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June 13 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
Wall Street was set to open little changed as encouraging economic data offset concerns over the eventual winding down of central bank stimulus that has propelled a rally in the U.S. equity market this year.
S&P 500 futures trimmed earlier losses to gain 3.3 points and were above fair value. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 9 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.75 points.
** GANNETT CO INC, Wednesday close $19.85, up 22 pct premarket
** BELO CORP, Wednesday close $10.73, up 28 pct premarket
Media company Gannett said on Thursday that it agreed to pay $1.5 billion in cash to television company Belo and assume $715 million in debt, giving Belo an enterprise value of $2.2 billion.
The deal, which represents a 28.1 percent premium to Belo's closing price on Wednesday, would almost double Gannett's broadcasting assets, making it the fourth-largest U.S. owner of major network affiliates, reaching nearly one-third of U.S. households, according to the company.
** SPREADTRUM COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $18.95, up 18.7 pct premarket
The cellphone chip designer raised its revenue estimates for the current quarter due to higher demand from low-cost smartphone makers. The China-based company now expects revenue of between $270 million and $278 million for the quarter ending June 30, up from the $220 million to $228 million it forecast earlier.
** SAFEWAY INC, $21.16, up 19.4 pct premarket
Empire Co Ltd, the operator of Canadian grocery chain Sobeys, said it was acquiring Safeway's assets in Canada for $5.7 billion in a move that will nearly double its reach in the country's western provinces.
The C$5.8 billion deal, Canada's biggest so far this year, resulted in generous premiums for Safeway, which said it would use the proceeds to pay down debt and buy back shares.
J.P. Morgan Securities and Guggenheim Securities raised their price target on Safeway's stock on Thursday.
** CHINA MING YANG WIND POWER GROUP LTD, Wednesday close $2.15, up 11.5 pct premarket
The wind turbine maker said its unit, Guangdong Mingyang Wind Power Group Ltd, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) on forming a joint venture company for the development of up to 300 megawatts of wind projects in Henan province.
Ming Yang will acquire about 25 percent of the joint venture, while CNNC is expected to control the majority equity.
** ADVENT SOFTWARE INC, Wednesday close $32.36, up 10 pct premarket
The accounting software maker said it would pay a one-time special cash dividend of $9 per share. The special dividend payment will amount to about $470 million.
** PVH CORP, Wednesday close $111.28, up 7.7 pct premarket
The clothing maker reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by higher sales at its Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger businesses.
** NORTHSTAR REALTY FINANCE CORP, Wednesday close $8.32, up 4.6 pct after market
The diversified commercial real estate investment company said its operating partnership had commenced a private offering of exchangeable senior notes due 2033. Total principal amount of the notes is $300 million.
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Wednesday close $37.71, up 3.8 pct after market
** CLEARWIRE CORP, Wednesday close $4.37
** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP, Wednesday close $7.35
Clearwire's board urged shareholders on Wednesday to accept a tender offer from Dish over an earlier deal with majority owner Sprint to buy out the minority shareholders of the wireless service provider. The decision was a boost for Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen who is also in a takeover battle with SoftBank Corp to take full control of Sprint.
Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on majority owner Sprint Nextel's offer to buy the rest of the company for $3.40 per share at a special shareholder meeting unless Clearwire's special committee decides that a $4.40 per share rival bid by Dish Network is superior or Sprint changes its bid.
** MEN'S WEARHOUSE INC,, Wednesday close $35.59, up 4 pct premarket
The clothing retailer reported first-quarter results that beat analysts' estimates as more customers visited its namesake store. The company also reaffirmed its full-year profit outlook.
Gross margins were up 9.4 percent in the quarter, helped by a 25 percent rise in revenue from its Tuxedo rental business.
** DIRECTV, Wednesday close $60.16, down 3.6 pct
Walt Disney Co's TV sports network, ESPN, said it will shut its 3D cable channel in the United States, ending a three-year experiment after sports fans failed to embrace the technology in their homes. The network was carried by major operators such as DirecTV, Time Warner Cable Inc and Comcast Corp in various programming packages.
