April 25, 2013 / 6:09 PM / in 5 years

MARKET PULSE-Cliffs, Verizon, Vodafone, United Parcel, Arena Pharma

(For more market insights, including options activity, click on ; for the Day Ahead newsletter link.reuters.com/mex49s, for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/faq23t)

April 25 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:


Stocks rose, boosted by gains in shares of materials companies, including iron ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources, and by a drop in weekly jobless claims. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 78.16 points, or 0.53 percent, at 14,754.46. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 11.02 points, or 0.70 percent, at 1,589.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 28.70 points, or 0.88 percent, at 3,298.35.

** EXXONMOBIL CORP, $88.25, down 1.3 pct (1227 ET)

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company’s quarterly profit edged up as results were helped by higher earnings in its chemicals business.

** IMPERIAL OIL LTD , $39.78, up 1.6 pct (1228 ET)

Canada’s No. 2 oil producer and refiner, about 70 percent-owned by ExxonMobil, reported a 21 percent fall in first-quarter profit due to lower prices and increased refinery maintenance. [ID;nL3N0DCBMO]

** VIVUS INC, $12.41, up 3 pct (1403 ET)

** OREXIGEN THERAPEUTICS INC, $6.48, up 3.5 pct (1404 ET)

** ARENA PHARMACEUTICALS, $8.43, up 7 pct (1404 ET)

Leerink Swann analyst Marko Kozul said a recently updated report by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists will positively impact use of obesity drugs such as Arena’s Belviq, Vivus‘Qsymia and if approved, Orexigen’s Contrave. He also said it will help facilitate reimbursement from insurance companies for the drugs.

** GLOBAL GEOPHYSICAL SERVICES INC, $3.19, up 49 percent (1320 ET)

The oil and gas geoscience services provider on Wednesday reported a surprise profit due to rise in revenue from its multi-client services.

The company also said it reached an agreement with its current lenders to extend the maturity of its revolving credit.

** LEAR CORP, $56.83, up 5.3 pct (1223 ET)

The maker of auto seats and electrical power systems posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday and, under pressure from two shareholders, set an accelerated $800 million stock buyback program.

** MEAD JOHNSON NUTRITION CO, $80.02, down 1.2 pct (1229 ET)

The maker of Enfamil baby food reported higher quarterly earnings on Thursday that met Wall Street estimates, helped by strength in Asia and Latin America, and stood by its full-year forecast.

** CONOCOPHILLIPS, $58.37, down 0.2 pct (1229 ET)

ConocoPhillips reported lower quarterly earnings on Thursday as oil and natural gas production edged down along with crude prices.

** FEDERAL-MOGUL CORP, $7.37, up 28 percent (1230 ET)

Goldman Sachs raised the auto parts maker to “neutral” from “sell,” according to theflyonthewall.com.

** EXIDE TECHNOLOGIES, $1.01, down 24 pct (1233 ET)

The lead-acid battery maker said it suspended operations at its Vernon secondary lead recycling plant in California after receiving information that the facility is continuously releasing hazardous waste into the soil.

** MPG OFFICE TRUST INC, $3.16, up 21.5 pct (1233 ET)

Brookfield Office Properties Inc said it will buy the REIT at $3.15 per share in cash, which is a premium of 21 percent to MPG’s closing share price on April 24.

** MELLANOX TECHNOLOGIES LTD , $53.64, down 13.2 pct (1234 ET)

The Israeli chip designer forecast second-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates as a large customer continued to sell the inventory that had piled up at a slower-than-expected rate.

“The inventory overhang, coupled with a challenging demand environment, continues to limit growth prospects,” Mizuho Securities analyst Ruben Roy said in a research note.

** LIFE TIME FITNESS INC, $46.44, up 8.2 pct (1234 ET)

The fitness and spa center operator reported first-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations as revenue from membership and in-center revenue rose in the quarter.

** TERADYNE INC, $16.40, up 10.5 pct (1234 ET)

Supplier of semiconductor and wireless products testing equipment on Wednesday reported-better-than-expected quarterly results on higher demand for its products.

