May 2 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
Wall Street was set to open slightly higher Thursday as an interest rate cut from the European Central Bank and better-than-expected weekly jobless claims data in the U.S. boosted investors’ appetite for risky assets. S&P 500 futures rose 0.35 percent, Dow Jones futures gained 0.27 percent Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.3 percent.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $30.18, up 4 pct premarket
The U.S. automaker posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as it kept a tight grip on costs in its North American and European businesses.
** VISA INC, Wednesday close $166.02, up 3 pct premarket
The world’s largest credit and debit card network on Wednesday reported strong quarterly results as its customers spent more on its cards.
** FACEBOOK INC, Wednesday close $27.43, up 2 pct premarket
The social network’s mobile advertising revenue growth gained momentum in the first three months of the year as it sold more ads to users on smartphones and tablets, partially offsetting higher spending which weighed on profits.
** RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP INC Wednesday close $9.91, up 18 pct premarket
The biodiesel maker reported a 14 percent rise in first-quarter sales on demand from refiners for credits, or RINs, to comply with federal emission targets.
Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock to “buy” and raised its price target to $12 from $9.
** YELP INC, Wednesday close $25.3, up 9 pct premarket
The consumer review website reported quarterly results ahead of analysts’ estimates, helped by strength in its local and mobile advertising businesses, and it forecast second-quarter revenue above expectations.
** GILEAD SCIENCES INC, Wednesday close $50.14, up 7 pct premarket
The hepatitis drug maker said on Thursday that a combination of three experimental Gilead drugs cured all patients with hepatitis C after eight weeks of treatment in a mid-stage study. The company said that based on the interim results, it plans to begin a third late-stage trial that would test the drug cocktail on 600 chronic hepatitis C patients.
** MONSTER WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday close $4.29, up 7 pct premarket
The online recruitment company, which is up for sale, reported a lower quarterly profit from continuing operations as customers held back on hiring in a weak economy.
** BEAZER HOMES INC, Wednesday close $16.79, up 6 pct premarket
The U.S. homebuilder reported quarterly revenue above analysts’ expectations as it sold more houses at higher prices. Beazer recorded revenue of $287.9 million in the second quarter. Analysts on average expected revenue of $252.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PGT INC, Wednesday’s close $7.58, up 5 pct premarket
The company, which makes impact-resistant windows and doors for homes, reported better-than-expected first quarter results, as it gained $2.2 million from the sale of its Salisbury facility.
** LIQUIDITY SERVICES INC, Wednesday close $32.53, up 5 pct premarket
The company reported a 4 percent rise in quarterly revenue as it auctioned a higher number of surplus and salvaged assets to its large commercial and government customers. Liquidity Services recorded revenue of $130.3 million in the second quarter.
** NOVADAQ TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $13.51, down 5 pct premarket
The imaging technology company said it would sell $50.3 million common shares at $12.90 per share.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, Wednesday close $5.15, up 4 percent premarket
The solar equipment maker said it expects panel shipments to be in the range of about 335 megawatt (MW) to 345 MW, higher than its prior outlook of 290 MW to 310 MW. The company also said first-quarter gross margin would be 9-10 percent, compared with its previous forecast of 8-10 percent.
** EXPEDITORS INTERNATIONAL OF WASHINGTON INC, Wednesday close $35.32, up 4 pct premarket
The logistics company reported a higher quarterly profit late on Wednesday, helped by lower costs. The company’s net profit rose 5 percent to $80.3 million, or 39 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $76.7 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.
** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY, Wednesday close $36.94, up 4 pct premarket
The hard disk drive maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results on higher sales of its internet storage devices, and said it expects demand and pricing in the business to rise in the second half.
** INTERNATIONAL PAPER CO, Wednesday close $45.89, down 4 pct premarket
The largest producer of corrugated boxes in North America, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to weak demand for food packaging and printing paper.
** GLU MOBILE INC, Wednesday close $3.01, down 4 pct premarket
The mobile games maker reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss on Wednesday, but forecast current-quarter revenue below estimates.
** CATAMARAN CORP, Wednesday close $57.01, down 4 pct premarket
The pharmacy benefit manager reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit, helped by the $4.4 billion acquisition of rival Catalyst Health Solutions.
** GT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday close $3.86, down 4 percent premarket
The solar and LED equipment maker reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the first quarter as costs fell sharply. The company, however, revised down its backlog by about $356 million to remove orders it had previously identified to be at risk.
** ESTEE LAUDER COS INC, Wednesday close $68.79, down 3 pct premarket
The company, known for its namesake brand as well as lines such as La Mer and MAC, reported slightly lower-than-expected third-quarter sales, hurt by tepid demand in markets like Southern Europe and South Korea and said it expects full-year sales to be at the low end of its previous range.
** SHIRE PLC, Wednesday close $93.36, down 3 pct premarket
The British pharmaceutical firm managed to squeeze out a first-quarter earnings beat on Thursday thanks to cost controls after sales of some of its drugs, notably rare disease treatment Replagal, fell short.
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES, Wednesday close $7.47, up 2 pct premarket
The miner reported a wider first-quarter loss on Thursday, hurt by thermal coal production cuts and lower prices, especially for metallurgical coal.
** CBS CORP, Wednesday close $46.4, up 2 pct premarket
The broadcaster reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, boosted by advertising during February’s Super Bowl telecast and a jump in revenue from Showtime and its other cable channels.
** MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP, Wednesday close $14.65
Canada’s largest insurer reported a lower first-quarter profit on weak insurance sales and higher expenses.
** KELLOGG CO, Wednesday close $64.61, down 2 pct premarket
The maker of Corn Flakes cereal, Keebler cookies and Eggo waffles reported lower quarterly earnings on Thursday, hurt by higher ingredient costs, and said it was on track to meet its full-year goals.
** ACTAVIS INC, Wednesday close $104.39
The generic drugmaker formerly known as Watson Pharmaceuticals, reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit after launching several new products, and raised its full-year profit forecast.
** CIGNA CORP, Wednesday close $65.38, up 2 pct premarket
The insurer on Thursday reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings that benefited from its acquisition of Medicare specialist HealthSpring and international growth, particularly in South Korea.
** CME GROUP INC, Wednesday close $60.13
The world’s largest futures exchange operator reported a drop in first-quarter profit as trading in some of its more lucrative products slumped and average revenue per trade fell.
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday close $73.69
Canada’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker reported a 12 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit due to higher product sales and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
** GILDAN ACTIVEWEAR INC, Wednesday close $40.67
The Canadian apparel maker raised its full-year outlook, as it expects lower cotton prices and higher sales to boost revenue through the year, after reporting second-quarter results above analysts’ estimates.
** METLIFE INC, Wednesday close $38.4
The largest U.S. life insurer reported a first-quarter profit, compared with a loss a year earlier, helped by lower derivative losses linked to its credit spreads. (Compiled by Maria Ajit Thomas in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)