Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Thursday's session are Microsoft Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., and Apple Inc.

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3M Co. (MMM) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of $1.12 a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is expected to post earnings of 23 cents a share for the first quarter.

Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) (CMCSK) is expected to post earnings of 17 cents a share for the first quarter.

Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of $1 a share.

ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) is expected to post earnings of $1.52 a share for the first quarter.

Ford Motor Co. (F) is expected to report a first-quarter loss of 60 cents a share.

Halliburton Co. (HAL) is expected to post earnings of 52 cents a share for the first quarter.

Microsoft (MSFT) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share.

Safeway Inc. (SWY) is expected to post earnings of 38 cents a share for the first quarter.

After Wednesday's closing bell, Apple said that earnings soared 88 percent in its second fiscal quarter thanks to booming sales of iPods as well as the company's line of Mac computers.

Shares of Wendy's International Inc. (WEN) surged more than 13 percent late Wednesday after the fast-food chain operator reported a 71 percent drop in first-quarter profit and said it was considering strategic options to enhance shareholder value, including the possible sale of the company.

Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) reported fiscal second-quarter profit rose 22 percent on higher sales of cell phone chips that use the company's technology. The firm also raised its full-year forecast for sales and profit.

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ABN Amro (ABN) said it has agreed to provide Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , Santander (STD) and Fortis with the same information that it shared with Barclays Plc (BARC) , subject to the execution of confidentiality agreements. Earlier Wednesday, a consortium led by the RBS said it may bid around $101 billion for ABN Amro, but only if LaSalle Bank remains in the ABN group. The proposed bid is worth 39 euros a share, or around 74.5 billion euros. The group said its takeover offer is 13 percent higher than the deal ABN Amro reached with Barclays.

Alcon Inc. (ACL) reported first-quarter net earnings of $346.2 million, or $1.14 a share, up 17 percent from $295.7 million, or 95 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding a charge related to the impairment of certain assets, adjusted earnings were $367 million, or $1.21 a share. The Swiss eye-care company posted revenue for the three months ended March 31 of $1.32 billion vs. $1.16 billion.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (AB) reported first-quarter net earnings of $78.8 million, or 91 cents per unit, up from $66.7 million, or 78 cents per unit, in the year-ago period. The New York-based investment management firm said revenue from the AllianceBernstein L.P. operating partnership rose to $1.04 billion from $895.7 million last year.

Amerigroup Corp. (AGP) reported first-quarter net earnings of $21.3 million, or 40 cents a share, down 43 percent from $37.3 million, or 71 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The Virginia Beach, Va.-based managed-care company said revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose 24 percent to $832.3 million from $673.9 million in the comparable period last year.

Avaya Inc. (AV) reported fiscal second-quarter net earnings of $57 million, or 13 cents a share, up from $38 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based telecommunications equipment company said revenue in the three months ended March 31 rose to $1.29 billion from $1.24 billion in the comparable period last year.

Chevron Corp. (CVX) increased its quarterly dividend 11.5 percent to 58 cents a share, payable on June 11 to shareholders of record as May 18.

Citrix Systems Inc. (CTXS) said it wasn't releasing full first-quarter results due to an ongoing voluntary stock-option review. Citrix said the audit committee found that incorrect measurement dates were used to account for certain historical stock-option grants from 1996 through 2006. As a result, the company said it expects material noncash stock-based compensation expense and will restate previously issued financial statements.

CoStar Group Inc. (CSGP) reported first-quarter net earnings of $1.81 million, or 9 cents a share, down from $1.86 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The Bethesda, Md.-based provider of information services to commercial real estate professionals said revenue in the quarter rose to $44.8 million from $37.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Covad Communications Group (DVW) said that first-quarter losses widened to $14.5 million, or 5 cents a share, from $8.4 million, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier.

Cytyc Corp.'s (CYTC) swung to a first-quarter loss of $51.2 million, or 45 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $29.4 million, or 24 cents a share. Excluding $89.5 million in acquisition charges, earnings were $38.3 million, or 32 cents a share. The Marlborough, Mass., medical technology company said net sales rose 20 percent to $168.9 million from $140.5 million a year ago.