** ICON PLC, $31.94, up 9.8 pct (1235 ET)

The contract research company’s first-quarter results topped analyst estimates on 26 percent rise in revenue. Icon reported an adjusted profit of 36 cents per share on revenue of $316.7 million. Analysts expected a profit of 34 cents per share on revenue of $302.18 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** EQT Corp, $75.01, up 9.3 pct (1235 ET)

EQT Midstream Partners LP, a midstream vehicle formed by the Appalachian natural gas producer, reported a better-than-expected profit on Wednesday, on higher throughput due to growth in its Marcellus Shale in the northeastern United States.

** CARTER‘S INC, $64.57, up 6.7 pct (1235 ET)

The kids clothing retailer reported first-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates.

** DOMTAR CORP , $68.49, down 7.9 pct (1236 ET)

The Canadian paper maker’s adjusted profit almost halved, hurt by lower production in paper business and higher costs. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $33 million, or 95 cents per share, compared with $61 million, or $1.65 per share, a year earlier. The adjusted profit was 47 cents short of analysts’ estimate of $1.42 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** HILL-ROM HOLDINGS INC, $33.80, down 4.2 pct (1236 ET)

The medical device maker’s reported a second-quarter adjusted profit that missed market estimates as sales at its North American and International segments declined. The company also forecast a third-quarter adjusted profit largely below analysts expectations.

** SAFEWAY INC, $23.45, down 17 pct (1236 ET)

The supermarket operator’s first-quarter sales came in below analysts’ forecasts even thought the grocer said it gained market share, and its profit was padded by a tax benefit.

** MARRIOTT VACATIONS WORLDWIDE CORP, $45.0, up 3.7 pct (1237 ET)

The company reported first-quarter profit that beat market estimates, helped by volume per guest improvement and development margin expansion in its North America business.

** SERVICENOW INC, $42.92, up 14.2 pct (1237 ET)

The cloud computing firm reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and forecast current quarter and full-year revenue above estimates, prompting brokerage Mizuho Securities USA to upgrade its rating on the company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral.” At least three other brokerages raised its target price on the company’s stock.

** INTUIT INC, $55.99, down 12.7 pct (1238 ET)

The maker of tax-preparation software TurboTax, lowered its third-quarter revenue outlook citing a difficult tax season, prompting several brokerages to cut their price target on the company’s stock. Intuit now sees third-quarter revenue between $2.165 billion to $2.175 billion, compared to its previous guidance of $2.215 billion to $2.275 billion.

** CABELA‘S INC, $64.80, up 15.3 pct (1238 ET)

The outdoor-gear retailer reported better-than-expected results in the first quarter helped by higher sales of its firearms and ammunition, along with improvement in the softgoods and footwear segment.

** IPC THE HOSPITALIST COMPANY INC, $45.51, up 14.3 pct (1238 ET)

The physician management group’s first-quarter results beat market estimates helped by an increase in patient encounters.

** VALASSIS COMMUNICATIONS INC, $24.05, down 14 pct(1107 ET)

The media and marketing services provider cut its forecast for full-year 2013 earnings which fell below analysts’ estimates. It now expects full-year 2013 earnings per share of $3.05 to $3.20. Analysts were expecting earnings of $3.44, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** YANDEX, $24.30, up 13.3 pct (1239 ET)

Russian search engine on Thursday raised its full-year revenue forecast to between 30 and 35 percent from 28 and 32 percent. The company reported results that were better than a year earlier helped by a higher text-based advertising revenue.

** PATRICK INDUSTRIES INC, $17.88, up 11.4 pct (1136 ET)

The manufacturer of building and component products posted a higher first-quarter profit that beat expectations as revenue from the recreational vehicle industry increased 51 percent.

** CORELOGIC INC, $27.54, up 11.5 pct (1120 ET)

Real estate information provider on Wednesday reported better-than-expected quarterly results on higher revenue from its housing mortgage business.

** BRINK‘S CO, $27.57, up 11 percent (1125 ET)

The company, which provides secure transportation and cash management services, reported a higher-than-expected profit, helped by strong international sales.

** TRIQUINT SEMICONDUCTOR INC, $5.3, up 9.6 pct (1121 ET)

Brokerage Raymond James upgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “marketperform” from “underperform” as it expects the company to break even for the year, helped by a higher demand for its noise reduction chips during the second half of 2013. Another brokerage Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the company’s stock to $6 from $5. The stock was trading nearly two and a half times its average 10-day volume.

** OPEN TEXT CORP , $62.83, up 11.7 pct (1239 ET)

The Canadian business software maker reported a 25 percent rise in quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday as its cloud-based services business expanded, and the company initiated a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share. Net income rose to $74.2 million, or $1.26 per share, in the third quarter from $59.2 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

** ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $96.87, up 8.6 pct (1118 ET)

The drugmaker’s first-quarter profit beat Street expectations on a 38 percent rise in sales of Soliris, a drug which targets a rare blood disorder. Alexion’s adjusted profit of 65 cents a share was 4 cents higher than analysts estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** EVERBANK FINANCIAL CORP, $15.29, up 6.2 pct (1240 ET)

The private equity-backed lender reported strong first quarter results on growth in total loans and a sharp decline in provisions to cover bad loans. EverBank earned 33 cents per share, excluding items, for the first quarter, above analyst expectations of 29 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** ALAMOS GOLD INC , $13.76, up 9.2 pct (1240 ET)

The Canadian miner said it expects to get environmental permits for two of its projects in east Turkey in early 2013. Additionally, gold production rose 36 percent to 55,000 ounces in the first quarter.

** RAYMOND JAMES FINANCIAL INC, $41.53, down 6.9 pct (1241 ET)

The company’s quarterly profit fell short of analysts’ expectations, as soft merger and acquisition activity weighed on the performance of its capital markets division.

** LOGITECH INTERNATIONAL SA , $6.6, down 6.7 pct (1147 ET)

The No. 1 computer mouse maker reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results as slow PC sales in Europe hurt demand for its products, prompting brokerage JP Morgan to cut its price target on the company’s stock to $6.50 from $7.00.

The stock was one of the top percentage losers on the Nasdaq at 1157 ET.

** WABCO HOLDINGS INC, $72.89, up 6 percent (1130 ET)

The maker of braking and control systems for vehicles reported better-than-expected quarterly results and raised its full-year 2013 outlook due to strong growth in its aftermarket business.

** SYMMETRICOM INC, $5.05, up 5.6 pct (1128 ET)

The atomic clocks and timing technologies maker posted a higher-than-expected third-quarter profit as cost-cutting efforts offset a lower revenue.

** UNITED THERAPEUTICS CORP, $60.78, down 3.8 pct (1241 ET)

The company, which develops and markets drugs for cardiovascular and infectious diseases, posted a quarterly profit that was lower than market estimates and backed its full year revenue outlook for its three key products - Remodulin, Tyvaso and Adcirca.

** INTERFACE INC, $16.88, down 5 pct (1135 ET)

The maker of floor coverings reported a first-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates, hurt by higher costs and weak sales in Europe, and said it does not expect the poor business climate in Europe to be resolved quickly or easily.

Raymond James downgraded the stock to “market perform” from “outperform,” according to the website, theflyonthewall.com.

** JARDEN CORP, $46.27, up 7.6 pct (1242 ET)

The maker of Mr. Coffee posted better-than-expected results, and raised its 2013 adjusted earnings outlook range to between $3.20 to $3.25 per share from $3.03 to $3.13 per share.

** BEMIS COMPANY INC, $39.24, down 4.5 pct (1152 ET)

The packaging products maker reported a lower-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit as cooler weather delayed demand for certain products the company packages.

** Imax Corp , $26.49, down 4.1 pct (1107 ET)

The a maker of movie cameras and projection equipment for giant screens reported a marginally lower first-quarter adjusted profit of $5.6 million, or 8 cents per share, from $6.1 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell 10 pct to $49.9 million.

** ASSURANT INC, $46.38, down 2.7 pct (1242 ET)

The insurer’s first-quarter net income fell about 28 percent and results missed estimates by a wide margin due to a settlement charge of $14 million with the New York Department of Financial Services, a $10 million catastrophe loss and another $10.2 million increase in a tax liability at Assurant Health related to health care reform.

** PROLOGIS INC, $41.57, down 2.6 pct (1244 ET) The industrial real estate developer priced 31 million shares of its common stock in a public offering at a price of $41.60 per share, which was below its Wednesday closing price.

** VIEWPOINT FINANCIAL GROUP INC, $18.27, down 4.6 pct (1246 ET)

The bank holding company reported lower-than-expected first quarter profit as it earned lower non-interest income and incurred higher expenses. Non-interest income fell by 13 percent to $5.86 million.

