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, $94.88, up 0.3 pct (0943 ET)
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, $1.25, down 55 pct (0943 ET)
The company said its experimental device to treat obesity did not meet pre-defined efficacy targets in a late-stage study.
** ONCOLYTICS BIOTECH INC , $4.56, up 27 pct (0944 ET)
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, $20.38, down 17 pct (0944 ET)
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, $0.61, up 11.4 pct (0944 ET)
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, $17.20, down 14.4 pct (0945 ET)
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, $146.28, up 18 pct (0945 ET)
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, $6.39, down 3.3 pct (0946 ET)
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, $13.19, up 9.4 pct (0946 ET)
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, $48.27, down 7.5 pct (0946 ET)
The operator of Redbox video rental kiosks forecast current-quarter results significantly below analysts’ estimates due to a slower movie release schedule.
** RADIOSHACK CORP, $3.26, up 4.8 pct (0947 ET)
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, $36.39, up 7.2 pct (0947 ET)
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, $34.67, up 10.4 pct (0947 ET)
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, $14.63, up 6.1 pct (0948 ET)
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.
** APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC, $23.46, up 5.9 pct (0949 ET)
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.
** SUNPOWER CORP, $7.91, down 5.8 pct (0949 ET)
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, $29.48, up 5.4 pct (0949 ET)
The ATM maker reported a fourth-quarter profit of 72 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 70 cents per share.
** VODAFONE GROUP PLC , $27.60, up 1.8 pct (0950 ET)
BofA Merrill Lynch raised the telecom operator’s rating to “buy” from “neutral.”
** TARO PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LTD, $52.55, up 3.4 pct (0950 ET)
India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries ended its agreement to gain full control over its Israeli unit Taro Pharmaceutical.
** APPLIED MICRO CIRCUITS CORP, $8.73, up 0.7 pct (0950 ET)
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, $78.46, up 1.6 pct (0951 ET)
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, $89.91, dpwm 1.8 pct (0951 ET)
The diagnostics testing company reported a drop in fourth-quarter profit on Friday and said bad weather had been partly to blame.
** UBIQUITI NETWORKS INC, $15.88, up 7 pct (0952 ET)
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, $67.45, up 13.3 pct (0953 ET)
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.
** OPENTABLE INC, $49.89, up 1.2 pct (0953 ET)
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, $13.09, up 1.2 pct (0954 ET)
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, $45.30, down 3.5 pct (0954 ET)
The credit rating agency, which could face a federal lawsuit tied to pre-crisis ratings, said quarterly profit jumped 66 percent and forecast strong 2013 earnings, as it benefits from a wave of corporate debt issues. However, the company’s shares fell 4 percent as investors feared that the agency will face a federal fraud lawsuit tied to pre-crisis ratings.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, $14.99, down 0.8 pct (0955 ET)
** AMR CORP, $1.26, up 0.8 pct (0955 ET)
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)