April 25, 2013 / 1:23 PM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-ExxonMobil, 3M, United Parcel, Qualcomm, Verizon

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)

April 25 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:

WALL STREET TO OPEN UP AFTER FLOOD OF EARNINGS, CLAIMS DATA

Stocks were poised for a higher open on Thursday, as investors dealt with a raft of earnings, including those of 3M Co and ExxonMobil, with added support from a drop in initial jobless claims. S&P 500 futures were up 0.41 percent. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.29 percentand Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.52 percent.

** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Wednesday close $89.43

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company’s quarterly profit edged up as results were helped by higher earnings in its chemicals business.

** CONOCOPHILLIPS, Wednesday close $58.26

ConocoPhillips reported lower quarterly earnings on Thursday as oil and natural gas production edged down along with crude prices.

** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, Wednesday close $84.33

The fourth-largest U.S. oil company reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it cut costs to blunt the impact of low natural gas prices.

** IMPERIAL OIL LTD , Wednesday close $39.12

Canada’s No. 2 oil producer and refiner, reported a 21 percent fall in first-quarter profit due to lower prices and increased refinery maintenance. [ID;nL3N0DCBMO]

** 3M CO, Wednesday close $107.87, down 3.4 pct premarket

The diversified U.S. manufacturer reported a slight rise in profit on Thursday, but said it now expects to earn $6.60 per share to $6.85 per share this year. 3M previously had expected $6.70 to $6.95.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB, Wednesday close $41.45, down 1 pct premarket

The drugmaker reported a sequentially lower sales and profit as its Avapro blood pressure drug and Plavix blood clot preventer faced competition from cheaper generics. [ID: nL2N0DC0YN]

** UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, Wednesday close $83.50, down 0.6 pct premarket

The world’s largest package-delivery company reported a 7 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by a stronger-than-expected post-holiday season in January.

The company also said it will acquire Hungarian healthcare logistics company CEMELOG.

** SAFEWAY INC, Wednesday close $28.26, up 1.7 pct premarket

The second-largest U.S. grocery chain said a new personalized discount program helped sales and contributed to higher profits in the first quarter, and it maintained its forecast for the year. The company, which operates Safeway, Vons and Dominick’s supermarkets, said it earned $118.9 million, or 49 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 23, up from $72.9 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

** COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO, Wednesday close $117.90

Colgate-Palmolive Co’s first-quarter profit matched Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday, as the toothpaste maker raised prices and spent more to advertise new products while cutting other costs.

** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Wednesday close $32.17, up 0.3 pct premarket

The chemical maker’s first-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates, helped by higher demand for its seeds and crop-protection chemicals in the Americas.

** TIME WARNER CABLE, Wednesday close $92.73, down 4 pct premarket

The second-largest U.S. cable operator, reported first-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates as it added fewer-than-expected subscribers for its high-speed data services.

** HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC, Wednesday close $53.20, up 1.1 pct premarket

The Milwaukee-based motorbike maker reported a sharply higher profit on Thursday, in line with expectations even as sales to several key markets showed signs of weakness, and kept its full-year shipment forecast unchanged.

** DANA HOLDING CORP, Wednesday close $17.30

The auto parts supplier’s quarterly profit fell 45 percent due to lower North American sales of parts used in commercial vehicles and a slump in its off-highway business in Europe and Asia.

** INFINERA CORP, Wednesday close $6.66, up 19 pct premarket

The company, which makes chips used in telecom networks, posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by a 19 percent jump in revenue as the company added new customers in a seasonally weak quarter.

** ON ASSIGNMENT INC, Wednesday close $22.40, up 9 pct after market

The staffing company’s first-quarter profit handily beat analysts’ estimates helped by strong demand for its services, and forecast second-quarter earnings above analysts’ expectations. For the full year, the company expects to trend toward the high-end of its previously announced targets.

The company also said it is currently working on a new $500 million credit facility that will replace its existing facility. It expects the new facility to be in place by mid-May.