** VALLEY NATIONAL BANCORP, $9.00, down 4.2 pct (1247 ET)

The bank reported a first-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations on lower interest income and a drop in total loans.

At least two brokerages cut their rating on the company’s stock following the results.

** OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORP, $85.82, down 1.7 pct (1248 ET)

The fourth-largest U.S. oil company reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as it cut costs to blunt the impact of low natural gas prices.

** 3M CO, $105.40, down 2.3 pct (1248 ET)

The diversified U.S. manufacturer reported a slight rise in profit on Thursday, but said it now expects to earn $6.60 per share to $6.85 per share this year. 3M previously had expected $6.70 to $6.95.

** BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB, $40.43, down 2.5 pct (1249 ET)

The drugmaker reported a sequentially lower sales and profit as its Avapro blood pressure drug and Plavix blood clot preventer faced competition from cheaper generics. [ID: nL2N0DC0YN]

** UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, $85.16, up 1.9 pct (1249 ET)

The world’s largest package-delivery company reported a 7 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by a stronger-than-expected post-holiday season in January.

The company also said it will acquire Hungarian healthcare logistics company CEMELOG.

** INTERSIL CORP, $7.81, up 2 pct (1144 ET)

Intersil, which makes power management chips used in flat panel displays and DVD players, on Wednesday reported lower-than-expected first quarter revenue and forecast current-quarter revenue below estimates, prompting Credit Suisse and another brokerage to cut its target price on the company’s stock.

** COLGATE-PALMOLIVE CO, $120.05, up 1.8 pct (1249 ET)

Colgate-Palmolive Co’s first-quarter profit matched Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday, as the toothpaste maker raised prices and spent more to advertise new products while cutting other costs.

** DOW CHEMICAL CO, $33.90, up 5.3 pct (1250 ET)

The chemical maker’s first-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates, helped by higher demand for its seeds and crop-protection chemicals in the Americas.

** TIME WARNER CABLE, $91.12, down 1.5 pct (0936 ET)

The second-largest U.S. cable operator, reported first-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates as it added fewer-than-expected subscribers for its high-speed data services.

** HARLEY-DAVIDSON INC, $55.15, up 3.6 pct (1251 ET)

The Milwaukee-based motorbike maker reported a sharply higher profit on Thursday, in line with expectations even as sales to several key markets showed signs of weakness, and kept its full-year shipment forecast unchanged.

** DANA HOLDING CORP, $16.88, down 2.4 pct (1251 ET)

The auto parts supplier’s quarterly profit fell 45 percent due to lower North American sales of parts used in commercial vehicles and a slump in its off-highway business in Europe and Asia.

** INFINERA CORP, $8.27, up 24.2 pct (1251 ET)

The company, which makes chips used in telecom networks, posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by a 19 percent jump in revenue as the company added new customers in a seasonally weak quarter.

** ON ASSIGNMENT INC, $25.03, up 11.7 pct (1252 ET)

The staffing company’s first-quarter profit handily beat analysts’ estimates helped by strong demand for its services, and forecast second-quarter earnings above analysts’ expectations. For the full year, the company expects to trend toward the high-end of its previously announced targets.

The company also said it is currently working on a new $500 million credit facility that will replace its existing facility. It expects the new facility to be in place by mid-May.

** FUSION-IO INC, $19.71, up 18.5 pct (1254 ET)

The memory drive maker reported higher-than-expected revenue for the third quarter and forecast current-quarter revenue ahead of analysts’ estimates on Wednesday.

** AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES INC, $43.51, up 20.6 pct (1254 ET)

The company forecast second-quarter results above analysts’ expectations as its media customers turned to the internet content delivery company to help them manage surging traffic.

** CLIFFS NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $21.48, up 17.9 pct (1255 ET)

The iron ore and metallurgical coal miner reported a drop in first-quarter profit on Wednesday but earnings were much better than analysts had expected.

** ZYNGA INC, $3.12, down 6.6 pct (1255 ET)

The online game maker forecast a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss on concerns about its slow transformation into a gaming company focused on mobiles.

** ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD, $36.68, up 6.9 pct (1256 ET)

** CARNIVAL CORP, $34.58, up 3.8 pct (1256 ET)

The world’s second-largest cruise operator, reported a 62 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by a rise in ticket prices and onboard revenue.

** BIOGEN IDEC INC, $213.04, up 3.3 pct (1256 ET)

The U.S. biotechnology company reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by low taxes and sales growth of its injectable multiple sclerosis treatments, and the company raised its full-year forecast.

* LSI CORP, $6.47, up 1.9 pct (1256 ET)

The chipmaker reported quarterly results above analysts’ estimates and forecast current-quarter revenue largely above expectations at a time when weak PC sales and a slow economy have created uncertainty about demand for storage controllers.

** UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC, $31.00, down 1.2 pct (1257 ET)

The world’s largest carrier posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss on Thursday, as it was helped somewhat by lower fuel prices and higher passenger revenue.

** POTASH CORPORATION OF SASKATCHEWAN , $40.79, up 2.9 pct (1258 ET)

The world’s largest producer of the crop nutrient by capacity, reported a 13 percent rise in first-quarter profit on strong shipments, and said demand will remain robust for the rest of the year.

The company also said it is abandoning efforts to take over Israel Chemicals Ltd, after running into opposition in that country.

** BANCO SANTANDER SA , $7.20, down 1.7 pct (1258 ET)

The euro zone’s largest bank, reported a 26 percent drop in first-quarter net profit as slowing growth in some South American markets added to the gloom at home in Spain. Net profit fell to 1.21 billion euros, below the average estimate of 1.3 billion euros in a Reuters poll.

** PRECISION DRILLING CORP , $7.94, up 1.5 pct (1259 ET)

Canada’s largest oil and gas drilling contractor expects demand for its rigs to stabilize in the United States in the coming months after falling for several quarters and squeezing its profits. The company reported a 16 percent decline in first-quarter earnings, as depressed natural gas prices prompted customers to cut back on drilling in North America.

** DIAMOND OFFSHORE DRILLING INC, $69.41, up 1 pct (1300 ET)

The company, which is one of the world’s top five offshore rig contractors, reported first-quarter results above analysts’ expectations due to higher utilization of its deepwater units.

** BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP, $7.48, up 1.6 pct (1300 ET)

The medical device maker on Thursday as it took $578 million in charges for litigation and restructuring, including reducing its workforce.

** PULTEGROUP INC, $20.94, up 6.3 pct (1301 ET)

The No. 2 U.S. homebuilder reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as it sold more homes at higher prices, and said orders rose 4 percent.

** HONDA MOTOR , $40.91, up 2.2 pct (1301 ET)

The Japanese carmaker said it expects its U.S. car sales in April to be up from a year ago, driven by strong demand from individual customers, reported the Wall Street Journal. (link.reuters.com/maj67t)

** SUPERNUS PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $4.71, down 9.2 pct (1301 ET)

The specialty pharmaceutical company announced a private offering of $75 million convertible senior secured notes due 2019.

** NEXSTAR BROADCASTING GROUP, $25.90, up 15.4 pct (1302 ET)

Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting Inc said they would buy privately held Communications Corporation of America and White Knight Broadcasting for $270 million.

** QUALCOMM INC, $61.92, down 6.2 pct (1302 ET)

The mobile chipmaker forecast current-quarter earnings below expectations as competition in smartphones intensifies and shifts toward Asia. The company’s chips are used in lower-priced handsets popular in Asia and are expected to drive future smartphone growth but low-cost handsets weigh on Qualcomm’s profitability.

** VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, $52.94, up 2.2 pct (1303 ET)

** VODAFONE , $30.47, up 2.9 pct (1303 ET)

Verizon has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion cash and stock bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its partner Vodafone, two people familiar with the matter said.

** BAIDU INC, $92.44, up 4.9 pct (1304 ET)

China’s largest search engine is in the process of acquiring Chinese online video firm, PPS Net TV, for between $350-$400 million, China Business News reported on Thursday, quoting sources.

** XILINX INC, $37.77, up 3.4 pct (1304 ET)

The company, which makes programmable chips used in cars and industrial machinery, reported fourth-quarter results above analysts’ expectations and said it expects revenue from the current quarter to grow between 1 and 5 percent sequentially, prompting brokerage Nomura Equity Research to raise its price target on the company’s stock to $35 from $30.

