February 18, 2015 / 1:23 PM / in 3 years

BUZZ-U.S. STOCKS ON THE MOVE-Potbelly, Boston Scientific, Amarin, Transocean, Garmin

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U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 ended above 2,100 for the first time ever, as investors waited to see whether a debt deal would be reached with Greece.

Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.05 percent at 17,992, S&P 500 futures were down 0.12 percent at 2,093.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.01 percent at 4,381.5.

** POTBELLY CORP, Tuesday close $14.2, +11.62 pct premarket

The sandwich chain operator reported fourth-quarter adjusted profit that beat analysts average estimate, helped by 13 percent rise in revenue, and said it expects 2015 adjusted net income to rise at least 20 percent.

Piper Jaffray raised its price target on the stock to $16 from $14.

** FOSSIL GROUP INC, Tuesday close $99.32, -14.62 pct premarket

The fashion accessories retailer reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit due to a decline in watch and leather products sales in North America. The company also said net sales would decrease up to 7.5 percent in the first quarter and that 2015 profit would be significantly hurt by a strong dollar and restructuring charges.

At least five brokerages cut their price target on the stock, with Evercore ISI’s $50 cut to $100 being the biggest.

** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, Tuesday close $14.84, +10.18 pct premarket

** JOHNSON & JOHNSON, Tuesday close $100.44, +0.06 pct premarket

Medical device maker Boston Scientific agreed to pay $600 million to J&J to settle a long-running lawsuit over Boston Scientific’s 2005 acquisition of rival Guidant.

JP Morgan raised price target on Boston Scientific stock to $18 from $17.50.

** AMARIN CORP PLC, Tuesday close $1.18, +16.10 pct premarket

Suntrust Robinson raised its rating on the Irish drugmaker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”, according to theflyonthewall.com.

** GARMIN LTD, Tuesday close $56.81, -5.62 pct premarket

The maker of GPS-based gadgets said a stronger dollar would slow down revenue growth and forecast a profit below market estimates for the full year.

** TRANSOCEAN, Tuesday close $19.05, -4.04 pct premarket

The offshore driller said it idled two more of its rigs and it had amended contracts to delay delivery of 5 jackups by about 6 months.

BMO started coverage of the stock with “underperform”, while it started coverage of the U.S. oil services industry with “outperform”. RBC Capital Markets analysts cut its price target to $17 from $20, citing company’s trouble in finding work for rigs rolling off contracts.

** SASOL, Tuesday close $41.25, -8.19 pct premarket

The South African petrochemicals group signalled it will cut its dividend to save cash in the face of falling oil prices.

** YANDEX, Tuesday close $16.65, +9.91 pct premarket

The operator of Russia’s biggest Internet search engine said it expected first-quarter revenues to grow by about 15 percent, year-on-year.

** HILTON WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC, Tuesday close $28.65, -1.40 pct premarket

The owner of Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel brands forecast profit below market estimates for the first quarter as well as for the full year.

** ACTAVIS PLC, Tuesday close $286.9, +1.33 pct premarket

The drugmaker posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit, helped by higher sales of its branded drugs in North America.

** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, Tuesday close $49.87, -0.64 pct premarket

The web-hosting company forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectation, hurt by a strong dollar, after reporting fourth-quarter revenue that was slightly below Wall Street’s expectations.

But Pacific Crest raised its rating on the stock to “outperform” saying, “it appears that execution issues that beset the company are mostly behind it, and management has painted an achievable and sufficiently wide 2015 outlook range for revenue growth.”

Jana Partners LLC raised its sole share stake in the company by 14.2 percent to 8.0 million shares.

** JACK IN THE BOX INC, Tuesday close $88.16, +4.36 pct premarket

Barclays raised price target on the hamburger restaurant chain’s stock to $90 from $84 after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit and sales. The company raised full-year 2015 profit and same-store sales forecast, above analysts’ average estimates.

** PLURISTEM THERAPEUTICS INC, Tuesday close $3.05, +5.25 pct premarket

The company’s drug for treating bone marrow, damaged by exposure to high levels of radiation, succeeded in study conducted by National Institutes of Health.

** DUKE ENERGY CORP, Tuesday close $79.39, -0.43 pct premarket

The largest U.S. power company by market value reported an 86 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt mainly by a tax charge to repatriate foreign earnings.

** DENBURY RESOURCES INC, Tuesday close $9.07, -0.77 pct premarket

** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $2.35, -2.13 pct premarket

** RANGE RESOURCES CORP, Tuesday close $52.44, +0.02 pct premarket

** HALCON RESOURCES CORP, Tuesday close $2.23

** HALLIBURTON CO, Tuesday close $44.87, +0.74 pct premarket

** CIMAREX ENERGY CO, Tuesday close $112.54

Hedge funds exited tumbling oil company shares during the fourth quarter, regulatory filings show.

Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors liquidated its entire 3.7 million share investment in Denbury. But at SandRidge, Cooperman cut only 29 percent of his position.

Meanwhile Point72 Asset Management, which invests Steven A. Cohen’s roughly $10 billion personal fortune, slashed its investment in Range Resources by 65 percent.

Rainier Investment Management liquidated its 2.5 million share-stake in Halcon and also sold its interest in Halliburton.

Regiment Capital made only a small adjustment by selling 50,085 shares of Halcon, cutting its stake by 2 percent.

Diamond Hill Capital Management increased its investment in Cimarex by 16 percent, but Senator Investment Group liquidated its investment, selling 1.9 million shares.

** ENI, Tuesday close $35.92, +2.28 pct premarket

The Italian oil company reassured investors with a small dividend increase on Wednesday and pledged to cut capital spending after lower oil prices depressed fourth quarter profit.

** BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC, Tuesday close $223,300

** DEERE & CO, Tuesday close $89.92, +1.76 premarket

** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Tuesday close $93.05, -1.24 pct premarket

** TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX INC, Tuesday close $35.06, +0.31 pct premarket

** RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $42.12

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a 5 percent stake in agricultural equipment maker Deere and said it shed a $3.74 billion investment in oil company Exxon Mobil as oil prices plunged. Berkshire also reported a new stake of 4.7 million shares in Twenty-First Century Fox and reported a new 8.4 million-share stake in Restaurant Brands, the parent of the Burger King and Tim Hortons restaurant chains.

** HERBALIFE LTD, Tuesday close $34.59Three of the top 20 investors in Herbalife liquidated their positions during the fourth quarter when the nutrition and weight loss company missed Wall Street earnings estimates, but Soros Fund Management increased its holdings by roughly 80 percent, regulatory filings show.

** APPLE INC, Tuesday close $127.83, -0.03 pct premarket

Top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, reduced their stakes in Apple during the fourth quarter, ahead of the iPhone maker’s strong rally in 2015, according to regulatory filings.

** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Tuesday close $86.85, +0.40 pct premarket

Several of the biggest hedge fund managers slashed or dissolved their stake in China’s Alibaba at the end of last year, taking a prescient bet ahead of the company’s surprise revenue miss last quarter that sent shares plunging in late January. (Compiled by Neha Dimri in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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