** FUSION-IO INC, Wednesday close $16.63, up 13.6 pct premarket

The memory drive maker reported higher-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and forecast current-quarter revenue ahead of analysts’ estimates on Wednesday.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $36.09, up 19.4 pct premarket

The company forecast second-quarter results above analysts’ expectations as its media customers turned to the internet content delivery company to help them manage surging traffic.

** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, Wednesday close $18.22, up 7.9 pct premarket

The iron ore and metallurgical coal miner reported a drop in first-quarter profit on Wednesday but earnings were much better than analysts had expected.

** ZYNGA INC, Wednesday close $3.34, down 10.7 pct premarket

Zynga’s management on Wednesday pleaded for more time for its turnaround effort after the online game maker forecast a steeper-than-expected loss for the current quarter.

** ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD, Wednesday close $34.29, up 5.1 pct premarket

The world’s second-largest cruise operator, reported a 62 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by a rise in ticket prices and onboard revenue.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, Wednesday close $206.18, up 2.8 pct premarket

The U.S. biotechnology company reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by low taxes and sales growth of its injectable multiple sclerosis treatments, and the company raised its full-year forecast.

* LSI CORP, Wednesday close $6.35, up 2.8 pct premarket

The chipmaker reported quarterly results above analysts’ estimates and forecast current-quarter revenue largely above expectations at a time when weak PC sales and a slow economy have created uncertainty about demand for storage controllers.

** United Continental Holdings Inc, Wednesday close $31.39

The world’s largest carrier posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss on Thursday, as it was helped somewhat by lower fuel prices and higher passenger revenue.

** SOUTHWEST AIRLINES, Wednesday close $13.42, up 2.5 pct premarket

The airlines reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as passenger revenue rose, but cautioned that a key revenue measure would weaken in the current month.

** POTASH CORPORATION OF SASKATCHEWAN , Wednesday close $39.63, up 0.6 pct premarket

The world’s largest producer of the crop nutrient by capacity, reported a 13 percent rise in first-quarter profit on strong shipments, and said demand will remain robust for the rest of the year.

The company also said it is abandoning efforts to take over Israel Chemicals Ltd, after running into opposition in that country.

** BANCO SANTANDER SA , Wednesday close $7.33, down 2 pct premarket

The euro zone’s largest bank, reported a 26 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as slowing growth in some South American markets added to the gloom at home in Spain. Net profit fell to 1.21 billion euros, below the average estimate of 1.3 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

** HERSHEY CO, Wednesday close $89.34, up 1.3 pct premarket

The chocolate maker reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as lower commodity prices and cost cutting boosted margins.

** PRECISION DRILLING CORP , Wednesday close $7.82, down 1 pct premarket

Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor expects demand for its rigs to stabilize in the United States in the coming months after falling for several quarters and squeezing its profits. The company reported a 16 percent decline in first-quarter earnings, as depressed natural gas prices prompted customers to cut back on drilling in North America.

** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, Wednesday close $68.68

The company, which is one of the world’s top five offshore rig contractors, reported first-quarter results above analysts’ expectations due to higher utilization of its deepwater units.

** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Wednesday close $7.36, down 2.2 pct

The medical device maker on Thursday as it took $578 million in charges for litigation and restructuring, including reducing its workforce.

** PULTEGROUP INC, Wednesday close $19.69, down 2 pct premarket

The No. 2 U.S. homebuilder reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it sold more homes at higher prices, and said orders rose 4 percent.

** HONDA MOTOR , Wednesday close $40.04

The Japanese carmaker said it expects its U.S. car sales in April to be up from a year ago, driven by strong demand from individual customers, reported the Wall Street Journal. (link.reuters.com/maj67t)

** SUPERNUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $5.19, down 13 pct premarket

The specialty pharmaceutical company announced a private offering of $75 million convertible senior secured notes due 2019.

** NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP, Wednesday close $22.45, up 12.5 pct premarket

Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting Inc said they would buy privately held Communications Corporation of America and White Knight Broadcasting for $270 million.

** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, Wednesday close $20.11, up 9.3 pct after market

The company, which provides consumer reviews of local services and businesses, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as total paid memberships rose 60 percent to about two million, and forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations.

