Feb 7 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
Futures cut gains following jobless claims data, with the S&P and the Dow indexes futures briefly turning negative.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.7 point and were slightly above 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 were flat, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.25 points.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $457.35, up 2 pct premarket
Fund manager David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital sued the iPhone maker, saying it needed to do more to unlock value for shareholders. Greenlight said it was “dissatisfied with Apple’s capital allocation strategy.”
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC , Wednesday close $26.89, up 1.6 pct premarket
The UK-based telecom operator said it received a transfer pricing order in India over the issue of shares by its unit Vodafone India Services Private Ltd.
** O‘REILLY AUTOMOTIVE INC, Wednesday’s close $92.59, up 8.5 pct aftermarket
The auto parts retailer forecast 2013 earnings between $5.57 and $5.67 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of $5.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ADVANCE AUTO PARTS INC, Wednesday close $72.90, up 7 pct premarket
The auto parts retailer posted a fourth-quarter profit of 88 cents per share, largely beating analysts’ expectations of 75 cents per share.
** ANN INC, Wednesday close $39.48, down 6 pct premarket
The women’s apparel retailer estimated current-quarter sales below analysts’ expectations as a new line of brightly colored clothes failed to attract customers at its LOFT brand, which caters to younger women.
** BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, Wednesday close $21.10, down 6 pct premarket
The oil and gas producer on Wednesday started a public offering of 13 million units. The company intends to use proceeds from the offering to pay down debt.
** NETEASE INC, Wednesday close $45.63, up 5 pct premarket
The Chinese online gaming company reported fourth-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations helped by growing popularity of its existing games and launch of new games such as Kung Fu Master, Soul of the Fighter and Heroes of Tang Dynasty II.
** BLACKBERRY , Wednesday close $16.05, up 4 pct premarket
Wells Fargo Securities upgraded the stock to “outperform” as it expects the company’s gross margin to improve on increased BlackBerry 10 growth. BlackBerry, which is in the process of changing its legal name from Research In Motion Ltd, said on Wednesday it had its best ever first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone in Canada.
** TERADATA CORP, Wednesday close $66.55, down 4 pct premarket
The analytics and data storage company forecast a 2013 profit that may miss estimates, as its North American customers continued to keep a tight reign on budgets.
** MACY‘S INC, Wednesday close $39.48, up 4 percent premarket
The department store operator reported a 11.7 percent rise in same-store sales in January, trumping the 6.2 percent rise analysts expected on average, as new fashions introduced after the holiday season kept customers coming to its stores.
** KOHL‘S CORP, Wednesday close $46.25, up 2.7 percent premarket
The apparel and accessories store retailer reported January same-store sales that rose 13.3 percent and said comparable-store sales in the quarter rose 1.9 percent.
** THE GAP INC, Wednesday close $33.22, up 1.8 pct premarket
The apparel retailer reported January same-store sales that rose 8 percent, trumping Wall Street estimates for a rise of 4 percent, boosted by sales at its Old Navy brand.
** TARGET CORP, Wednesday close $62.69, up 1 percent premarket
Target reported a 3.1 percent increase in January same-store sales that beat analysts average estimates of a rise of 1.7 percent, helped by clearance sales on post holiday season inventory.
** TRONOX INC, Wednesday close $18.75, down 1 pct premarket
The paint materials company estimated that its fourth-quarter revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) would be lower than previously anticipated as three ore shipments were either delayed or cancelled by customers, and as it wrote down the value of its inventory by $9.6 million. The company estimated revenue of $482 million and adjusted EBITDA of $70 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
** EXELON CORP, Wednesday close $30.98, up 1 percent premarket
The largest nuclear operator in the United States said it will cut its dividend by 41 percent to $1.24 per share from the second quarter to free up money to invest in growth. The move was “positive subject to dividend sustainability,” analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co said, adding that the dividend was above their expectations of $1.00 to $1.10. Exelon also reported fourth-quarter profit that met analysts’ estimates as Constellation Energy’s contribution to margins helped offset lower energy prices and higher nuclear fuel costs. Exelon closed its acquisition of Constellation last March.
** CIGNA CORP, Wednesday close $59.67, up 1 pct premarket
The health insurer reported a higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by the acquisition of Medicare provider HealthSpring, and raised its outlook for 2013.
** VISA INC, Wednesday close $160.82, down 2 pct after market
The company’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates for the ninth consecutive quarter as credit, debit and transactions grew at the world’s largest payments network.
** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Wednesday close $75.39, down 0.5 pct premarket
Brokerage Credit Suisse downgraded the company’s stock to “underperform” from “neutral.”
** DEVRY INC, Wednesday’s close $26.18, up 19.5 pct premarket
The for-profit education company posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on lower costs and higher enrollments at its medical and healthcare colleges in the United States and Canada.
** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday’s close $41.58, down 17.7 pct premarket
The Internet content delivery company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations as the company plans to wind down some media contracts.
** GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS INC, Wednesday’s close $48.94, down 9.5 pct premarket
The maker of the Keurig single-cup coffee brewer and K-Cups expects sales growth in the current quarter that is slightly lower than analysts expected as retailers work through unsold inventory of its products after a slower-than-expected holiday season.
** MONSTER WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday close $5.85, down 9 pct premarket
The online recruitment company, which is up for sale, reported a quarterly loss and said it exited its businesses in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey.
** TRIQUINT SEMICONDUCTOR INC, Wednesday close $5.34, down 8 pct premarket
The chipmaker forecast current-quarter results below analysts’ estimates after some orders were pulled into the fourth quarter.
** PATTERSON-UTI ENERGY INC, Wednesday close $20.80, up 6 pct premarket
The onshore driller’s fourth-quarter results beat analysts’ expectations on strong performance at its pressure pumping business, which is used in the hydraulic fracturing process that releases oil and gas from shale rocks. Profit at the company’s contract drilling business also exceeded analysts estimates.
** TRUE RELIGION APPAREL INC, Wednesday’s close $23.75, up 5 pct premarket
The premium jeans maker forecast full-year earnings between $1.89 and $1.95 per share, above analysts’ expectations of $1.86 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ZUMIEZ INC, Wednesday’s close $22.15, up 3.8 pct after market
The teen-focused retailer increased its fourth-quarter earnings forecast to between 65 cents and 66 cents per share.
** BUNGE LTD, Wednesday close $79.38, down 3.2 pct premarket
The agribusiness company reported a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by goodwill impairment and other charges, and said Chief Executive Alberto Weisser would retire.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, Wednesday’s close $14.56, up 2 pct premarket
** AMR CORP, Wednesday’s close $1.22
The American Airlines parent and US Airways are hashing out the last major details of a merger agreement that would create the world’s largest airline and are racing to finalize a deal, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people close to the discussions.
** SONY CORP , Wednesday’s close $15.82, down 2 pct premarket
The company stuck with its full-year profit forecast as a weaker yen and asset sales underpinned earnings, offsetting weaker demand for its televisions, game consoles and other devices.
** NEWS CORP, Wednesday’s close $28.22, down 2 pct premarket
Rupert Murdoch’s company reported higher quarterly revenue and profit on strong growth at its cable assets including its Regional Sports and FX networks.
** STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC, Wednesday’s close $62.60, up 2 pct after market
The hotelier, whose brands include Sheraton and Westin, reported a 59 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations as costs rose, and said it expects demand to be higher this year.
** YAHOO INC, Wednesday close $19.85, up 1.5 pct premarket
Pivotal research raised the Internet company’s stock to “buy” from “hold.”
** RANDGOLD RESOURCES LTD , Wednesday close $96.95, down 1.5 pct premarket
Citi Investment Research cut its target price on The Africa-focused miner’s stock.
** COGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS CORP, Wednesday’s close $76.27, up 1.3 pct premarket
The IT services company reported a higher quarterly profit as revenue from financial services clients jumped 20 percent.
** SPRINT NEXTEL CORP, Wednesday close $5.77, down 1.2 pct premarket
The No.3 U.S. mobile service provider, which is seeking to sell 70 percent of its shares to Japan’s SoftBank Corp, posted higher fourth-quarter revenue even as it lost subscribers due to the wind-down of its older Nextel network.
** THE MCGRAW HILL COS INC, Wednesday’s close $44.61, up 1 pct premarket
Standard and Poor’s has hired John Keker, one of the country’s top white-collar defense attorneys, to help fight a $5 billion lawsuit brought by the U.S. government this week. The U.S. government sued Standard & Poor’s in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, accusing the McGraw Hill Cos unit of a scheme to defraud investors in mortgage-related securities that collapsed in the financial crisis.
** HERBALIFE INC, Wednesday’s close $35.79, up 1 pct premarket
The embattled nutritional supplements company is disclosing more information about how much its U.S. distributors earned in 2012 than it did in 2011, though the details are unlikely to satisfy critics like billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.
