June 26, 2013 / 11:55 AM / in 4 years

MARKET PULSE-Microsoft, Synaptics, Mistras, General Mills, Aerovironment

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June 26 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:

FUTURES INDICATE HIGHER OPENING

U.S. stock index futures rose, indicating the S&P 500 may build on its biggest gain in nearly two weeks on Tuesday, on the back of stronger-than-expected economic data. S&P 500 futures were up 6.2 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures up 50 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures up 14.5 points.

** SYNAPTICS INC, Tuesday close $35.87, up 14 pct after market

The touchscreen chipmaker, which counts smartphone makers Samsung, Blackberry and HTC among its customers, raised its revenue outlook for the current quarter, citing higher-than-expected sales from mobile products.

** MISTRAS GROUP INC,$20.44 Tuesday close, down 12.2 pct after market

The engineering services company said revenue would miss analyst estimates in 2013 and 2014 due to falling demand for its services.

** AEROVIRONMENT INC, Tuesday close $19.58, up 6 pct after market

The maker of unmanned aircraft systems reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.

** APOLLO GROUP INC, Tuesday close $19.38, down 5 pct after market

The for-profit education company reported lower-than-expected third-quarter results on Tuesday as new student enrollment slipped again. The company also forecast full-year revenue largely below market expectations.

** MICROSOFT CORP, Tuesday close $33.67, up 1 pct premarket

Thousands of software developers flock to San Francisco for Microsoft’s annual three-day developer conference called ‘Build’, where the world’s largest software company will release a test version of its widely publicized Windows 8.1 update.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their price target on the stock from $36 to $40, citing a potential restructuring of the company to sharpen focus on key assets and better PC data.

** BARRICK GOLD CORP, Tuesday close $16.11, down 4 percent premarket

** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, Tuesday close $26.26, down 5 percent premarket

** ALAMOS GOLD INC, Tuesday close $11.38, down 5 percent premarket

** KINROSS GOLD CORP, Tuesday close $4.82, down 4 percent premarket

** YAMANA GOLD INC, Tuesday close $9.08, down 5 percent premarket

** NEWMONT MINING CORP, Tuesday close $28.93, down 4 percent premarket

** IAMGOLD CORP IAG.N, Tuesday close $4.14, down 6 percent premarket

** GOLDCORP INC, Tuesday close $23.44, down 3 percent premarket

Gold fell to its lowest in almost three years on Wednesday, putting it on course for a record quarterly loss, as U.S. economic data increased fears the Federal Reserve will soon end ultra-loose monetary policy.

Credit Suisse cut price target on several gold stocks.

** HOME BANCSHARES INC, Tuesday’s close $22.82, up 3.4 pct after market

The bank holding company said it would buy Liberty Bancshares Inc in a $280 million cash-and-stock deal to expand in Arkansas. Shareholders of Liberty Bancshares will receive $250 million of Home BancShares common stock and $30 million in cash. The combined entity will have about $7.1 billion in total assets, $5.6 billion in deposits and $4.5 billion in loans.

** BOISE-CASCADE CO, Tuesday close $26.38, down 5 pct after market

The wood products manufacturer said it expected to report second-quarter earnings of 11 to 21 cents per share, on July 23. Analysts were expecting 43 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

** GENERAL MILLS INC, Tuesday close $48.33, down 1 pct premarket

The packaged food company behind Yoplait yogurt and Progresso soups, reported fourth-quarter earnings that met Wall Street expectations but it gave a forecast for the new fiscal year that was below estimates.

** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Tuesday close $85.24

The pharmaceuticals giant sweetened the terms on its proposed new loan and high-yield debt financing package, sources said on Tuesday, as it looks to fund its $8.7 bil`lion acquisition of Bausch & Lomb in an extremely jittery market.

** SANDRIDGE ENERGY INC, Tuesday close $4.90

The oil and gas company named energy executive Eddie LeBlanc as its chief financial officer on Tuesday. LeBlanc replaces James Bennett, who was named chief executive of the Oklahoma City-based company last week after the board ousted former Chief Executive Tom Ward.

** SMITH & WESSON HOLDING CORP, Tuesday close $9.99

The gunmaker forecast current-quarter results above market estimates, after reporting higher firearms sales in the fourth quarter. [ID:nL3N0F03KG

** RACKSPACE HOSTING INC, Tuesday close $36.11, up 2 pct premarket

Brokerage Wells Fargo upgraded the web hosting company’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform”, according to theflyonthewall.com.

** BED BATH & BEYOND INC, Tuesday close $68.81

The U.S. home goods chain will report its first-quarter results on Wednesday. The retailer’s margins have been under the microscope for a few quarters now. Wall Street expects both profit and sales to rise in the quarter from a year earlier.

** PAYCHEX INC, Tuesday close $37.63

Paychex is expected to report higher quarterly profit on Wednesday.

** HORMEL FOODS CORP, Tuesday close $38.10

Executives CEO Jeffrey Ettinger and CFO Jody Feragen are expected to address shareholders at the the packaged food company’s investor day. (Compiled by Kanika Sikka; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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