** QUALCOMM INC, Wednesday close $66, down 6 pct premarket

The mobile chipmaker forecast current-quarter earnings below expectations as competition in smartphones intensifies and shifts toward Asia. The company’s chips are used in lower-priced handsets popular in Asia and are expected to drive future smartphone growth but low-cost handsets weigh on Qualcomm’s profitability.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, Wednesday close $51.80, up 1 pct premarket

** VODAFONE , Wednesday close $29.59, up 3.8 pct premarket

Verizon has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion cash and stock bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its partner Vodafone, two people familiar with the matter said.

** BAIDU INC, Wednesday close $88.09, up 1.3 pct premarket

China’s largest search engine is in the process of acquiring Chinese online video firm, PPS Net TV, for between $350-$400 million, China Business News reported on Thursday, quoting sources.

** XILINX INC, Thursday close $36.50, up 1.3 pct pre-market

The company, which makes programmable chips used in cars and industrial machinery, reported fourth-quarter results above analysts’ expectations and said it expects revenue from the current quarter to grow between 1 and 5 percent sequentially, prompting brokerage Nomura Equity Research to raise its price target on the company’s stock to $35 from $30.

** METHANEX CORP , Wednesday close $39.04

The company’s first-quarter adjusted profit more than doubled to $88 million, or 92 cents per share, from $39 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier, on higher methanol prices. Its board approved an 8 percent increase to its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share.

The Vancouver-based company also said it has reached a final investment decision to go ahead with the relocation of its second methanol plant from its Chile site to Louisiana. The plant is expected to be operational by early 2016.

** BALLY TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $49.08, up 8 pct premarket

The slot machine maker reported quarterly results that beat market estimates and announced a new $300 million share repurchase program on Wednesday.

** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, Wednesday close $67.66, down 11.5 pct after market

The cloud computing software maker forecast a lower-than-expected profit for the current quarter on Wednesday as its customers reduce IT spending and delay orders.

** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, Wednesday close $20.11, up 11.6 pct premarket

The company, which provides consumer reviews of local services and businesses, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as total paid memberships rose 60 percent to about two million, and forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations.

** EQUINIX INC, Wednesday close $216.38, down 5.3 pct after market

The data center operator posted a first-quarter profit well below analysts’ expectations, largely due to a weak Japanese yen, and forecast lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue.

** BALLY TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $49.08, up 6.4 pct after market

The slot-machine maker on Wednesday forecast adjusted earnings for the year ending June largely above analysts’ estimates, and reported third-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ expectations. Two brokerages raised their target price on the stock.

** JARDEN CORP, Wednesday close $43, up 5 pct after market

The maker of Mr. Coffee posted better-than-expected results, and raised its 2013 adjusted earnings outlook range to between $3.20 to $3.25 per share from $3.03 to $3.13 per share.

** STAMPS.COM, $25.66, up 5 percent after market

The internet-based postal services provider raised its full-year forecast after posting much higher-than-expected quarterly results due to a 12 percent jump in total paid customers.

** TRACTOR SUPPLY CO, Wednesday close $112.05, down 5 pct after market

The farm and ranch products retailer on Wednesday forecast full-year profit below analysts’ estimates.

** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, Wednesday close $52.90, up 3.1 pct after market

** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY PLC, Wednesday close $36.46, up 1.4 pct premarket

Hard disk drive maker Western Digital forecast current-quarter revenue largely above analysts’ expectations on Wednesday as higher demand for internet storage more than offset the effects of a fall in personal computer sales.

** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $210.62, up 3 pct after market

S&P said it will replace MetroPCS Communications Inc with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on the S&P 500 Index.

** THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY INC, Wednesday close $37.74

The chain, known for its ample portions and wide array of cheesecakes, rang up a better-than-expected first-quarter profit as more diners visited its restaurants and the company held costs in check.

** HERBALIFE LTD, Wednesday close $37.27

The nutritional products company, which is at the heart of a public battle between hedge fund titans Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, hosts its annual shareholders meeting, where Icahn’s two board nominees will stand for election to the company’s board.

** NEW YORK TIMES CO, Wednesday close $9

The company reported a decline in quarterly revenue as advertisers pulled back their spending. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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