** METHANEX CORP , $42.28, up 8.3 pt (1304 ET)

The company’s first-quarter adjusted profit more than doubled to $88 million, or 92 cents per share, from $39 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier, on higher methanol prices. Its board approved an 8 percent increase to its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share.

The Vancouver-based company also said it has reached a final investment decision to go ahead with the relocation of its second methanol plant from its Chile site to Louisiana. The plant is expected to be operational by early 2016.

** BALLY TECHNOLOGIES INC, $53.97, up 9.9 pct (1305 ET)

The slot machine maker reported quarterly results that beat market estimates and announced a new $300 million share repurchase program on Wednesday.

** CITRIX SYSTEMS INC, $64.17, down 5.2 pct (1305 ET)

The cloud computing software maker forecast a lower-than-expected profit for the current quarter on Wednesday as its customers reduce IT spending and delay orders.

** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, $26.21, up 30.3 pct (1306 ET)

The company, which provides consumer reviews of local services and businesses, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as total paid memberships rose 60 percent to about two million, and forecast current-quarter revenue above expectations.

** EQUINIX INC, $212.67, down 1.7 pct (1306 ET)

The data center operator posted a first-quarter profit well below analysts’ expectations, largely due to a weak Japanese yen, and forecast lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue.

** JARDEN CORP, $46.24, up 7.5 pct (1307 ET)

The maker of Mr. Coffee posted better-than-expected results, and raised its 2013 adjusted earnings outlook range to between $3.20 to $3.25 per share from $3.03 to $3.13 per share.

** STAMPS.COM, $31.53, up 22.8 pct (1307 ET)

The internet-based postal services provider raised its full-year forecast after posting much higher-than-expected quarterly results due to a 12 percent jump in total paid customers.

** WESTERN DIGITAL CORP, $55.01, up 3.9 pct (1307 ET)

** SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY PLC, $37.39, up 2.5 pct (1308 ET)

Hard disk drive maker Western Digital forecast current-quarter revenue largely above analysts’ expectations on Wednesday as higher demand for internet storage more than offset the effects of a fall in personal computer sales.

** REGENERON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $216.68, up 2.8 pct (1308 ET)

S&P said it will replace MetroPCS Communications Inc with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on the S&P 500 Index.

** THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY INC, $40.53, up 7.4 pct (1308 ET)

The chain, known for its ample portions and wide array of cheesecakes, rang up a better-than-expected first-quarter profit as more diners visited its restaurants and the company held costs in check.

** F5 NETWORKS INC, $75.26, up 4 pct (1309 ET)

The network gear maker on Wednesday forecast third-quarter adjusted profit below estimates. However, brokerage Nomura Equity Research raised its rating on the stock to “buy” from “neutral,” citing that a number of large projects at Tier 1 US operators were held up in second-quarter which drove F5 to miss revenue estimates and that it “should see a revenue recovery that exceeds current guidance and forecasts once projects are signed-off”.

** VARIAN MEDICAL SYSTEMS, $63.44, down 7.2 pct (1309 ET)

Order rates for the company’s cancer systems slowed in the second quarter in the United States. Brean Capital analyst Jason Wittes said oncology orders were down 2 percent. US orders were down a disappointing 9 percent, he added. The medical device maker also forecast a third-quarter profit below market estimates.

** ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $97.35, up 9 pct (1310 ET)

The company reported a first-quarter profit above market estimates, helped by an increase in sales of its drug Soliris, which treats two rare diseases. Alexion, which develops drugs to treat rare, genetic disorders, also raised its 2013 profit forecast.

** REVLON INC, $18.17, down 11.5 pct (1310 ET)

The cosmetics maker posted a quarterly loss, hurt by debt refinancing charges and insurance settlement.

** SERVICENOW INC, $43.32, up 15.2 pct (1310 ET)

The cloud computing firm on Wednesday forecast second-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates. Brokerage Mizuho Securities USA Inc raised it rating on the company’s stock to “buy” from “neutral” and increased its price target to $45 from $35.

** AMEDISYS INC, $10.40, down 7.6 pct (1311 ET)

The company reported a first-quarter profit that missed market estimates, hurt by soft volumes in both home health and hospice divisions. (Compiled by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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