Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Friday's session are Tribune Co., Ford Motor Co. and Research In Motion Ltd.

Global Payments Inc. (GPN) is expected to report earnings per share for the first quarter of 43 cents, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Magnetek Inc. (MAG) is expected to post a fourth-quarter per-share loss of 10 cents.

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Republic Bancorp Inc. (RBNC) is expected to report earnings of 22 cents per share for the third quarter.

After Thursday's closing bell, Tribune (TRB) said it has hired Merrill Lynch and Citigroup as financial advisers, taking another step toward a possible sale of part or all of the company.

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Accenture Ltd. (ACN) reported a 51 percent jump in fiscal fourth-quarter net income late Thursday as the consulting and outsourcing specialist transferred a large but troubled contract to a rival.

Alpharma Inc. (ALO) reported positive results from its Phase II multi-dose clinical efficacy and pharmacokinetic trial for its abuse-deterrent extended-release opioid. The product allows patients to take pain killers without the possibility of abuse.

Aspen Technology Inc. (AZPN) said it swung to fourth-quarter net income as last year's results were cut by an operational loss from restructuring charges, among other items.

Boston Communications Group Inc. (BCGI) said it is likely that it will need to restate certain financial results to reflect the effects of additional non-cash charges for stock-based compensation expense.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) said they have agreed to market Atripla in Canada, subject to approval by Canada's health agency, Health Canada.

Central Garden & Pet Co. (CENT) said its shareholders have authorized the issuance of up to 100 million shares of nonvoting Class A common stock.

Chemed Corp. (CHE) said it expects full-year earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding certain charges, will be $2 to $2.10. Analysts are looking for annual per-share income of $2.13.

Corel Corp. (CREL) (CRE) said it swung to third-quarter net profit of $5.49 million, or 22 cents a share, as the company's gross margin and revenue rose.

Escala Group Inc. (ESCL) said it will delay filing its Form 10-K, needing more time for the board and audit committee to complete an investigation into the company's dealings with Afinsa Bienes Tangibles, S.A., its majority shareholder.

Ford Motor Co.'s (F) Ford Motor Credit Co. said it will cut 2,000 white-collar positions and consolidate its North American branches as part of its parent company's vow to step up its cost-cutting efforts.

Hartmarx Corp. (HMX) said third-quarter net income dropped as revenue fell and selling, general and administrative expenses rose. The apparel company said quarterly net income fell to $490,000, or a penny a share, from $6.59 million, or 18 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year.

Corporate espionage met political outrage on Capitol Hill as current and former executives of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) sparred with lawmakers over the technology giant's probe into leaks coming from its boardroom.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) increased its quarterly dividend 17 percent to 35 cents from 30 cents a share. The dividend is payable Dec. 29 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1.

Mirant Corp. (MIR) said its board has authorized a $100 million share repurchase program. The company intends to buy the stock until Sept. 30, 2007.

NII Holdings Inc. (NIHD) said it has agreed to extend its supply agreement with Motorola Inc. (MOT) for iDen handsets and network infrastructure for another five years, or until the end of 2011.

Research In Motion (RIMM) said an internal probe of its employee stock-option accounting may cause it to restate financial results, but its stock surged in late trading after the company issued better-than-expected quarterly results and a bullish forecast.

Swift Transportation Co. (SWFT) said it now sees third-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 42 cents, excluding a one-time charge of $5 million to $8 million. The company said the outlook is lower than what the company had originally expected.

Syms Corp. (SYM) said its second-quarter net loss widened to $1.37 million, or 9 cents per basic share, from $1.2 million, or 8 cents per basic share, as expenses rose and its gross margin fell.

Thomson Corp. (TOC) said it has acquired LiveNote Technologies, a San Francisco-based provider of transcript and evidence management software to litigators and court reporters.

Workstream Inc. (WSTM) reported a first-quarter net loss of $2.9 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.84 million, or 8 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The provider of workforce management software posted revenue of $6.93 million, up 9 percent from $6.34 million.

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