Duke Realty Corp. (DRE) reported first-quarter net earnings available to common shareholders of $73.9 million, or 49 cents a share, up from $12.6 million, or 8 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Funds from operations available to common shareholders came in at $92.5 million, or 62 cents a share, up from $74.4 million, or 50 cents a share, last year. The Indianapolis-based real estate investment trust said revenue from continuing operations in the three months ended March 31 rose to $229.9 million from $202.3 million in the comparable period a year ago.

Local phone company Embarq Corp. (EQ) said that first-quarter profit fell 25 percent due to one-time costs and a sizable up-front investment in its fledgling wireless business.

F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) said that fiscal second-quarter net income rose 24 percent to $20 million, or 47 cents a share, from $16.1 million, or 39 cents a share, a year earlier.

Fiserv Inc.'s (FISV) first-quarter earnings fell to $113.6 million, or 66 cents a share, from a year-earlier profit of $116.2 million, or 64 cents a share, as the company's average outstanding share count fell. Revenue rose to $1.22 billion from $1.1 billion. The company reaffirmed its full-year earnings expectation of $2.86 to $2.94 a share, which includes the slight dilution from the NetEconomy acquisition

FormFactor Inc.'s (FORM) first-quarter earnings grew nearly 38 percent to $14.8 million, or 30 cent a share, from a year-earlier profit of $10.8 million, or 25 cents a share. The Livermore, Calif., semiconductor testing equipment company's revenue increased 26 percent to $102.3 million from $81.3 million a year earlier.

Komag Inc.'s (KOMG) first-quarter net income fell 9 percent to $33 million, or 99 cents a share, from $36.2 million, or $1.09 a share, a year earlier. The San Jose maker of thin-film disks said sales climbed 27 percent to $264.7 million from $208.5 million, due to higher finished disk shipments.

LSI Logic Corp. (LSI) reported its first-quarter profit more than doubled to $30 million, or 7 cents a share, up from $13 million, or 3 cents a share, in last year's same period. Sales for the three months ended April 1 fell 2 percent to $465 million, below Wall Street's forecast, according to Thomson First Call.

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) declared a 2-for-1 stock split, to be distributed in the form of a stock dividend on June 18 to shareholders of record as of May 23. Additionally, the Houston-based company increased its quarterly dividend 20 percent to 48 cents from 40 cents a share, on a pre-split basis.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc.'s (MXIM) fiscal third-quarter revenue fell 0.5 percent to $475.8 million from $478.1 million a year earlier. The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker isn't providing earnings results for the quarter ended March 24 due to its previously announced need to restate its historical financial statements for the fiscal years 2000 through 2005 and the related interim periods through March 25, 2006.

Meritage Homes Corp.'s (MTH) first-quarter net income fell 81 percent to $15.1 million, or 57 cents a share, from $76.7 million, or a $2.86 share, a year earlier, as revenue fell 32 percent. The Scottsdale, Ariz., home builder's revenue dropped to $577.5 million from $847.3 million.

Montpelier Re Holdings (MRH) said that first-quarter net income came in at $73.3 million, or 76 cents per common share, up 84 percent from a year earlier when the Bermuda-based reinsurer made $39.8 million, or 44 cents per common share. Operating profit, which excludes net realized investment gains and losses and currency fluctuations, was $60.3 million, or 62 cents per common share. Net written premiums climbed 30 percent to $189.3 million.

Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) reported first-quarter net income of $110.6 million, or 58 cents a share, down from adjusted income of $116 million, or 61 cents, in the year-ago period. The company said a 45 percent decline in exploration and production income offset gains on the refining and marketing side of the business. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose nearly 15 percent to $3.43 billion from $2.99 billion a year ago.

NutriSystem Inc. (NTRI) said first-quarter net income surged to $37.9 million, or $1.04 a share, from $22.3 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier, on growth in the core women's market. The Horsham, Pa., provider of weight management and fitness products and services said revenue increased 62 percent to $238.4 million from $146.8 million a year ago.

