Stocks to Watch, Jan. 5: Xilinx, Accenture

Among the companies whose shares are expected to see active trade in Thursday's session are Accenture Ltd., Constellation Brands Inc., Xilinx Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters.

Accenture Ltd. (ACN) is expected to report fiscal first-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Constellation Brands Inc.'s (STZ) fiscal third quarter is expected to show a per-share profit of 50 cents.

Lawson Software (LWSN) is seen posting fiscal second-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share.

Manugistics Group (MANU) is expected to show breakeven results on a per-share basis in its fiscal third quarter.

Ruby Tuesday Inc.'s (RI) fiscal second quarter is seen showing a profit of 28 cents a share.

Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) is seen posting a per-share fourth-quarter profit of 30 cents.

After Wednesday's closing bell, Xilinx Inc. (XLNX) boosted its quarterly sales guidance for the second time in a month.

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Apparel retailer Aeropostale Inc. (ARO) said its sales at stores open at least one year rose 11.4% in December, and the company boosted its fourth-quarter earnings forecast.

Teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters (AEOS) turned in a 9.8% increase in December sales at stores open longer than a year, soundly beating the 2.9% average expectation reached by analysts reporting to Thomson First Call. Total sales jumped 15.5% to a record $433.2 million compared with last year's sales of $375 million. American Eagle reiterated its fourth-quarter earnings forecast of a per-share range of 70 cents to 72 cents a share. The estimate includes a charge of 2 cents a share linked to repatriation of foreign earnings.

Hot Topic Inc. (HOTT) warned that sluggish sales in men's fashion tops and novelty T-shirts and accessories categories were a drag on December's sales, leading the teen-wear retailer to slash quarterly earnings expectations.

II-VI Inc. (IIVI) lowered its second-quarter earnings forecast to a range of 16 cents to 18 cents a share from 21 cents to 23 cents a share. The company expects revenue of $55 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are estimating earnings of 22 cents a share. The Saxonburg, Pa.-based maker of optical and opto-electronic components also revised its fiscal-year 2006 earnings forecast to a range of 80 cents to 85 cents a share on revenue of $220 million to $226 million.

Kronos Inc. (KRON) said it now expects first-quarter earnings of 26 cents to 29 cents a share on revenue of $127.5 million to $129 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are estimating earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $135 million. Chelmsford, Mass.-based Kronos provides solutions to automate and organize employee processes.

Men's Wearhouse Inc. (MW) said its sales at U.S. stores open at least one year rose 8.1% in December. The Houston-based retailer also said it expects to exceed the upper end of its prior fourth-quarter earnings forecast of 48 cents a share. Analysts, on average, were expecting it to post a same-store sales gain of 3.5%, according to Thomson First Call. Total U.S. sales rose 11.2% to $203.8 million.

Netgear Inc. (NTGR) said it has agreed to work with eBay Inc.'s (EBAY) Skype to develop a Skype wireless mobile phone. Unlike some devices that must connect with a personal computer, Netgear's Skype WiFi phone will work wherever a consumer is connected to a wireless Internet access point. In addition to the phone, the companies said a Netgear router will be equipped to optimize Skype. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (NWK) said it now expects a fiscal third-quarter loss of 25 cents to 30 cents a share on revenue of $16 million to $16.5 million. The Fremont, Calif.-based provider of networking equipment had previously forecast third-quarter revenue of $19 million to $23 million.

Ruth's Chris Steak House Inc. (RUTH) said fourth-quarter company-owned restaurant sales increased 10.1%, to $54.9 million from $49.8 million a year ago. Sales were adversely affected by 185 hurricane-related closure days, the Orlando-based company said. Company-owned comparable restaurant sales for the fourth quarter, excluding hurricane-damaged locations in Louisiana, rose 8.5% from last year.

Sempra Energy (SRE) said it will pay $377 million in cash to settle a group of class action lawsuits stemming from the Western states' 2000-2001 energy crisis.

Sonic Corp. (SONC) reported fiscal first-quarter net earnings of $16.4 million, or 27 cents a share, up 8.7% from an adjusted $15.1 million, or 24 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue at the Oklahoma City-based restaurant chain rose to $159.8 million from $142.2 million, while systemwide same-store sales grew of 4.7%. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had estimated earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $162 million. Sonic forecast second-quarter earnings of 20 cents to 21 cents a share on revenue growth of 11% to 13%.

William Lyon Homes (WLS) said new home orders in the fourth quarter fell 7%, to 460 from 493 last year, while the number of homes closed rose 21%, to 1,468 from 1,210 a year ago. The fourth-quarter backlog for the Newport Beach, Calif.-based homebuilder was 1,291, up 11% from 1,166 last year. For full-year 2005, new home orders totaled 3,321, down 1.5%, while home closings fell 8%, to 3,196 from 3,471.

XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XMSR) said it now has more than 6 million subscribers, and that it expects to end 2006 with more than 9 million subscribers. XM added 2.7 million net new subscribers in 2005, with 900,000 new subscribers coming in the fourth quarter.