Stocks to Watch, Nov. 30: Hot Topic, H&R Block and Durect

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Thursday's session are H&R Block Inc., Hot Topic Inc. and Durect Corp.

Axcan Pharma Inc. (AXCA) is expected to report earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 19 cents, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Brown-Forman Corp. (BFB) is expected to post second-quarter per-share income of 96 cents.

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Cheesecake Factory Inc. (CAKE) is expected to report income of 28 cents per share for the second quarter.

H&R Block Inc. (HRB) is expected to post a second-quarter per-share loss of 32 cents.

H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) is expected to report earnings per share of 60 cents for the second quarter.

Kellwood Co. (KWD) is expected to post income of 64 cents per share for the third quarter.

McData Corp. (MCDTA) is expected to report third-quarter income of a penny per share.

Omnivision Technologies Inc. (OVTI) is expected to post per-share income of 30 cents for the second quarter.

Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 46 cents per share.

After Wednesday's closing bell, Hot Topic (HOTT) shares surged after the teen retailer posted a narrower sales drop than expected for November in stores open at least a year.

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American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) said its November sales at stores open at least a year rose 14 percent. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been for a same-store sales increase of 14.8 percent. Total November sales grew 21 percent to $247 million.

Bill Barrett Corp. (BBG) said it plans to divest its Williston Basin properties. The Denver-based oil and gas company plans to begin marketing efforts early next year and to close a deal in the second quarter of 2007.

Citi Trends Inc. (CTRN) said its November sales at stores open at least one year rose 1.8 percent. Analysts, on average, had expected it to post a same-store sales drop of 1.3 percent, according to Thomson First Call.

Dollar General Corp. (DG) said its November sales at stores open at least one year rose 2.2 percent. Analysts, on average, had expected a gain of 2.6 percent.

DSW Inc. (DSW) reported third-quarter net earnings of $16 million, or 36 cents a share, up 47 percent from $10.9 million, or 25 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The footwear retailer posted revenue of $332.2 million vs. $302.2 million.

Durect (DRRX) shares rose 50 percent after the specialty pharmaceutical company signed an agreement to develop a post-operative pain treatment that could be worth as much as $202 million.

FEI Co. (FEIC) said it has filed a registration statement for an offering of up to 8.51 million of its common shares. Philips Business Electronics International B.V. is offering the shares (PHGFF) , and FEI will not receive any proceeds.

Finisar Corp. (FNSR) said its board has approved a medical leave for Chief Financial Officer Stephen Workman, effective Nov. 27. Finisar appointed John Drury as acting CFO in addition to his duties as controller.

Florida Rock Industries Inc. (FRK) reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $53.3 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with $46.5 million, or 69 cents a share, in the same period last year, boosted by a lower effective income tax rate.

FMC Technologies Inc. (FTI) said it has agreed to sell its Floating Systems business for $54.4 million to Modec Inc. in Tokyo. FMC said it sees the transaction closing by Dec. 31, and that it will not impact the outlook for fourth-quarter continuing operations.

Formula Systems Ltd. (FORTY) reported a third-quarter net loss of $988,000, or 8 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the Israeli information-technology company posted net earnings of $938,000, or 7 cents a share.

International Paper Co. (IP) said it has agreed to sell 13 lumber mills to West Fraser Timber Co. for about $325 million in cash. The deal is part of IP's strategy to focus on uncoated papers and packaging.

Liberty Global Inc. (LBTYA) (LBTYB) (LBTYK) said it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Telenet Group Holding N.V. to sell 100 percent of its Belgium cable business, UPC Belgium N.V., for euro 187 million ($246 million) in cash.

Pep Boys (PBY) said it has settled three pending actions related to wage and hour claims for $4.55 million. The retailer of auto parts and accessories will record a third-quarter charge of 6 cents a share.

Synopsys Inc. (SNPS) said it swung to fourth-quarter net income, as revenue gained, of $9.63 million, or 7 cents a share. During the same period in the prior year, the net loss was $13.5 million, or 9 cents a share.

Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) said it has agreed to sell its indirect 1.25 percent interest in Syncrude to Canadian Oil Sands Trust's (COSUN) operating unit for $417.4 million.

Digital video recording pioneer TiVo Inc. (TIVO) said its third-quarter loss narrowed as service and technology revenue climbed 22 percent. TiVo said it lost $11.1 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.2 million, or 17 cents, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Zumiez Inc. (ZUMZ) said November sales at stores open at least one year rose 12.1 percent. Analysts, on average, had expected growth of 5.8 percent, according to Thomson First Call.

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