** GEOSPACE TECHNOLOGIES CORP, Wednesday’s close $93.82, up 5 pct after market
The company, which designs instruments to acquire seismic data, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. The company reported a first-quarter profit of $1.70, topping analyst’s expectations of $1.22 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ATMEL CORP Wednesday’s close $7.14, down 7 pct after market
The company, which supplies chips used for making touchscreens for smartphones to Samsung Electronics and Dell Inc, forecast first-quarter revenue of $311 million to $328 million on seasonal declines in MaxTouch, memory and ASIC businesses. Analysts on an average had a first-quarter revenue forecast of $331.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** FMC Corp, Wednesday’s close $61.85, down 3 pct after market
The chemicals company forecast full-year earnings between $3.81 and $4.01 per share, largely below analysts’ expectations of $4 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** TESORO CORP, Wednesday’s close $51.16, down 3 pct after market
The company reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit of $1.34 per share, below analyst’s expectations of $1.37 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** IROBOT CORP, Wednesday close $23.82, down 9 pct after market
The robot maker forecast first-quarter results largely below analysts’ estimates late on Wednesday, citing an uncertain economic environment in Europe. It expects to break even or earn up to 7 cents per share on revenue between $98 million and $102 million. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 7 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $103.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PEREGRINE SEMICONDUCTOR CORP, Wednesday’s close $10.98, down 9 pct after market
Canaccord Genuity cut the price target on the company’s stock to $17 from $23
** ORASURE TECHNOLOGIES INC, Wednesday’s close $7.02, down 6 pct after market
The company forecast a first-quarter loss between 18 cents and 19 cents per share, while analysts were expecting a loss of 14 cents per share.
** SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP INC, Wednesday’s close $14.49, up 3 pct after market
The diversified television broadcasting company reported a quarterly profit of 73 cents per share, topping analyst’s expectations of 59 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ALLSTATE CORP, Wednesday’s close $44.31, up 3 pct after market
The home and auto insurer’s quarterly profit fell 45 percent on losses from superstorm Sandy, but the company said it has paid out about 95 percent of Sandy claims and is seeing rate increases across businesses.
** YELP INC, Wednesday’s close $22.38, down 3 pct after market
The consumer review website posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and its shares fell 6 percent in after-market trading as the company faces competition from Facebook.
** BOEING CO, Wednesday close $76.29
The company is working on battery design changes that would minimize fire risks on its grounded 787 Dreamliner and could have the passenger jet flying again as soon as March, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
** J.P. MORGAN CHASE & CO, Wednesday’s close $48.61
Emails and employee interviews filed as part of a lawsuit show that the company flouted quality controls as it bundled mortgages into complex financial instruments, the New York Times reported.
** MICROSOFT CORP, Wednesday’s close $27.34
** SYMANTEC CORP, Wednesday’s close $22.28
The software makers said they disrupted a global cyber crime operation by shutting down servers that controlled hundreds of thousands of PCs without the knowledge of their users.
** SERVICESOURCE INTERNATIONAL INC, Wednesday’s close $6.63
The company, which helps manage service contract renewals, mainly for tech companies, reported a quarterly profit of 5 cents per share that beat analysts’ expectations of 1 cent per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** SIERRA WIRELESS INC , Wednesday’s close $11.66
The Canadian wireless communication equipment maker said higher operating costs will result in a first-quarter loss, even after posting a profit that beat analysts’ estimates in the latest three months.
** ELBIT SYSTEMS , Wednesday’s close $37.50
Indian auto components maker Bharat Forge and the Israeli defense contractor said on Thursday they were forming a joint venture to supply advanced artillery and mortar systems to the Indian military.
** TOWERS WATSON CO, Wednesday close $61.82
The employee-benefits consultancy firm’s second-quarter results easily beat analysts’ estimates, and the company forecast third-quarter revenue largely above expectations. Towers Watson earned $1.48 per share, excluding items, on revenue of $946 million. Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.26 per share, excluding items, on revenue of $897 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. For the current quarter, the company forecast revenue between $940 million and $960 million, largely above the analysts’ estimate of $943.5 million.
** GOOGLE INC, Wednesday’s close $770.17
The largest search engine company said it will require current advertisers using its AdWords online-ad system to pay for ads on some mobile devices, like tablets, for the first time, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** IAC/INTERACTIVECORP, Wednesday’s close $43.01
The web-holding firm said growth in its search business will slow from the “meteor ride” of the past two years, but it was confident of double-digit growth for the “foreseeable future.”
** DELL INC, Wednesday’s close $13.52
Michael Dell and his investment firm are ponying up $750 million in cash toward the $24.4 billion purchase of the PC maker to help bankroll the largest private equity-backed buyout since the financial crisis.
** SANDRIDGE ENERGY CORP, Wednesday’s close $6.15
The company is giving its chief executive wide latitude to profit from personal oil-and-gas deals in ways that pose potential conflicts of interest with the company, according to a review of employment contracts and recent transactions.
** COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP, Wednesday close $101.7
The largest U.S. warehouse operator posted a 4 percent rise in comparable sales in January, marginally above analysts’ estimates, despite having one less sales day in the reporting period. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore)