Feb 8 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Friday:
U.S. stock index were set for a slightly higher open on Friday after a trio of positive economic data points, but gains were expected to be modest, with the benchmark S&P index near five-year highs. S&P 500 futures added 1.8 points 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 gained 6 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.5 points.
** MCDONALD‘S CORP, Thursday close $94.63, up 0.6 pct premarket
The company said January sales at established restaurants around the world fell 1.9 percent, a steeper decline than expected as fast-food chains fight for diners.
** ENTEROMEDICS INC, Thursday close $2.84, down 50 pct premarket
The company said its experimental device to treat obesity did not meet pre-defined efficacy targets in a late-stage study.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC , Thursday close $3.57, up 37.2 pct premarket
The company said a mid-stage trial of its experimental lung cancer drug showed that 95 percent of the patients experienced a reduction in the size of their tumors.
** NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS INC, Thursday close $24.55, down 17.5 pct premarket
The speech recognition software maker forecast second-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates, citing a fall in demand for its products in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
** TRANZYME INC, Thursday close $0.56, up 13.4 pct premarket
The drugmaker said it will explore a possible sale of the company, less than two years after it went public and shortly after it stopped trials of one of its most advanced drug in development.
** RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY INC, Thursday close $20.10, down 12 pct premarket
The network gear maker’s quarterly profit fell 76 percent on costs associated with its $1 billion acquisition of Opnet Technologies Inc, and the company forecast current-quarter profit below estimates.
At least two brokerages downgraded the stock.
** LINKEDIN CORP, Thursday close $124.09, up 10.4 pct premarket
The professional social networking company extended its hot streak on Thursday, announcing both blow-out quarterly profits and a bullish forecast for the new year that exceeded Wall Street’s already lofty expectations.
At least five brokerages - J.P. Morgan Securities, Barclays Capital, Canaccord Genuity, Evercore Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald - raised the target price on the company’s stock.
** SKULLCANDY INC, Thursday close $6.61, down 8 pct premarket
The headphones company forecast full year 2012 earnings at the lower end of between $1 and $1.04 per share, and said Chief Executive Jeremy Andrus will step down.
** ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INC, Thursday close $12.06, up 7.8 pct premarket
The company’s earnings beat Wall Street expectations after its “Call of Duty” and “Skylanders” titles had blockbuster holiday sales, shoring up investor confidence in the world’s largest videogame publisher despite a cautious forecast for 2013.
** COINSTAR INC, Thursday close $52.10, down 7.8 pct premarket
The operator of Redbox video rental kiosks forecast current-quarter results significantly below analysts’ estimates due to a slower movie release schedule.
** RADIOSHACK CORP, Thursday close $3.11, up 7 pct premarket
The U.S. electronics retailer named Walgreen executive Joseph Magnacca chief executive, hoping to boost sales by tapping his merchandising and marketing experience.
** MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY INC, Thursday close $33.94, up 7 pct premarket
The chipmaker forecast a larger-than-expected profit and revenue for the current quarter after reporting third-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations on higher sales of its microcontroller chips.
** AOL INC, Thursday close $31.41, up 6.1 pct premarket
The online company’s quarterly profit jumped, boosted by a 13 percent rise in advertising sales. Net income rose to $35.7 million, or 41 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $22.8 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier. Advertising revenue rose 13 percent to $410.6 million, while subscription revenue for AOL’s dial-up services fell 10 percent to $174.2 million.
** 3SBIO INC, Thursday close $13.79, up 5.5 pct premarket
The Chinese biotechnology firm said it agreed to be taken private by Decade Sunshine Ltd for about $340 million, reflecting a wider trend of Chinese companies going private to escape U.S. regulatory scrutiny.
** SYCAMORE NETWORKS INC, Thursday close $2.28, up 5.2 pct premarket
The company declared a cash dividend of $1.81 per share.
** APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC, Thursday close $22.15, up 5 pct premarket
The company reported a 95 percent rise in quarterly earnings as strong gains in private equity profits, driven by asset sales, more than compensated for a drop in income in its credit investment business.
** WARNER CHILCOTT PLC, Thursday close $14.45, down 4.8 pct
The Specialty pharmaceutical company forecast 2013 adjusted earnings below market estimates as it expects research and development expenses to increase with some of its drugs moving into late-stage development.
** SUNPOWER CORP, Thursday close $8.40, down 4.7 pct premarket
The U.S. solar company, which is battling a drastic drop in panel prices due to a supply glut, said on Thursday that it expects revenue for this year to be unchanged from 2012.
** NCR CORP, Thursday close $27.96, up 3 pct premarket
The ATM maker reported a fourth-quarter profit of 72 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 70 cents per share.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC , Thursday close $27.10, up 2 pct premarket
BofA Merrill Lynch raised the telecom operator’s rating to “buy” from “neutral.”
** TARO PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD, Thursday close $50.55, up 1 pct premarket
India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries ended its agreement to gain full control over its Israeli unit Taro Pharmaceutical.
** APPLIED MICRO CIRCUITS CORP, Thursday close $8.67
The chipmaker believes selling low-power processors for cloud data centers run by the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon.com could account for half of its business within three years.
** ADVANCE AUTO PARTS INC, Thursday close $77.14, up 1 pct premarket
J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded the auto parts retailer’s stock to “overweight” from “neutral.” The company posted a fourth-quarter profit of 88 cents per share, largely beating analysts’ expectations of 75 cents per share.
** LABORATORY CORP OF AMERICA HOLDINGS, Thursday close $91.63
The diagnostics testing company reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit on Friday and said bad weather had been partly to blame.
** BOEING CO, Thursday close $77.43
The company started the year ahead of its European rival Airbus, after clinching the industry’s top spot in 2012, with broadly higher orders and deliveries in January, data showed.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE , Thursday close $45.28
Mounting evidence of a link between the company’s Pandemrix flu shot and a spike in narcolepsy cases among children in Europe is putting one of the vaccine’s key ingredients, AS03, under intense scrutiny.
** UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC, Thursday close $14.87, up 9 pct after market
The wireless equipment products maker forecast a profit of between 20 and 24 cents per share, above what analysts had expected on an average.
** FLEETCOR TECHNOLOGIES INC, Thursday close $59.55, up 7 pct after market
The payments services provider reported a quarterly profit of 82 cents per share, better than the 75 cents per share that analysts on average expected.
** AVANIR PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $2.85, up 3 pct after market
The company reported a first-quarter loss of 9 cents per share while analysts on average expected a loss of 8 cents per share.
** OPENTABLE INC, Thursday close $49.31, up 2 pct after market
The U.S. online restaurant reservation service provider reported quarterly results that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by an increase in the number of seated diners, and the company expects mobile devices to drive more revenue.
** MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL, Thursday close $12.94
New Jersey regulators are set to reconsider a decision that had forced the company to put its stake in an Atlantic City casino up for sale, people familiar with the matter said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
** MOODY‘S CORP, Thursday close $46.99
The credit rating agency, which could face a federal lawsuit tied to pre-crisis ratings, said quarterly profit jumped 66 percent and the company forecast strong 2013 earnings,
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC Thursday close $16.31
The animation studio company might cut a maximum of 500 jobs from its 2,000 member workforce following disappointing holiday results and delays to its film lineup, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the situation.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, Thursday close $15.11
** AMR CORP, Thursday close $1.25
AMR Corp creditors plan to meet on Monday and could vote on a potential merger agreement between the bankrupt parent of American Airlines, and US Airways Group, several people familiar with the matter said. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore)