Jan 30 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly weaker open on Wednesday following an unexpected contraction in fourth-quarter economic activity. S&P 500 futures fell 0.22 percent and were about even with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 0.09 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.14 percent.
** BOEING CO, Tuesday close $73.65, up 1.3 pct premarket
The Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant posted a stronger-than-expected profit on Wednesday as its backlog of orders rose, and said its 2013 forecast “assumes no significant financial impact” from the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner jet by regulators.
** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $458.27, down 0.9 pct premarket
South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co did not willfully infringe on some of Apple’s patents, a U.S. federal court ruled, foiling the iPhone maker’s attempt to ratchet up the $1.05 billion in damages it was awarded last August by a U.S. jury.
** DUPONT, Tuesday close $47.96, down 0.2 pct premarket
DuPont is exploring the sale of its cyanide business and has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to run the sale process, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
** RESEARCH IN MOTION LTD , Tuesday close $15.66, up 2 pct premarket
The innovative line of BlackBerry smartphones that RIM will formally unveil after markets open has already succeeded on one crucial count - getting the company back in the conversation.
** CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORP, $18.97, up 11 pct premarket
Chesapeake Energy Corp said on Tuesday that Aubrey McClendon will step down as chief executive after a tumultuous year in which a series of Reuters investigations triggered civil and criminal probes of the second-largest U.S. natural gas producer
** AMAZON.COM INC, Tuesday close $260.35, up 9 pct premarket
The world’s largest Internet retailer’s better-than-expected profit margins surprised Wall Street, prompting at least five brokerages to raise their price targets on the stock.
** GOOGLE INC, Tuesday close $753.68, down 0.2 pct premarket
YouTube, the video website owned by Google, plans to offer paid subscriptions to some of the content on its site later this year, according to a media report.
** MEADWESTVACO CORP, Tuesday close $32.93, down 6 pct premarket
The packaging company posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by lower sales in its food and beverage business and said it expects earnings for the first quarter to be modestly lower, year-over-year. [ID: nBw9XcTHLa]
** WEBSENSE INC, Tuesday close $16.13, down 5 pct premarket
The online security firm posted fourth-quarter adjusted profit that missed market estimates and forecast first-quarter profit below expectations.
** DOLBY LABORATORIES INC, Tuesday close $31.75, up 3 pct premarket
The audio technology licensor posted first-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by higher licensing revenue, and forecast second-quarter profit above expectations.
** PIONEER NATURAL RESOURCES, Tuesday close $117.37, up 3 pct premarket
The oil and gas producer said it will sell 40 percent of its interest in the Wolfcamp shale field in Texas to China’s state-run Sinochem Group Co Ltd for $1.7 billion.
** QIAGEN NV, Tuesday close $19.98, up 3.8 pct premarket
The genetic testing specialist exceeded expectations with a 13 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit and said it expected sales and profit growth in 2013 on demand for its automated diagnostics gear.
At least two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock after the results.
** JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORP, Tuesday close $6.065, down 1 pct premarket
Raymond James cut its rating on the discount airline to “underperform” from “market perform,” a day after it reported a lower quarterly profit, hurt by disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy. [ID: nWNAB00Q22]
** YUM BRANDS, Tuesday close $64.24, down 1 percent premarket
Brokerage Bernstein cut its rating on KFC’s parent Yum to “Market Perform” from “Outperform,” according to the theflyonthewall.com. The official Xinhua news agency last Friday reported chicken sold at Yum Brands in China contained excessive levels of chemicals, escalating a month-long food scare that has hit Yum’s sales in its biggest market.
** MANPOWER INC, Tuesday close $48.55
The Global staffing company reported a 16 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit as a weak European market hurt its margins.
** JPMORGAN CHASE & CO, Tuesday close $47.12, down 0.3 pct premarket
There is a new twist in the London Whale trading scandal that cost JPMorgan Chase $6.2 billion in trading losses last year. Some of the firm’s own traders bet against the very derivatives positions placed by its chief investment office, said three people familiar with the matter.
