Feb 28 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Thursday:
U.S. stock index futures edged modestly higher on Thursday as investors were reluctant to make big bets following a sharp two-day rally and ahead of a rash of data. S&P 500 futures rose 2.7 points. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 16 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 4.5 points.
** GROUPON INC, Wednesday close $5.98, down 27 pct premarket
Groupon lost a quarter of its market value on Wednesday after the company revealed it began to take a smaller cut of revenue on daily deals during the holidays, sacrificing revenue and profits to attract and keep merchants.
** J.C. PENNEY CO INC, Wednesday close $21.16, down 16 pct premarket
J.C. Penney on Wednesday reported its sharpest sales drop since announcing a grand transformation plan 13 months ago, a plunge Chief Executive Ron Johnson is trying to stop by largely reversing his failed no-discounts strategy.
** MGIC INVESTMENT CORP, Wednesday close $2.80, down 14 pct premarket
Mortgage insurer MGIC Investment Corp reported a sharp deterioration in its capital position in the fourth quarter and posted its tenth straight quarterly loss as it continues to lose money on loans insured during the housing boom.
** SEARS HOLDINGS CORP, Wednesday close $47.47, up 3 pct premarket
Sears Holdings, which operates its namesake department stores and the Kmart discount chain, on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results on tight cost controls.
** APPLE INC, Wednesday close $445.57
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday acknowledged widespread disappointment in the company’s sagging share price but shared few details about its secretive product pipeline and touched only briefly on a raging debate about how best to reward shareholders.
** MOLYCORP INC ; Wednesday close $6.24, down 9 pct premarket
Molycorp is delaying its quarterly results and its annual report as it has yet to determine the size of a goodwill impairment charge that it will have to book in the fourth quarter, the rare earth producer said on Thursday.
** BROADSOFT INC, Wednesday close $30.91, down 24.5 pct after market
The Internet communications company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates. The company said it expects growth to be affected by weakness in its consumer applications division prior to service providers ramping up their voice-over-LTE investment.
** KOHL‘S CORP, Wednesday close $46.61
Kohl’s reported lower fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by markdowns during the holiday season, and gave a full-year earnings forecast that fell below Wall Street expectations.
** CATAMARAN CORP, Wednesday close $55.54
Pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran reported a 59 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, helped by acquisitions, and forecast higher revenue and profit for the current year.
** RIVERBED TECHNOLOGY INC, Wednesday close $15.75, down 4 pct premarket
The company said on Wednesday its longtime CFO Randy Gottfried will retire in May, and will be replaced by Lam Research Corp CFO Ernie Maddock.
Sterne Agee downgraded the network gear maker to “neutral” from “buy”, according to StreetInsider.com.
** CATERPILLAR INC, Wednesday close $92.25
The world’s largest maker of construction equipment, plans to cut 1,400 jobs at a plant near Charleroi in Belgium due to high costs and the weak European economy, the group’s Belgian unit said on Thursday.
** COMMONWEALTH REIT, Wednesday close $22.51, down 7 pct premarket
CommonWealth REIT pushed ahead with its planned equity offering even as activist investor Keith Meister and real estate major Related Cos said they were prepared to increase their buyout offer for the office building operator.
** STURM RUGER INC, Wednesday close $53.51, up 3 pct after market
The gun maker reported a 52 percent jump in quarterly sales as people rushed to stock up on firearms amid debates over implementing stricter gun laws, sending its shares up 3 percent after market.
** MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP, Wednesday close $46.92, up 7 pct after market
Monster Beverage’s quarterly profit missed Wall Street estimates as higher costs squeezed margins, but the energy drink maker said its flagship brand continued to gain market share in the United States.
** LIMITED BRANDS INC, Wednesday close $44.50, down 2.5 pct premarket
Limited Brands on Wednesday forecast profit for the current quarter and fiscal year below analysts’ expectations, and its shares fell 1.3 percent in after-market trading.
** LIBERTY MEDIA CORP, Wednesday close $107.55
** BARNES & NOBLES, Wednesday close $15.23, down 2 pct premarket
Liberty Media, which holds a large stake in Barnes & Noble, said on Wednesday it has the power to block a sale of Barnes & Nobles’ retail stores and it is waiting to see whether the bookseller’s chairman Leonard Riggio will make an offer.
** H.J. HEINZ CO, Wednesday close $72.51
U.S. authorities investigating possible insider trading in ketchup maker H.J. Heinz are studying a derivatives bet that was routed through London, the New York Times reported, citing two people briefed on the matter.
