Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are Oracle Corp., MetLife Inc., McAfee Inc. and Visteon Corp.

Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Cedar Fair LP (FUN) is seen posting a fiscal first-quarter loss of 12 cents a share.

Coventry Health Care Inc.'s (CVH) fourth-quarter profit is expected to be 80 cents a share

Ecolab Inc. (ECL) is expected post a fiscal third-quarter per-share profit of 32 cents.

Max Re Capital Ltd. (MXRE) is seen posting a fourth-quarter profit of 9 cents a share

Visteon Corp. (VC) is expected to report a loss of 69 cents a share in its fourth quarter.

After Thursday's closing bell, Oracle Corp. (ORCL) said it plans to cut 2,000 jobs as it digests Siebel Systems Inc. following the recent $5.85 billion acquisition. See full story. See After Hours column.

Watch list

Allegheny Energy Inc. (AYE) said unplanned outages at its plants and the soaring cost of wholesale energy needed to meet customer demand pushed its fourth-quarter earnings sharply lower. See full story.

Allied Waste Industries Inc. (AW) reported it quadrupled its fourth-quarter profit, saying higher sales, prices and volumes managed to stay ahead of rising operating costs like diesel fuel. See full story.

Aon Corp. (AOC) said fourth-quarter net income was $224 million, or 65 cents a share, compared with $81 million, or 24 cents a share, during the year-earlier period. Quarterly revenue was $2.53 billion, compared with $2.6 billion last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected revenue of $2.61 billion. The Chicago insurer added that it expects cumulative pretax charges of $262 million, in connection with its previously announced 3-year restructuring plan.

Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) reported fiscal first-quarter net earnings of $120.6 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $107.4 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue was $621.3 million, up from $580.5 million last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $624 million.

Atari Inc. (ATAR) reported a fiscal third-quarter net loss of $4.76 million, or 4 cents a share. In the same period last year, the company reported net earnings of $19.6 million, or 16 cents a share. Revenue at the New York-based video game company fell 36% to $100.8 million from $156.4 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First call had forecast earnings of 17 cents a share. The company also said Diane Baker has resigned as chief financial officer, to be effective shortly.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $3.14 million, or 3 cents a share, down 6.3% from $3.35 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the North Vancouver, British Columbia-based movie and television production company rose 21% to $231 million from $190.4 million last year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast revenue of $225 million.

McAfee Inc. (MFE) said its quarterly profit increased 2.3% to outpace the antivirus software firm's recently lowered expectations. See full story.

MetLife Inc. (MET) said fourth-quarter net income rose 32%, helped by an increase in premiums and fees as well as its acquisition of Travelers Life & Annuity from Citigroup Inc. See full story.

Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN) reported a fiscal first-quarter net loss of $4.89 million, or 3 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the Burlington, Mass.-based provider of speech and imaging technology services posted net earnings of $3.14 million, or 3 cents a share. Pro forma earnings were $11.4 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $9.1 million, or 8 cents a share. Revenue rose to $75.5 million from $60.6 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast first-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $75.2 million.

Odyssey Re Holdings Corp. (ORH) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $81.7 million, or $1.20 a share. In the same period last year, the Stamford, Conn.-based insurance company reported net income of $57.2 million, or 83 cents a share. The company reported an operating loss of $1.06 a share compared with operating income of 72 cents a share last year. Revenue fell to $595.8 million from $674.7 million, while net premiums fell 11% to $526.9 million from $590.4 million. Odyssey Re also said it is restating its results for 2001 through 2004, and for the first three quarters of 2005 to correct the accounting treatment for certain contract features.

OraSure Technologies (OSUR) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $20.6 million, or 44 cents a share. Last year, it posted a loss of $245,000, or 1 cent a share. Revenue at the medical products manufacturer rose to $18 million from $14.2 million in the year-ago period. Gross margin remained unchanged at 60%. Excluding an $18.2 million income tax benefit, OraSure said earnings would have been $2.5 million, or 5 cents a share.

Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $16.2 million, or 51 cents a share, up 15% from $14 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the St. Louis-based company rose to $173.3 million from $130.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of 51 cents a share on revenue of $171 million.

Primus Telecommunications Group Inc. (PRTL) posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $24.9 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $1.8 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Its loss on an adjusted basis was $15.8 million, or 15 cents a share. Primus said revenue fell 14.9% to $287.2 million from $336.9 million last year.

Quality Systems Inc. (QSII) reported third-quarter net earnings of $4.82 million, or 35 cents a share, up 14% from $4.22 million, or 32 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Irvine, Calif.-based developer of applications for medical and dental group practices rose to $26.8 million from $22.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of 45 cents a share.

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. (TQNT) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $2.94 million, or 2 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the Hillsboro, Ore.-based supplier of components and modules for communications applications posted a net loss of $25.3 million, or 18 cents a share. Revenue rose to $84.6 million from $67 million

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) said it will now pay out a 38-cent quarterly dividend, a 5-cent increase, starting this March. See full story.

UTStarcom Inc. (UTSI) reported a preliminary fourth-quarter net loss of $20.6 million, or 17 cents a share. Net sales were $685.5 million. The company also said a board committee will investigate the circumstances surrounding the premature recognition of revenue from a 2002 contract with a customer in India. Looking ahead, the company expects a first-quarter net loss of 65 cents to 75 cents a share on revenue of $505 million to $535 million.