Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trading in Friday's session are Ann Taylor Stores Corp., Burger King Holdings Inc., and H.J. Heinz Co.

AnnTaylor Stores (ANN) is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial.

Burger King (BKC) is expected to post earnings of 27 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share.

Harris Interactive Inc. (HPOL) is expected to post earnings of 4 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) is expected to report third-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share.

After Thursday's closing bell, Gap Inc. (GPS) turned in a second-quarter profit that was 19 percent above last year's as it chopped at costs, closed stores, including all the Forth & Towne units, and laid off workers amid sliding sales. See full story.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss as increased sales failed to offset higher operating expenses to fund the microchip supplier's push into consumer electronics products. See full story.

A federal appeals court denied a request by the Federal Trade Commission to block Whole Foods Market Inc.'s (WFMI) proposed acquisition of rival Wild Oats Markets Inc. (OATS) , Associated Press reported late Thursday. The ruling by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals clears the way for the $565-million deal to go forward, the report said. The appeals court agreed that the FTC "raised some questions" about the merger, but the judges said the government agency had not shown that the decision by U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman was flawed, the AP reported.

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Aeropostale Inc. (ARO) reported second-quarter net earnings of $14.7 million, or 19 cents a share, up from $8.42 million, or 10 cents a share, during the year-ago period. The per-share results reflect the 3-for-2 stock split distributed on Aug. 21, 2007, the company noted. The New York-based apparel retailer said revenue rose to $311.2 million from $274.6 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 18 cents on revenue of $313 million. Same-store sales for the quarter were down 4.1 percent versus last year, the company said.

Bebe Stores Inc.'s (BEBE) fiscal fourth-quarter net income fell 10 percent to $19.7 million, or 21 cents a share, from $21.9 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier on a rise in expenses related to store compensation and depreciation. The Brisbane, Calif., women's apparel company's net sales for the quarter ended July 7 increased 6.9 percent to $162.7 million from $152.2 million a year ago, while same-store sales fell 5.7 percent. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, predicted fourth-quarter earnings of 19 cents a share and revenue of $162.3 million.

Biopure Corp. (BPUR) reported a fiscal third-quarter net loss of $6.45 million, or 8 cents a share, versus a year-ago net loss of $6.62 million, or 16 cents a share. There were 78 million shares outstanding in the quarter ended July 31, versus 41.6 million in the comparable period last year. The Cambridge, Mass.-based pharmaceutical company said revenue rose to $550,000 from $396,000 last year. At July 31, Biopure said it had $6.3 million in cash on hand.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (BRCD) reported fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $10.7 million, or 3 cents a share, down 56 percent from $24.5 million, or 9 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding certain items, the company earned 12 cents a share versus 11 cents a share last year. The San Jose, Calif.-based data-storage provider said revenue for the three months ended July 28 surged 73 percent to $327.5 million from $188.9 million. The results for the most recent quarter include the acquisition of McData, which closed on Jan. 29. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 11 cents on revenue of $327 million.

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF) said it has approved a $150 million increase to its stock buyback program, to $450 million from $300 million. To finance a portion of the share repurchase program, the Los Angeles-based nutritional supplement company said it has requested an increase of $150 million to its revolving credit facility.

Hibbett Sports Inc.'s (HIBB) fiscal second-quarter net income rose 16 percent to $4.68 million, or 15 cents a share, from $4.02 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier. The Birmingham, Ala., sporting goods retailer said net sales for the quarter ended Aug. 4 increased 9.6 percent to $114.4 million from $104.4 million, as same-store sales grew 2.6 percent Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings of 16 cents a share and revenue of $117 million.

Ingram Micro Inc. (IM) said it still expects third-quarter earnings of $67 million to $71 million, or 38 cents to 40 cents a share, on revenue of $8.3 billion to $8.5 billion. "The third quarter is progressing as we expected," said Chief Executive Gregory Spierkel in a statement. "Demand is generally solid worldwide. Sales are expected to reach another quarterly record, with 11 percent to 13 percent growth versus the year-ago quarter, while our net income guidance reflects good operating leverage and success in execution."

Jamba Juice Inc. (JMBA) said an employee at its Willow Glen store in San Jose, Calif., has been diagnosed and treated for hepatitis A. "There is no connection between the contraction of the virus by this one individual and Jamba Juice stores and our products," the company said in a statement. Jamba Juice also said it has conducted a thorough cleaning and sanitization of the store at Willow Glen, among other efforts to address the situation. "The health and well-being of our customers and Jamba Juice team members are our highest priorities," the company said.