** BOEING CO, Wednesday close $77.36
The grounding of Boeing’s global fleet of 787 Dreamliner passenger jets due to undiagnosed battery problems is taking its toll on the hundreds of pilots specially trained to fly the high-tech, fuel efficient plane.
** MBIA INC, Wednesday close $9.98, down 2 pct after market
** BANK OF AMERICA, Wednesday close $11.30
The bond insurer said there was a significant risk that its structured finance insurance unit would be put into liquidation or rehabilitation by its New York regulator if it was unable to settle its claims with Bank of America.
** MYLAN INC, Wednesday close $28.57, up 2 pct after market
Generic drugmaker Mylan said it will buy a unit of India’s Strides Arcolab Ltd for $1.6 billion to expand its presence in the fast-growing injectable drugs market.
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Wednesday close $31.81
** GOLDMAN SACHS, Wednesday close $151.65
The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it has won a $1 billion tax shelter case against Dow Chemical that involved a Swiss partnership, Wall Street financial giant Goldman Sachs and international law firm King & Spalding.
** EDWARDS LIFESCIENCE CORP, Wednesday close $86.43
Edwards Lifescience’s chief executive is confident his company will be able to trump looming competition. The Irvine, California-based company already has new heart valves and smaller, easier to use systems for placing them that it hopes to roll out in coming years.
** VOCERA COMMUNICATIONS INC, Wednesday close $29.07,
The healthware communications provider reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast 2013 profit above analysts’ estimates.
** AMGEN INC, Wednesday close $91.03
The U.S. Supreme Court made it easier on Wednesday for shareholders to bring class-action lawsuits, breaking a recent line of decisions that had made it harder to sue corporate defendants collectively and perhaps obtain greater recoveries.
By a 6-3 vote, the court allowed shareholders of Amgen to sue the biotechnology company as a group without first having to show that misinformation had materially and fraudulently inflated its stock price.
** WAL-MART STORES INC, Wednesday close $71.66
Wal-Mart’s U.S. Chief Administrative Officer Tom Mars will step down in March after more than a decade with the company, in which he also served as general counsel, the Wall Street Journal reported.
** LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP, Wednesday close $88.33
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday the government will issue a statement on the export of Japanese-made parts for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, suggesting Japan will make an exception to its ban on arms exports.
** UNITED STATES STEEL CORP, Wednesday close $21.05
** AK STEEL HOLDING CORP, Wednesday close $3.77
** NUCOR CORP, Wednesday close $44.93
Several U.S. steel producers raised prices on Wednesday, following reports that United States Steel had boosted its own spot prices on Tuesday. AK Steel announced its increase in a release on Wednesday morning. Nucor was one of several other producers to match U.S. Steel’s $50 per short ton increase, Steel Market Intelligence wrote in a note to clients.
** ANIKA THERAPEUTICS INC, Wednesday close $10.71, up 3 pct after market
The medical device maker reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on higher sales of its knee pain injection.
Anika reported fourth-quarter profit of 31 cents per share. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 24 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** MEDICINOVA INC, Wednesday close $3.16, up 20 pct after market
Shares of the biopharmaceutical company continued to register gains after it said on Tuesday that its experimental treatment for methamphetamine addiction got a fast-track status from the U.S. health regulator.
** BABCOCK & WILCOX CO, Wednesday close $26.43
The power generation systems maker reported an 8 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by an increase in demand for new-build environmental equipment and a higher production of nuclear components.
The company reported an attributable net profit of $39.1 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with a loss of $63.0 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, Babcock & Wilcox earned 56 cents per share.
** STARZ, Wednesday close $18.70
Pay-TV network Starz, which was spun off from Liberty Media in January, beat analysts’ fourth-quarter estimates as revenue fell less than expected.
** NABORS INDUSTRIES LTD, Wednesday close $16.32
Nabors Industries, the owner of the world’s largest onshore drilling rig fleet, said it would start paying quarterly dividends, a month after a top shareholder raised concerns about the underperformance of its stock.
** AEGEAN MARINE PETROLEUM NETWORK INC, Wednesday close $6.99, down 12 pct after market
The marine fuel and lubricants supplier, late on Wednesday, reported fourth-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates as the shipping industry grapples with overcapacity amid a fragile global economy.
** CONTINENTAL RESOURCES INC, Wednesday close $83.97, up 4 pct after market
The oil and gas producer said it expects drilling in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province to ramp up throughout 2013, after production from its wells in the area more than tripled in the fourth quarter.
** SALESFORCE.COM INC, Wednesday close $166.94
Salesforce.com is expected to announce fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday and provide outlook into the future of one the tech industry’s most highly-valued stocks, currently trading at more than 100 times projected earnings. (Compiled by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore)