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Major Gainers on March 7; UPL, KEY, AFCE, JPM, AAPL

Shares of Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL), an independent oil and gas company, are rallying in trading today. At last check, UPL shares were trading 8.42% higher at $18.41 on above average volume of 4.99 million. The stock hit an intra-day high of $18.44 earlier today. UPL shares have gained more than 13% in the last three trading sessions.

According to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Garland R. Shaw, UPL’s Vice President and Controller, this week bought 3,000 shares of UPL common stock at an average price of $16.20 per share.

Shares of KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), a bank holding company for KeyBank National Association, have edged higher in trading today. KEY shares rose to a 52-week high of $9.93 earlier today. At last check, the stock was trading 2.07% higher at $9.86 on above average volume of 18.03 million. In the last three trading sessions, KEY shares have gained more than 3%.

Last month, KeyCorp had announced that it reached an agreement to sell its investment management subsidiary Victory Capital Management and its broker dealer affiliate Victory Capital Advisers to a private equity fund sponsored by Crestview Partners for $246 million in cash and debt.

Shares of AFC Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE), a developer, operator, and franchisor of quick-service restaurants under the trade names Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, are up sharply in trading today.

At last check, AFCE shares were trading 2.28% higher at $33.25 on above average volume of 309,039. The stock hit an intra-day high of $33.36 earlier today.

AFCE last week reported its financial results for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2012. The company also provided guidance for fiscal 2013.

For fiscal 2012, the company reported net income of $30.4 million, or $1.24 per share, compared to $24.2 million, or $0.97 per share reported in 2011. Adjusted earnings for the fiscal year were $1.24 per share, compared to $0.99 per share reported in 2011.

For fiscal 2013, AFCE expects same-store sales growth to be in the range of 3% to 4%. Adjusted earnings for fiscal 2013 are expected to be between $1.37 per share and $1.42 per share.

AFC Enterprises CEO Cheryl Bachelder last week said that it is rewarding to see the AFCE team’s disciplined and creative work deliver outstanding results to the company’s franchise owners and the company’s shareholders.

Shares of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), the global financial services company, are gaining in trading today. At last check, JPM shares were trading 1.28% higher at $50.67 on volume of 13.19 million. The stock rose to a 52-week high of $50.86 earlier today. JPM shares have gained more than 3% in the last three trading sessions.

Shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), the Cupertino, California-based technology giant, are marginally higher in trading today. At last check, AAPL shares were trading 0.18% higher at $426.44 on volume of 10.73 million. The stock hit an intra-day high of $430.61. AAPL shares have gained more than 1.60% in the last three trading sessions.