Martek Biosciences Corp. (MATK) said the Ministry of Health in China has authorized the use of the company's life'sDHA product as a novel food ingredient. The new designation will permit the immediate use of life'sDHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, in foods, beverages and supplements in China for people older than twelve months. Columbia, Md.-based Martek said the initial approval by Chinese authorities lasts until Aug. 5, 2009. The company may then apply for a final novel food certificate.

Medtronic Inc. (MDT) said it has named William Hawkins as president and chief executive. The Minneapolis-based medical device company also said it has appointed Michael DeMane chief operating officer.

Mentor Graphics Inc. (MENT) swung to a second-quarter net profit of $2.4 million, or 3 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $488,000, or 1 cent a share. Excluding an acquisition-related charge of $4.1 million and other items, earnings were 15 cents a share, compared with year-ago earnings of 9 cents a share excluding items. The Wilsonville, Ore., semiconductor design and consulting company's revenue grew 15 percent for the recent period ended July 31, to $205.7 million, from $178.4 million a year earlier. Wall Street expected second-quarter earnings of 9 cents a share, on revenue of $220.2 million, according to the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial.

Nordson Corp.'s (NDSN) fiscal second-quarter net income fell slightly to $24.5 million, or 72 cents a share, from $24.8 million, or 72 cents a share, a year earlier. Results from the most recent period include a charge of 5 cents a share on acquisition accounting. Net sales rose 14 percent to $257.7 million in the period ended July 31 from $225.5 million in the year-ago period. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected per-share earnings of 66 cents on revenue of $256 million for the Westlake, Ohio, company, which makes systems that apply adhesives and coatings to products during manufacturing operations. Analyst estimates include in acquisition-related charges.

Nordson (NDSN) also said it acquired TAH Industries, a Robbinsville, N.J., manufacturer of motionless mixer dispensing systems for certain adhesives, for $45 million. Nordson, a Westlake, Ohio, company that makes systems to apply adhesives and coatings to products during manufacturing, said it expects the deal to be neutral or slightly dilutive to earnings in the fiscal year ending Oct. 31.

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PSUN) said it swung to a second-quarter net loss of $10.5 million, or 15 cents a share, from net earnings of $9.71 million, or 14 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Excluding lease termination and inventory liquidation charges, among other items, earnings were $4.8 million, or 7 cents a share. The Anaheim, Calif.-based retailer said revenue rose to $344.2 million from $313.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, a per-share profit of 7 cents on revenue of $342 million. Same-store sales for the quarter were up 1.8 percent, the company said.

ScanSource Inc.'s (SCSC) fiscal fourth-quarter net income fell 12 percent to $11.3 million, or 43 cents a share, from $12.9 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding costs related to the special committee's review of the company's stock-option practices, earnings were 48 cents a share. Net sales for the quarter ended June 30 increased 14 percent to $524.3 million from $461.1 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings of 44 cents a share and revenue of $525 million.

Steak N Shake Co. (SNS) appointed a special committee of directors to develop its strategy to simplify initiatives, intensify focus on field leadership and review the company's cost structure. The Indianapolis restaurant operator said the committee retained Merrill Lynch & Co. as its financial adviser. Serving on the committee are James Williamson Jr., J. Fred Risk and Edward W. Wilhelm.

Sonic Solutions (SNIC) reported fiscal first-quarter revenue of $29.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, were expecting revenue of $33.7 million. Novato, Calif.-based Sonic, which is reviewing its historical stock option grants and plans to restate past financial results, also forecast fiscal second-quarter revenue of $30 million to $33 million. Analysts are looking for second-quarter revenue of $34.7 million.

Westamerica Bancorp's (WABC) board approved the buyback of up to 2 million, or 6.8 percent, of its common shares. The San Rafael, Calif., holding company said the purchases can be made any time before Sept. 1, 2008.

X-Rite Inc. (XRIT) said it has agreed to acquire Carlstadt, N.J.-based Pantone Inc. for $180 million. X-Rite said it expects to incur cash restructuring costs of about $5.5 million in the first year of combined operations. In the second year, the transaction is expected to add to the company's per-share earnings, and provide about $6.5 million of annual operating expense cost savings. The deal is expected to close in the fall of 2007. Pantone generated revenue of about $42 million in 2006.

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