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U.S. stock index e-mini futures were lower on Thursday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision: Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 0.14 percent at 16,742, S&P 500 futures were down 0.18 percent at 1,994.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.11 percent at 4,386.75.
** AERIE PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Wednesday close $18, +90.28 pct premarket
The drugmaker said on Wednesday its experimental eye drop met the main goal of a late-stage study. The drug, Rhopressa, showed that it was not inferior to a commonly prescribed treatment, timolol, in reducing pressure inside the eye in patients suffering from glaucoma, or ocular hypertension, the company said.
At least five brokerages raised their price targets by as much as $18 to as high as $49.
** CABLEVISION SYSTEMS CORP, Wednesday close $28.54, +16.64 pct premarket
European telecoms group Altice has agreed to buy the fourth-largest U.S. cable TV operator for a mix of cash and shares in a deal worth $17.7 billion, including debt.
** ORACLE CORP, Wednesday close $38.27, -2.40 pct premarket
The company’s sales fell more than expected in the first quarter, hurt by a strong dollar and a continued drop in licensed software sales and the company warned revenue could fall in the current quarter even on a constant currency basis.
** RITE AID CORP, Wednesday close $8.59, -5.70 pct premarket
The drugstore chain operator cut its full-year drugstore sales and earnings forecast, citing “recent sales trends” and expenses related to its $2 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx.
** EXPEDIA INC, Wednesday close $124.68, -0.55 pct premarket
The world’s largest online travel services company by bookings has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival Orbitz Worldwide Inc for $1.3 billion, the Justice Department said on Wednesday. The department said it did not require any asset sales in exchange for antitrust approval.
** UNDER ARMOUR INC, Wednesday close $103.36, +0.82 pct premarket
The athletic wear maker said on Wednesday it expected to more than double its revenue and build more than 800 stores outside North America by 2018 as it takes on bigger rival Nike Inc in the highly competitive athletic gear market.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, Wednesday close $31.2, +1.22 pct premarket
The company has agreed to pay $900 million and sign a deferred-prosecution agreement to end a U.S. government investigation into its handling of an ignition-switch defect linked to 124 deaths, two sources told Reuters. The deal means GM will be charged criminally with hiding the defect from regulators and in the process defrauding consumers, but the case will be put on hold while GM fulfills terms of the deal, one source said.
** ANTHEM INC, Wednesday close $151.15, +0.12 pct premarket
The health insurer’s planned $47 billion takeover of rival Cigna will not hurt consumers but increase choice and affordability, Cigna CEO David Cordani said, defending the merger against widespread criticism that it will harm competition.
** GLAXOSMITHKLINE, Wednesday close $40.52, -0.15 pct premarket
A medical journal criticized the British drugmaker for delaying access to key data from a trial of its antidepressant Seroxat that would have shown earlier that it is neither safe or effective in adolescents. The widely used medicine, known generically as paroxetine, is linked to an increased risk of suicide in young people and has carried a Food and Drug Administration “black box warning” advising against its use in adolescents since 2004.
** KKR & CO, Wednesday close $18.96
Oil and gas producer Samson Resources Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday to carry out a debt-cutting plan reached with key lenders, who will assume control of the company. The company, owned by the private equity firm, listed assets and liabilities of more than $1 billion in its bankruptcy filing.
** POTASH CORP, Wednesday close $25.52
The Canadian company was not actively discussing its takeover proposal with Germany’s K+S, but remained interested in a combination of fertilizer producers that would aid North American potash sales and offer new access to Europe, Chief Executive Jochen Tilk said.
** UNITED PARCEL SERVICE INC, Wednesday close $100.08
A federal judge said New York State and New York City might pursue a lawsuit accusing the world’s largest package delivery company of illegally delivering more than 683,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in the state, depriving them of millions of dollars in taxes.
** TARGET CORP, Wednesday close $78.5
A group of pharmacy workers within the company’s store in Brooklyn, New York, have won a vote to form a microunion, making it the first unionized store at the retailer since its inception in 1902.
** GENERAL ELECTRIC CO, Wednesday close $25.93, -0.96 pct premarket
The U.S. conglomerate has no intent to split off any significant parts of its healthcare business, GE’s head of the unit said on Wednesday, and that “all aspects” of the $18 billion division are part of the company’s portfolio. Some analysts and investors over time have raised questions about how smoothly GE’s healthcare business fits with the rest of the industrial conglomerate and whether some parts could generate more value if divested. (Compiled by Manish Parashar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)