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U.S. stock index e-mini futures were lower on Wednesday: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.21 percent at 16,999, S&P 500 futures were up 0.23 percent at 1,976.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.27 percent at 4,048.
** ECHO THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $1.1448, -72.92 pct premarket
The medical device maker’s shares were set to open at an all-time low after the company warned it may file for bankruptcy. The company has suspended product development and research and manufacturing programs to cut costs and warned that its current liquidity was not enough to fund operations beyond Sept. 30.
** ERICSSON, Tuesday close $12.79, -0.31 pct premarket
UBS downgraded the world’s biggest mobile network equipment maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”.
** BED BATH & BEYOND INC, Tuesday close $62.69, +7.10 pct premarket
The home furnishings retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as increased discounting and promotions helped attract more shoppers to its stores.
Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the stock to $66 from $62, while Suntrust Robinson raised to $80 from $75.
Morgan Stanley raised its target to $63 saying, “given low expectations, a relatively high short interest and yesterday’s move lower on a downgrade, we believe the stock deserves to move higher.”
** GASLOG PARTNERS LP, Tuesday close $32.3, -4.02 pct premarket
The LNG carrier operator said it would offer 4.5 million units, or about 22 percent of its outstanding units. The proceeds are planned to be used to fund the previously announced acquisition of GAS-sixteen Ltd and GAS-seventeen Ltd from holding company GasLog Ltd.
** ATOSSA GENETICS INC, Tuesday close $2.33, -53 pct after market
The breast health testing company says U.S. health regulators denied marketing approval for its medical device, ForeCYTE Breast Aspirator, used to collect breast fluid for testing. It now plans to launch an alternative breast aspirator, FullCYTE Breast Aspirator, in the United States.
** GRAFTECH INTERNATIONAL LTD, Tuesday close $7.28, -17.6 pct after market
The graphite electrode maker cut its full-year EBITDA forecast, citing weakening demand outside of U.S. and soft end-market consumer electronic product launches. It expects operating margins to be hurt as it plans to reduce graphite electrode production rates due to lower shipments.
JPMorgan cut its price target on the stock to $5 from $6.
** ZS PHARMA INC, Tuesday close $38.05, +5 pct after market
The drug developer said its experimental drug, ZS-9, met its main goal in a second late-stage trial. The drug is being studied for management of hyperkalemia, a potentially life-threatening metabolic condition, caused by high levels of potassium.
** AAR CORP, Tuesday close $28, -3.6 pct after market
The company, which serves commercial aviation and government and defense markets, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit and cut its full-year revenue and earnings forecast, saying “certain awards...now seem unlikely to materialize”.
“Over the balance of the year, we expect lower results for our businesses that support the military’s operational tempo,” CEO David Storch said.
D.A. Davidson cut its price target on the stock to $32 from $36.
** STARBUCKS CORP, Tuesday close $73.955, +0.16 pct premarket
The coffee chain plans to buy the 60.5 percent share of Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd that it does not already own in a two-step deal valued at about $913.5 million.
** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC, Tuesday close $49.91, +0.06 pct premarket
The company has hired investment bank TAP Advisors LLC to plan a sale of its network’s assets including its cell towers, according to a source familiar with the matter.
** ACTAVIS PLC, Tuesday close $240.85, +0.27 pct premarket
** PFIZER INC, Tuesday close $30.05
Pfizer has approached Dublin-based generic drugmaker Actavis to express its interest in an acquisition, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
The companies are not currently in formal talks and Pfizer has not made an offer, the Bloomberg report said. (bloom.bg/1uVW0QP)
** SIRIUS XM HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $3.48, -1.15 pct premarket
A U.S. judge has sided with members of the 1960s band the Turtles in their dispute with Sirius, ruling the satellite radio provider infringed on copyrights by airing their pre-1972 songs without paying royalties.
** HCA HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $72.08
The company, one of the largest U.S. hospital chains, must face a shareholder class-action lawsuit accusing it of concealing revenue declines and its routine performance of unnecessary cardiac procedures prior to its $4.35 billion initial public offering in March 2011.
** CELGENE CORP, Tuesday close $93.12
The company said the U.S. FDA approved the expanded use of its drug Otezla for treating patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The drug, known chemically as apremilast, is already approved for treating psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis associated with the skin disease.
The company said its initial public offering was priced at $21.50 per share, valuing the U.S. unit of Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland at about $12 billion.
The IPO, which was priced below the expected range, raised about $3 billion, making it the second biggest in the United States this year after Alibaba raised $21.8 billion last week.
** WALGREEN CO, Tuesday close $61.1
The U.S. drugstore chain operator is exploring the sale of a majority stake in its infusion services business, in a deal that could value that division at around $1.5 billion, according to four people familiar with the matter.
** HOME DEPOT INC, Tuesday close $91.49
A data breach at the home improvement retailer has led to fraudulent transactions across the United States, draining cash from customer bank accounts, the Wall Street Journal said.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Tuesday close $33.22
The automaker expects to sell over three million vehicles in China for the second straight year in 2014, with its premium brand forecast to grow 40 percent.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Tuesday close $176.34
South Korea will sign a deal this month to buy 40 F-35 fighter jets for about $7.06 billion for delivery in 2018-2021, two people with knowledge of the transaction told Reuters.
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $591.18
Google, the target of an EU antitrust investigation into its internet search engine, may face further scrutiny over its other services following several complaints, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Tuesday.
** BLACKBERRY LTD, Tuesday close $10.56
The Canadian company is set to launch an unconventional new smartphone dubbed the Passport on Wednesday, as it embarks on potentially the most critical phase of its long turnaround. (Compiled by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)