** KINDER MORGAN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, Tuesday close $89.66
** COPANO ENERGY LLC, Tuesday close $33.13
Kinder Morgan will buy natural gas pipeline operator Copano for $3.22 billion to tap into growing demand for infrastructure to transport vast supplies from the shale fields of Texas and Oklahoma.
** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP, Tuesday close $5.64
** DISH NETWORK CORP, Tuesday close $37.94
Dish Network decided against filing to block Sprint’s proposed deal with Softbank Corp, at least for now, citing its ongoing negotiations with Clearwire Corp and uncertainty over that company’s ownership.
** ADT CORP, Tuesday close $46.51
The home security services company reported a higher quarterly profit on Wednesday and announced a $600 million accelerated share repurchase.
** ROCKWELL AUTOMATION INC, Tuesday close $89.89
The company reported a steeper-than-expected 12 percent drop in quarterly profit on weak demand for its systems that are used to help factories run more smoothly.
** UNISYS CORP, Tuesday close $18.92, up 11 pct after market
The IT services company reported fourth-quarter results above Wall Street’s estimates helped by 16 percent growth in its technology business.
** KEY TRONIC CORP, Tuesday close $11.91, down 15 pct after market
The electronics manufacturer’s reported second-quarter results at the lower end of its guidance as demand fell from one of its customers.
** RYLAND GROUP INC, Tuesday close $41.31, up 3 pct after market
The homebuilder reported quarterly results well above analysts’ expectations and said new orders jumped 64 percent.
** ASPEN TECHNOLOGY INC, Tuesday close $28.49, up 4 pct after-market
The company, which provides supply chain management software for the manufacturing industry, posted better-than-expected second-quarter results on higher subscription and software revenue.
Brokerage Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the company’s stock to $34 from $32.
** VALERO ENERGY CORP, Tuesday close $43.77, up 1.7 pct premarket
The leading U.S. independent refiner plans to expand its use of domestic crude oil as well as increase exports of refined products.
** ISIS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $13.38, up 8 pct after market
** AEGERION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $28.52, down 2 pct after market
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved a drug made by Sanofi SA and Isis designed to treat a rare genetic disorder that causes dangerously high levels of bad LDL cholesterol. In December, the FDA approved a drug for the same condition made by Aegerion.
** THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC INC, Tuesday close $70.42
** LIFE TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Tuesday close $62.31, up 2 pct premarket
Thermo Fisher Scientific is considering making an offer for Life Technologies, the biomedical laboratory equipment maker which is exploring a potential sale, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
** PAREXEL INTERNATIONAL CORP, Tuesday close $33.86, up 3 pct premarket
The contract research organization reported a quarterly profit above Wall Street estimates, helped by higher services revenue, and raised its outlook for the current year.
** VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Tuesday close $46.39, down 2 pct after market
The company on Tuesday reported a third consecutive quarterly loss as sales of its hepatitis C drug, Incivek, again fell sharply while research and development spending rose.
** ACE LTD, Tuesday close $84.94
The insurer reported a 24 percent fall in quarterly operating profit, hurt by losses related to superstorm Sandy, and forecast a full-year profit below analysts’ estimates.
** FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR LTD, Tuesday close $12.39
The company, which makes chips for cars and machinery, forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates as demand returns in its wireless and enterprise businesses.
**AVERY DENNISON CORP, Tuesday close $36.14, up 8 pct premarket
Label and specialty packages maker CCL Industries Inc said it will buy two businesses of the U.S. label and office supplies maker for $500 million.
** METLIFE INC, Tuesday close $37.72
The biggest U.S. life insurer said it was in talks with Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA to buy the Spanish bank’s Chilean pension fund business.
** PHILLIPS 66, Tuesday close $59.88,
** MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP, Tuesday close $71.97, up 1.4 pct premarket
U.S. oil refiners Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum Corp reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings on better refining margins fueled by cheaper crude oil from shale formations in North America.
** HESS CORP, Tuesday close $68.11, up 3 pct premarket
The company, which is under pressure from an activist investor to break up the company, reported a fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday as production from its wells in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield soared. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bangalore)