Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade Thursday's are Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Network Appliance Inc.

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Autodesk Inc. (ADSK) is expected to report earnings per share of 37 cents for the second quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Big Lots Inc. (BIG) is expected to report a per-share loss of 3 cents for the third quarter.

Gap Inc. (GPS) is expected to report earnings per share of 22 cents for the third quarter.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is expected to post fourth-quarter per-share income of 64 cents.

Sanmina-SCI Corp. (SANM) is expected to post third-quarter per-share income of 7 cents.

Sears Holding Corp. (SHLD) is expected to post third-quarter per-share income of 98 cents.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is expected to report earnings per share of 17 cents for the fourth quarter.

After Wednesday's closing bell, Dell (DELL) said it is pushing back announcing its preliminary third-quarter results due to the "complexity" in preparation caused by Securities and Exchange Commission's ongoing investigation, which has been made formal. See After Hours Column

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American Financial Group Inc. (AFG) said it has approved a 3-for-2 common stock split.

Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) said quarterly profit rose 82% as it sold more machines that make chips used in consumer electronics.

Avery Dennison Corp. (AVY) said the European Commission has closed its investigation into the company's competitive activities in the label stock industry with no action. The provider of labeling materials and office products no longer expects a probe-related fine.

BEA Systems Inc. (BEAS) reported sales increased 19% as more customers licensed its business applications and server infrastructure software. The firm did not report its quarterly profit because of an ongoing stock-options review. See After Hours column.

Foot Locker Inc. (FL) increased its quarterly cash dividend 39% to 12.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable Feb. 2 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 19.

Gymboree Corp. (GYMB) said third-quarter net income rose, as revenue gained, to $17.4 million, or 53 cents a share, from $11.2 million, or 35 cents a share, during the same period in the prior year. This year's per-share result includes a 19-cent charge related to the closure of the Janeville division.

Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT) reported third-quarter net earnings of $7.1 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $5.93 million, or 13 cents a share, in the same period last year, as sales rose.

Limited Brands Inc. (LTD) , parent of Express and Victoria's Secret stores, said it has signed a deal to buy La Senza, the Canadian-based intimates and apparel retailer, for $628 million. Limited reported a profit of $23.5 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with last year's breakeven result.

Longs Drug Stores Corp. (LDG) reported third-quarter net earnings of $12.7 million, up 42% from $8.93 million during the year-ago period. The drug store chain posted total revenue of $1.23 billion vs. $1.12 billion.

McData Corp. (MCDTA) (MCDT) said it expects to post a pro forma third-quarter loss of 2 cents to 4 cents a share on revenue of $155 million to $157 million. The pro forma gross margin for the quarter is expected to be in the range of 40% to 42%. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are currently forecasting third-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $156 million.

Men's Wearhouse Inc. (MW) reported third-quarter net earnings of $31.8 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $24.1 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same period last year, boosted by higher sales.

Network Appliance (NTAP) reported a 23% rise in its second-quarter profit from a year ago as the storage-technology company posted higher overall sales and more growth in areas such as disk storage systems.

PetSmart Inc. (PETM) reported third-quarter net earnings of $31.7 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $31.1 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue at the pet-goods retailer rose to $1.03 billion from $907.7 million.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) said results of a new analysis showed that patients who have heart disease and chronic kidney disease and took 80 mg Lipitor tablets reduced their risk of heart attack and stroke by 32% compared with patients taking a 10 mg dose.

Pharmion Corp. (PHRM) said it has acquired Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage private oncology company, for an initial payment of $59 million cash. The deal will result in a $55 million charge in the fourth quarter.

Salesforce.com Inc. (CRM) reported that rising expenses and an accounting change for employee stock options virtually wiped out its quarterly profit.

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group Inc. (SWRG) reported a third-quarter net loss of $1.85 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.23 million, or 35 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The company posted revenue of $27.6 million vs. $26.8 million.

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