Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Friday's session are Big Lots Inc., Encysive Pharmaceuticals Inc., and National Semiconductor Corp.

Big Lots ( BIG) is expected to report fourth-quarter earnings of 70 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.

Encysive Pharmaceuticals ( ENCY) is expected to post a loss of 42 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

After Thursday's closing bell, National Semiconductor Corp. ( NSM) reported its quarterly profit tumbled 45% from a year ago amid soft demand for its chips used in cell phones, computers, and other electronics. See full story.

Also Thursday, New Century Financial Corp. ( NEW) said it has stopped accepting loan applications because some of the subprime-mortgage specialist's financial backers are refusing to provide access to financing. See full story.

Watch List

Activision Inc. ( ATVI) said the board's special subcommittee completed its investigation of stock-option-granting practices and found that Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Kotick didn't engage in intentional wrongdoing. The special subcommittee of independent directors made the same determination for Brian G. Kelly, co-chairman; Ronald Doornink, board director and senior advisor; and George Rose, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. However, the Santa Monica, Calif., interactive entertainment company said four other individuals bore significant responsibility, in varying degrees, with respect to the measurement date inaccuracies.

Ashworth Inc. ( ASHW) reported its first quarter loss widened to $2.4 million, or 17 cents a share, from a loss of $50,000, or less than a penny a share, a year earlier. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based sportswear designer said quarterly consolidated gross margins fell to 40.8% from 44.3%. Revenue slid 5.8% to $38.3 million from $40.6 million.

Blue Coat Systems Inc. ( BCSI) reported third-quarter net revenue of $47.1 million, compared with $35.5 million during the year-ago period. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of proxy appliances said it expects fourth-quarter net revenue in the range of $51 million to $54 million.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. ( BGFV) late Thursday reported fourth-quarter net earnings of $9.64 million, or 42 cents a share, up 25% from $7.74 million, or 34 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The El Segundo, Calif.-based sporting goods retailer posted revenue of $234.5 million vs. $218.9 million. Additionally, Big 5 said it expects first-quarter earnings of 30 cents to 33 cents a share, and same-store sales growth in the low single-digit range.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp.'s ( CMTL) fiscal second-quarter net income rose 37% to $18.2 million, or 68 cents a share, from $13.3 million, or 50 cents a share, a year earlier. The Melville, N.Y., communications services company said sales for the quarter ended Jan. 31 rose 16% to $111.4 million from $95.7 million a year ago.

Cooper Cos. ( COO) said its fiscal first-quarter net profit fell to $5.35 million, or 12 cents a share, from $18 million, or 39 cents a share, last year. The Lake Forest, Calif.-based eye-care company said revenue in the latest quarter rose to $219.4 million from $205.7 million. Cooper also revised its 2007 revenue forecast to $927 million to $967 million from a previous forecast range of $920 million to $960 million.

Pension advisory firm CtW Investment Group late Thursday reiterated its recommendation that shareholders vote against the CVS Corp. ( CVS) merger proposal at Caremark Rx Inc.'s ( CMX) special meeting on March 16. The group's statement follows CVS' decision Thursday to increase its takeover bid for Caremark by $1.50 per share. CtW said the new offer "not only remains inadequate, it also further underscores the Caremark board of directors' ongoing failure to maximize value for Caremark shareholders."

DayStar Technologies Inc.'s ( DSTI) 2006 Form 10-KSB filing includes a going concern statement by DayStar's independent registered public accounting firm. The statement emphasizes DayStar's need to raise additional capital during 2007 to complete its development, manufacturing and commercialization goals.

Diamond Foods Inc.'s ( DMND) fiscal second-quarter net income fell to $2.03 million, or 13 cents a share, from $3.07 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Diamond Foods' sales rose to $143.6 million from $124.2 million a year ago. The company also reiterated its fiscal 2007 forecast of earnings between 41 cents and 46 cents a share on sales between $501 million and $515.4 million.

DirecTV ( DTV) that it has signed a seven-year agreement for the rights to Major League Baseball's "Extra Innings" package, which allows viewers to see out-of-market baseball games. See full story.