** INTEVAC INC, Wednesday close $4.74, up 3.4 pct after market
The imaging products maker said its unit received a $27 million contract for the production of night-vision cameras for the Apache Helicopter's Pilot Night Vision Sensor program for the U.S. Army.
** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, Wednesday close $5.13, down 3 pct premarket
The oil and gas producer announced an underwritten public offerring of $300 million in perpetual convertible preferred stock.
The Houston, Texas-based company said it planned to use the proceeds to repay debt under its senior secured revolving credit facility.
** HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, Wednesday close $15.51, up 3.8 pct premarket
The hospital operator has hired Morgan Stanley and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges after hedge fund Glenview Capital Management urged it to remove or amend its poison pill and said it might try to replace members of its board.
** WASTE MANAGEMENT INC, Wednesday close $40.14, down 2 pct premarket
Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on the company's stock to "neutral" from "buy", Theflyonthwall.com reported.
** FIVE BELOW INC, Wednesday close $35.4, up 2 pct after market
The specialty value retailer reported first-quarter profit above market estimates as more customers visited its stores. The company also raised its full-year outlook.
** MARATHON OIL CORP, Wednesday close $33.40
Marathon Oil said on Thursday that Chairman and Chief Executive Clarence Cazalot will retire Dec. 31 and be replaced by a senior Exxon Mobil Corp executive.
Lee Tillman, 51, currently vice president of engineering for Exxon Mobil's development unit, will become Marathon Oil's CEO in 2014, the company said in a statement.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Wednesday close $107.05
** BOEING CO, Wednesday close $100.88, up 0.5 pct premarket
U.S. regulators have opened a probe into whether United Launch Alliance (ULA), a Lockheed-Boeing joint venture that launches U.S. government satellites into space, has flouted antitrust laws.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether ULA violated federal antitrust laws by "monopolizing" or restraining competition through an exclusivity agreement with the maker of the engines used in its rockets, according to a FTC document obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
** LULULEMON ATHLETICA INC , Wednesday close $64.30
The yogawear maker's Chairman Dennis "Chip" Wilson sold stock worth $50 million days before shares slumped on the news of Chief Executive Christine Day's surprise departure.
** FREEPORT MCMORAN COPPER AND GOLD INC, Wednesday close $29.59
Trade union workers at the Freeport mine in Indonesia will stop work indefinitely from Friday if the company does not suspend those suspected of being at fault for a deadly tunnel collapse last month, a union official said.
** NEWS CORP, Wednesday close $30.94
** COMCAST CORP, Wednesday close, $39.52
U.S. broadcast networks Fox, owned by News Corp and NBC, a unit of Comcast, are close to wrapping up their advance sales for commercial time for the upcoming fall season and have narrowly beaten analysts' expectations with rate increases of as much as 7 percent over last year, sources familiar with the negotiations said on Wednesday.
** SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO, Wednesday close $13.87
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, Wednesday close $16.88
Executives from U.S. airlines Southwest, United and US Airways are likely to discuss demand trends and outlook at the Deutsche Bank Global Industrials and Basic Materials Conference in Chicago.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Wednesday close $89.74, down 0.5 pct premarket
Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, and Carlos Pascual, a key player in the State Department's energy affairs division, headline a conference in Washington on "Fueling the Future: the U.S., Asia and Energy Security." Also on the bill is oil economist Daniel Yergin.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $432.19
Apple is exploring launching iPhones with bigger screens, as well as cheaper models in a range of colours, over the next year, said four people with knowledge of the matter, as it takes a cue from rival Ssamsung Electronics.
The maker of celebrity perfumes priced its initial public offering at $17.50 a share, in the middle of the expected range, a source briefed on the matter said, as it went public amid a recent surge in beauty company stock values. (Compiled by Kanika Sikka; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)