(For more market insights, including options activity, click on STXNEWS/US; for The Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s)
May 15 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
U.S. stock index futures were little changed, indicating the S&P 500 may hold near its most recent record high, ahead of data on inflation and manufacturing. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 0.2 point, while futures for the Dow Jones were up 8 points and the Nasdaq 100 up 1 point.
** SONY CORP , Tuesday close $20.76
A surge in option market bets on Sony just before a large hedge fund investor announced a big stake and called for a major restructuring of the company on Tuesday has raised concerns that some traders may have had advance word of the news.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb also said on Wednesday Sony reminds him of Yahoo Inc before he waged a bitter proxy fight that triggered a boardroom shake-out at the Internet company last year.
** MOSAIC CO, Tuesday close $61.64
A takeover of the U.S. fertilizer producer is unlikely in the near term and would be affordable to only a handful of players, executives said in an interview on Tuesday.
** COMSTOCK HOLDING COS INC, Tuesday close $2.51, up 41 pct after market
The homebuilding and real estate development company late on Tuesday reported a 256 percent jump in first-quarter revenue and raised its sales forecast for 2013, buoyed by a recovering U.S. housing market.
** EXONE CO, Tuesday close $48.60, down 9 pct after market
The 3-D printer maker, which went public in February, reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter loss because of higher operating expenses. Revenue also fell short of analysts’ average estimate as customers in regions such as Europe delayed orders.
The company forecast full-year revenue of $48 million to $52 million that fell short of analysts’ average estimate of $53.25 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, Tuesday close $3.59, down 8 pct after market
The company, which develops drugs to treat kidney diseases, said it will sell shares of its common stock in a public offering. The size and terms of the offering were not disclosed.
** APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP, Tuesday close $8.87, down 4 pct premarket
The business development company announced a public offering of 18 million common shares and said it would use the proceeds to repay debt.
** VIVUS INC, Tuesday close $13.59, down 3 pct premarket
The drugmaker, known for its diet pill Qsymia, said it would offer $200 million of convertible senior unsecured notes in a private placement.
** CLOROX CO, Tuesday close $88.11
Credit Suisse downgraded the stock of the consumer product maker to “neutral” from “outperform,” saying it sees limited catalyst driving the shares further in an environment where consumer spending is low and competition from private label is high.
The brokerage said Clorox’s full-year sales outlook is realistic and “surprises to the upside are unlikely going forward for the time being.”
** ACADIA PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $12.95, down 3 pct after market
The pharmaceutical company said it will offer its common stock in an underwritten public offering. The size and terms of the offering were not disclosed.
** PHOTRONICS INC, Tuesday close $7.94, down 5.8 pct after market
The chip gear maker reported second-quarter results below analysts’ estimates, hurt by some order problems at a key Asian foundry customer.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $443.86
The iPhone maker responded to Justice Department accusations it conspired with publishers to push up electronic book prices, saying it negotiated with a number of publishing companies separately and crafted different agreements with each.
** ACTAVIS INC, Tuesday close $121.68
** MYLAN INC, Tuesday close $30.10
Actavis received and rejected a takeover offer from Mylan last week that valued the generic drugmaker at more than $15 billion, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters on Tuesday.
** SANOFI SA , Tuesday close $54.78
** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS, Tuesday close $282.80
French drugmaker Sanofi said it and U.S. firm Regeneron have started recruiting patients for two new trials of their arthritis treatment sarilumab.
** FREEPORT-MCMORAN COPPER & GOLD INC, Tuesday close $31.57
The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan suspended operations at the world’s second-largest copper mine on Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the matter said, after a training tunnel collapsed the previous day.
** MONSANTO CO, Tuesday close $107.65
The world’s largest seed company is pushing on with plans to introduce a controversial new type of herbicide-tolerant crop, and last week’s decision by the U.S. government to extend its scrutiny of the proposed new crops should not spell a significant delay, a top company official said Tuesday.
** TIME WARNER INC, Tuesday close $61.27
** CENTRAL EUROPEAN MEDIA ENTERPRISES, Tuesday close $2.92
Time Warner has sought European Commission approval to exercise voting rights in proportion to its 49.9 percent stake in broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises, CME said on Wednesday.
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $887.10
The world’s No. 1 search engine has signed licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment to launch a subscription music service that would compete with fast-growing start-up Spotify, according to a report on Tuesday in technology blog The Verge.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Tuesday close $18.62
J.C. Penney’s stores, distribution centers and headquarters are worth a total of $4.06 billion, according to an appraisal conducted for the department store chain and disclosed on Tuesday in a presentation to potential lenders that was also filed with U.S. regulators.
** RIO TINTO, Tuesday close $45.33, down 1.3 pct premarket
Australia approved on Wednesday miner Rio Tinto’s $1 billion-plus South of Embley bauxite mine and port project in Queensland after a year’s delay due to concerns about ships harming the Great Barrier Reef.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Tuesday close $102.87
The Pentagon’s plans to put most of its 800,000 civilian employees on unpaid leave for 11 days could lead to delays on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other weapons programs, a top company official said on Tuesday.
** AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES INC, Tuesday close $43.97, up 1 pct after market
The medical device maker said late on Tuesday it would cut about 450 jobs, or 2 percent of its global workforce, and doubled its stock repurchase program to $1 billion. Agilent also reported earnings of 77 cents per share, excluding items, for the second quarter. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 67 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** MACY‘S INC, Tuesday close $47.39
The department store chain reports first-quarter earnings before market opens. Focus will be on its same-store sales, which it no longer reports on a monthly basis, and how much full-price selling Macy’s was able to do, despite slumps in consumer confidence and uncooperative weather.
** DEERE & CO, Tuesday close $93.77, down 4 pct premarket
The world’s largest farm equipment maker reported higher quarterly earnings on Wednesday and forecast a record profit for the full year, but it warned that “global financial pressures as well as adverse weather patterns” made it cautious about its outlook.
** AT&T INC, Tuesday close $37.23
The No. 2 U.S. mobile service provider’s CEO Randall Stephenson makes a relatively rare appearance at the JP Morgan conference in Boston. He is expected to speak about how well the company’s new home security business is doing, and the current round of U.S. telecoms mergers, which has not included AT&T so far after its effort to buy T-Mobile USA was crushed in 2011.
** ROCKWELL MEDICAL INC, Tuesday close $3.59, down 9 pct premarket
The company, which develops drugs to treat kidney diseases, on Wednesday priced a public offering of about 11.5 million shares of its common stock at $3.05 per share.
The company, which expects to raise $35 million through the offering, will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and to fund clinical trials for its iron compound, soluble ferric pyrophosphate, which is intended to replace iron lost during dialysis treatment in patients with kidney disease.
** POTASH CORP OF SASKATCHEWAN, Tuesday close $43.08
Spot market prices for the crop nutrient potash are rebounding after some of the world’s biggest fertilizer-consuming countries signed contracts at deep discounts, according to Potash Corp, one of the world’s largest potash producers. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)