Owens-Illinois Inc.'s (OI) first-quarter earnings rose to $53.2 million, or 30 cents a share, from $24.3 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago, as higher global glass container net sales offset a decline in plastics packaging sales. The Perrysburg, Ohio, glass container company's revenue rose 10 percent to $1.89 billion from $1.71 billion.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) subsidiary Pharmacia and Upjohn Co. pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of offering a kickback to a pharmacy benefit manager and was sentenced to pay a fine of $19.7 million, the government said. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the company offered the kickback in an effort to obtain improved formulary status for its drug products.

Pulte Homes Inc. (PHM) reported a first-quarter net loss of $85.7 million, or 33 cents a share. During the same period a year ago, the Bloomfield, Mich.-based home builder posted net earnings of $262.6 million, or $1.01 a share. Revenue in the three months ended March 31 fell to $1.87 billion from $2.96 billion.

Questar Corp. (STR) said first-quarter net income rose 10 percent to $151.1 million, or $1.72 a share, from $137.2 million, or $1.57 a share, a year earlier. The Salt Lake City energy company's quarterly revenue fell to $872.1 million from $911.4 million a year ago.

Rambus Inc. (RMBS) said first-quarter revenue rose 6 percent to $50.1 million, but couldn't report full results because of a pending options-backdating investigation. The Los Altos, Calif., technology licensing company said it doesn't expect to be able to file its 10-Q for the quarter by the May 10 deadline.

Ryland Group Inc. (RYL) said it swung to a first-quarter net loss of $24.4 million, or 58 cents a share, from net earnings of $90 million, or $1.86 a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, the company said first quarter 2007 earnings came in at 70 cents a share. The Calabasas, Calif.-based homebuilder said revenue in the three months ended March fell 34 percent to $706.4 million from $1.06 billion the comparable period last year.

Skechers USA Inc. (SKX) reported first-quarter net earnings of $23.9 million, or 52 cents a share, up from $16.6 million, or 38 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based footwear company said revenue for the three months ended March 31 rose to $344.9 million from $277.6 million.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. (SWKS) said fiscal second-quarter net income rose sharply to $12.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from $926 million, or 1 cent a share, a year earlier.

Stanley Works (SWK) posted a first-quarter profit of $68 million, or 80 cents a share, up from $38 million, or 45 cents a share, from continuing operations a year ago. Sales rose 10 percent to $1.06 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a profit of 78 cents a share on revenue of $1.03 billion.

Stats ChipPac Ltd. (STTS) reported first-quarter net earnings of $17 million, or 8 cents per American depositary share, up 42 percent from $12 million, or 6 cents per ADS, in the year-ago period. The Singapore-based maker of semiconductor test equipment said revenue rose 1.2 percent to $390.5 million from $385.7 million in the first quarter of 2006.

Tupperware Brands Corp. (TUP) reported first-quarter net earnings of $19.6 million, or 32 cents share, up 23 percent from $16 million, or 26 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The Orlando, Fla.-based maker of kitchenware, cosmetics and personal care products said revenue for the 13 weeks ended March 31 rose to $456.9 million from $423.7 million.

Varian Medical Systems Inc.'s (VAR) second-quarter net income rose 9.3 percent to $61 million, or 46 cents a share, from $55.8 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. The Palo Alto, Calif., cancer therapy systems company's revenue rose to $442.6 million from $413.9 million.

Willis Group Holdings Ltd. (WSH) said that first-quarter net income came in at $169 million, or $1.10 a share, up 21 percent from a year earlier when the insurance broker made $140 million, or 88 cents a share. Organic revenue growth, which excludes recent acquisitions and sales of businesses and currency fluctuations, was 6 percent, Willis said.

Xilinx Inc.'s (XLNX) fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 21 percent to $87.6 million, or 27 cents a share, from $110.7 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier, due partly to declines in defense, wireless and consumer-application sales. The San Jose logic-chip maker said Wednesday that revenue for the quarter ended March 31 fell 6 percent to $443.5 million from $472.3 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Zimmer Holdings Inc.'s (ZMH) first-quarter net income rose to $233.4 million, or 98 cents a share, from $205.6 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier on 10 percent higher sales. The Warsaw, Ind., maker of reconstructive and spinal implants, trauma and related surgical products revenue rose to $950.2 million from $860.4 million a year ago.

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