Genesis Lease Ltd. ( GLS) plans to pay its first dividend of 53 cents a share in May for the period between the closing of its initial public offering through March 31. The Limerick, Ireland-based jet leasing company completed its IPO on Dec. 19. For the fourth quarter, combined net income of Genesis and its predecessor was $7 million and net income for its predecessor was $7.98 million

Gmarket Inc.'s (GMKT) fourth-quarter net income rose to $6.8 million, or 13 cents a share, from $3.8 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. The Seoul, South Korea, electronic-commerce retailer said revenue rose 67% to $51.6 million from $30.9 million a year ago. The company's gross merchandise value, which represents the total value of all items sold on Gmarket's website, rose 53% to $737.4 million from $480.8 million.

Gottschalks Inc.'s (GOT) fiscal fourth-quarter net income grew to $8.87 million, or 64 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $8.55 million, or 62 cents a share. Results for the recent period included a charge of 1 cent a share for stock compensation. The Fresno, Calif., department store company's revenue for the 14-week quarter ended Feb. 3, increased 5% to $240.4 million, from $228.6 million, in the comparable 13-week year earlier quarter.

Hancock Fabrics Inc. (HKF) said Bruce Smith resigned as chief financial officer and executive vice president, effective March 30, to take a position with another company.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV) reported a first-quarter net loss of $54.6 million. During the same period a year ago, the company posted net earnings of $84.1 million. The loss available to common shareholders was $57.3 million, or 91 cents a share. A year ago, earnings available to common shareholders were $81.4 million, or $1.25 a share. Excluding the impact of charges related to Hovnanian's Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla., operations, earnings were $26.7 million, or 20 cents a share. The Red Bank, N.J.-based home builder posted total revenue of $1.17 billion vs. $1.28 billion.

IDT Corp.'s (IDT) (IDTC) fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed to $27 million, or 33 cents a share, from $55.6 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. The Newark, N.J., telecommunications company said revenue for the quarter ended Jan. 31 fell 10% to $512.5 million from $567.3 million a year ago.

Newpark Resources Inc. (NR) swung to a fourth-quarter loss of $42.1 million, or 47 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $7.01 million, or 8 cents a share. The Woodlands, Texas, company's results for the recent period included a pretax impairment charge of $72.6 million for its environmental services segment and $1.3 million in legal and investigation costs. Revenue grew to $167.3 million from $144.9 million a year earlier.

Omrix Biopharmaceuticals Inc.'s (OMRI) fourth-quarter net income rose to $6.4 million, or 41 cents a share, from $93,000, or 1 cent a share, in the year-earlier period, on increased sales of biosurgery and immunotherapy products. The New York biopharmaceutical company said total revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 increased to $18 million, from $8.33 million. For 2007, Omrix expects product sales of $50 million to $55 million.

PeopleSupport Inc.'s (PSPT) fourth-quarter net income fell 68% to $3.96 million, or 18 cents a share, from $12.3 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier. The Los Angeles outsourcing company's revenue grew 82% to $31 million from $17 million in the year-ago period.

Apparel maker Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK) said first quarter earnings fell to $2.5 million, or 2 cents a share, from $18.6 million, or 15 cents a share, a year earlier, citing an unseasonably warm winter. Revenue rose to $552.5 million from $541.1 million. For 2007, the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company revised its earnings guidance to 53 cents a share on revenue of $2.45 billion.

Quovadx Inc. (QVDX) posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $4 million, or 10 cents a share, swinging from a year-earlier profit of $409,000, or 1 cent a share. Revenue for the period ended Dec. 31 increased to $22.6 million from $21.6 million.

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (RJET) on Thursday said traffic in February increased 22.7% to 503.9 million revenue passenger miles. Load factor, or the percentage of a plane filled with passengers, fell 0.1 percentage points to 69%, while net capacity rose 22.8% to 730 million available seat miles.

SkyWest Inc. (SKYW) said its board approved a plan to repurchase up to five million shares. The St. George, Utah, holding company currently has about 64.3 million shares outstanding.

Stanley Works (SWK) backed its first-quarter per-share earnings guidance of about 80 cents and its 2007 per-share guidance of $4.00 to $4.10. The company also reiterated its long-term objective of 8% to 12% sales growth and mid-teens per-share earnings growth annually.

United Community Banks Inc. (UCBI) will replace Commonwealth Telephone in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index on Friday.

Wind River Systems Inc.'s (WIND) fourth-quarter net income fell to $546,000, or 1 cent a share, from $16.1 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Non-GAAP per-share earnings were 10 cents. The Alameda, Calif., device software optimization company said revenue for the period ended Jan. 31 increased 8% to $76.1 million, from $70.2 million.