June 26 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks to watch on Wednesday:
U.S. stock index futures slightly pared gains after the final read on first-quarter gross domestic product came in weaker than expected. S&P 500 futures were up 6.9 points, Dow Jones industrial average futures 61 points and Nasdaq 100 futures 19.25 points.
** SYNAPTICS INC, Tuesday close $35.87, up 13.7 pct premarket
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 13 pct premarket
The engineering services company said revenue would miss analyst estimates in 2013 and 2014 due to falling demand for its services.
** MONSANTO CO, Tuesday close $101.40
Monsanto said its quarterly profit fell but sales remained on an upswing, and the world’s largest seed company affirmed an outlook of more than 20 percent growth in ongoing earnings for the year.
** ALLOT COMMUNICATIONS LTD, Tuesday close $13.38, up 4 pct premarket
Brokerage Wedbush Securities Inc upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “market perform” and raised its price target to $17 from $15, saying it anticipates bookings from Europe and North America to improve. Allot, which supplies technology that allows telecom operators to monitor and allocate bandwidth, said on Tuesday it has secured orders from two of its Tier-1 operator customers in Europe and one in the United States to assist in their LTE network rollouts.
** HARTFORD FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP, Tuesday close $29.18, up 3.3 pct premarket
The insurer increased its share buyback by $750 million to $1.25 billion and raised its quarterly dividend by 50 percent to 15 cents per share.
** ADOBE SYSTEMS INC, Tuesday close $44.37, up 2 pct premarket
Brokerage Jefferies & Co upgraded the Photoshop maker’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, saying its survey suggested Adobe has more new users, and probably less churn than it previously expected. The brokerage also said Adobe’s Creative Cloud model will drive operating margins. Creative Cloud is the subscription-based version of its flagship software package.
** AEROVIRONMENT INC, Tuesday close $19.58, up 7 pct premarket
The maker of unmanned aircraft systems reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.
** KEYCORP, Tuesday’s close $10.72, up 2.6 pct premarket
BMO Capital Markets upgraded the bank’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform”, saying it is better positioned for rising interest rates. The lender’s revenue will not be affected by an expected slowdown in mortgage banking, unlike its peers, the brokerage said. BMO raised its target price on the stock to $13 from $10.
** APOLLO GROUP INC, Tuesday close $19.38, down 4.5 pct premarket
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.
** MELLANOX TECHNOLOGIES LTD, Tuesday close $48.97, up 2 pct premarket
Brokerage Stifel Nicolaus upgraded the Israel-based chip designer’s stock to “buy” from “hold”, citing the launch of Intel Corp’s next generation, higher performance server processors later in 2013 and through 2014. Mellanox supplies chip equipment to Intel.
** SYNOVUS FINANCIAL CORP, Tuesday close $2.85, up 2 pct premarket
** HUNTINGTON BANCSHARES INC, Tuesday close $7.78, up 3 pct premarket
** PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP, Tuesday close $72.70, up 1 pct premarket
The U.S regional banks’ stock rose on positive economic data showing strong gains in business spending plans last month and the largest annual rise in house prices in seven years in April. The S&P/Case Shiller home price composite index, an indicator of housing market’s strength, for 20 metropolitan areas, rose 12.1 percent in April from a year ago, the largest annual rise since March 2006.
** 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 pct premarket
** AGNICO EAGLE MINES LTD, Tuesday close $26.26, down 5 pct premarket
** ALAMOS GOLD INC, Tuesday close $11.38, down 5 pct premarket
** KINROSS GOLD CORP, Tuesday close $4.82, down 4 pct premarket
** YAMANA GOLD INC, Tuesday close $9.08, down 5 pct premarket
** NEWMONT MINING CORP, Tuesday close $28.93, down 4 pct premarket
** IAMGOLD CORP IAG.N, Tuesday close $4.14, down 6 pct premarket
** Silver Standard Resources Inc, Tuesday close $5.91, down 5 pct premarket
** ROYAL GOLD INC, Tuesday close $42.37, down 3 pct premarket
** GOLDCORP INC, Tuesday close $23.44, down 3 pct 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 and silver 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 5.6 pct premarket
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 on Wednesday that met Wall Street expectations but it gave a forecast for the new fiscal year that was below them, as it sees higher costs for ingredients.
** 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.
** 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.
** 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)