After Hours column.

Watch List

Akamai Technologies Inc. (AKAM) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $25.8 million, or 16 cents a share, up 92% from $13.4 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Cambridge, Mass.-based Internet content technology company rose to $82.7 million from $57.6 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $79 million

Amkor Technology Inc. (AMKR) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $54 million, or 30 cents a share. Last year, the advanced semiconductor assembly services provider posted a loss of $36.1 million, or 21 cents a share. Revenue surged 42% to $643.5 million from $453.3 million a year ago.

Applebee's International Inc. (APPB) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $20.5 million, or 27 cents a share, down 16% from $24.4 million, or 30 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. The Overland Park, Kan.-based restaurant chain posted revenue of $300.2 million vs. $271.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $301 million. Same-restaurant sales were up 1% during the quarter.

Business Objects SA (BOBJ) said it agreed to pay $69 million in cash to acquire Firstlogic Inc., a privately held maker of software designed to ensure the quality of business data stored by corporations. See full story.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (CRL) said fourth-quarter net income was $50.4 million, or 69 cents a share, compared with $20.1 million, or 32 cents a share, during the year-earlier quarter. Pro forma per-share income was 59 cents, compared with 48 cents last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected per-share earnings of 57 cents. The Wilmington, Mass.-based drug discovery tools provider said quarterly revenue was $291.2 million, compared with $238.1 million last year. Analysts were looking for revenue of $283 million.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) said its fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled and contract signings surged, with revenue increasing just over 1% to top expectations, as it worked through a turnaround plan. See full story.

EResearchTechnology Inc (ERES) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $5.3 million, or 10 cents a share, down from $6.96 million, or 13 cents a share, last year. Revenue fell to $25.4 million from $27.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of 8 cents a share on revenue of $25 million. The Philadelphia-based provider of technology and services to the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries also said Joseph Esposito, chief executive and president, plans to retire before the end of 2006.

Maverick Tube Corp. (MVK) said fourth-quarter net income was $63.2 million, or $1.54 a share, compared with $38.5 million, or 90 cents a share, during the same period last year. Analysts were looking for per-share earnings of $1.34. The St. Louis-based manufacturer of tubular products for the energy industry said quarterly revenue was $484.7 million, compared with $361.3 million last year.

Morgan Stanley (MS) said it has named Zoe Cruz and Robert Scully as co-presidents of the firm. Cruz has served as acting president since July 2005, while Scully has most recently served as chairman of global capital markets and vice chairman of investment banking. They will both report to Chief Executive John Mack, the New York-based financial services firm said. Cruz will continue to oversee the firm's institutional securities businesses as well as the retail brokerage business. Scully will oversee asset management, Discover and the firm's private equity business, among other duties, the company said.

Navteq Corp. (NVT) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $27.7 million, or 29 cents a share, up 79% from $15.4 million, or 17 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. The Chicago-based provider of navigable digital maps posted revenue of $146 million vs. $119 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share on revenue of $144.2 million.

Pacer International Inc. (PACR) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $20.4 million, or 54 cents a share, up 20% from $17 million, or 44 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell 5.1% to $503.8 million from $530.8 million a year ago, said the Concord, Calif.-based freight transportation provider. Analysts were expecting a profit of 48 cents a share on revenue of $537 million, according to a survey by Thomson First Call.

Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) reported a 20% increase in fourth-quarter profit, but also said operating results were dented by the cost of ongoing legal problems stemming from its retail brokerage joint venture with Wachovia Corp. (WB) . See full story.

Sonic Solutions (SNIC) said third-quarter net income was $8.2 million, or 30 cents a share. For the same period last year, the DVD creation software company recorded a net loss of $419,000, or 2 cents a share. Sonic said quarterly revenue was $40.8 million, compared with $19.7 million last year. Sonic said it expects revenue growth of 20% to 25% for the full year ending March 31, 2007.

Whole Foods Markets Inc. (WFMI) turned in a 26% hike in first-quarter profit amid record average weekly sales. See full story.

Willis Group (WSH) , the third-largest insurance broker, reported fourth-quarter organic sales growth of 8% due to new clients. See full story.