U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, after a four-day rally left the S&P 500 within striking distance of a fresh record high. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.32 percent at 15,980, S&P 500 futures were up 0.44 percent at 1,821.5 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.45 percent at 3,629.
** DEERE & CO, $86.64, -0.94 pct
The world’s largest maker of farm equipment posted a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit on Wednesday as the company’s efforts to control costs offset moderating demand from farmers for its tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery.
** VENTRUS BIOSCIENCES INC, $1.7136, -60.88 pct
The company said its lead experimental drug to treat anal fissures failed to reduce pain more than a placebo in a late-stage trial.
** THOMSON REUTERS CORP, $34.82, -4.86 pct
The global news and information provider on Wednesday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by cutbacks at financial institutions in Europe and in emerging markets.
** AMAZON.COM INC, $355.88, -1.63 pct
Brokerage UBS cut its rating on the online retailer to “neutral” from “buy” and removed the company from its U.S. “key call” list, after Amazon missed Wall Street estimates last month for the crucial holiday period and cautioned investors about a possible operating loss this quarter as shipping costs climb.
** TRIPADVISOR INC, $89.8001, +6.65 pct
At least eight brokerages raised their price targets on the online travel planning company’s stock after it reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue, as pricing from its switch to a new user interface called the ‘meta display search’ improved.
“After several rocky quarters, TRIP announced that it had achieved revenue-neutral Meta status in December,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said. This, they added, should result in accelerating growth in the company’s click-based-advertising revenue segment.
** OXIGENE INC, $2.02, -26.81 pct
The company, which is focused on the treatment of cancer, said it intends to purchase an aggregate of about $12 million of units in a registered public offering at a price of $2.05 per unit. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and 0.5 of a warrant to purchase a share of Oxigene common stock.
** DAVITA HEALTHCARE PARTNERS INC, $67.94, +5.61 pct
The provider of dialysis and physician-management services reported slightly better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday and raised its 2014 operating income outlook to the range of $1.725-$1.860 billion from $1.675-$1.850 billion.
At least two brokerages, including Deutsche Bank, raised their price targets on the company’s stock. “We believe dialysis guidance will continue to move up in 2014,” Duetsche Bank analyst Darren Lehrich said in a note.
** FIREEYE INC, $73.44, -5.86 pct
The network security company forecast current-quarter revenue below the average analyst estimate and warned that development costs would rise sharply.
** TALISMAN ENERGY INC, $10.52, -0.85 pct
Canada’s No. 5 independent oil and gas producer, posted a $1 billion quarterly loss due to an asset impairment charge and said it plans to sell a further $2 billion of assets over the next 12-18 months.
** MARIN SOFTWARE INC, $10.718, +8.70 pct
The maker of cloud-based digital advertising management software posted a smaller-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Tuesday, helped by a 28 percent rise in revenue as more advertisers used its technology.
** OWENS CORNING, $44.4, +11.73 pct
The building product maker’s adjusted fourth-quarter profit more than tripled, as a rebounding U.S. housing market drove sales higher for its roofing and insulation products.
** GRAPHIC PACKAGING HOLDING CO, $10.09, -1.27 pct
The packaging company reported a secondary public offering of 30 million shares of its common stock by some of its stockholders. The company said it would not sell any shares or receive any proceeds from the offering and the total number of shares of its outstanding common stock would not change.
** SEATTLE GENETICS INC, $48.96, +7.37 pct
The biotechnology company reported fourth-quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates, helped by growing sales of its blood-cancer injection, Adcetris, which generated global net sales of more than $250 million in 2013 and is in use in 39 countries.
** BIOLINERX, $2.91, -0.34 pct
The Israel-based company said its experimental cancer drug, BL-8040, had shown positive pre-clinical activity in the treatment of a third indication, chronic myeloid leukemia, a form of white blood cell cancer.
BL-804 is also being evaluated for use in acute myeloid leukemia as well as other hematological indications.
** SPX CORP, $104.17, +5.33 pct
The diversified U.S. manufacturer said it saw positive order growth in the second half of 2013 in its flow technology business, and forecast full-year earnings above estimates.
SPX, which makes equipment to produce food and beverages, and cooling towers for power plants, also reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit. SPX’s flow technology business makes equipment that is used to generate power and process oil and gas.
** PROCTER & GAMBLE CO, $77.96, -1.12 pct
The world’s largest household products maker cut its sales and earnings outlook for the year on Tuesday to reflect unfavorable foreign exchange rates in Venezuela and the devaluation of currencies in various developing markets.
** CANADIAN SOLAR INC, $37.47, +3.59 pct
The solar company, on Wednesday, priced its offering of 2.78 million shares at $36 per share, slightly below its stock’s Tuesday close. Canadian Solar also priced an offering of $130 million of convertible senior notes due 2019.
** CONVERSANT INC, $25.25, +16.15 pct
Brokerage B. Riley & Co raised its target price on the online marketing company’s stock to $29 from $27, after the company reported fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by a 4 percent rise in its media business, its largest unit.
** ENTEROMEDICS INC, $2.371, +9.77 pct
The medical device maker said the U.S. health regulator has scheduled an advisory committee meeting on May 29 to review the company’s Maestro System, which delivers VBLOC vagal blocking therapy as a treatment for morbid obesity.
The panel, whose recommendations the FDA is under no obligation to follow, but typically does, will evaluate the data from the company’s ReCharge Pivotal Study, which tested the effectiveness and safety of the treatment. The results of ReCharge trial did not meet the predefined efficacy goals, EnteroMedics said on Wednesday.
** PARAGON SHIPPING INC, $6.27, -14.34 pct
The dry bulk shipper said on Tuesday that it would offer its Class A common stock in an underwritten offering and use the proceeds to acquire vessels.
** PACKAGING CORP OF AMERICA, $70.08, +6.91 pct
The maker of containerboard and corrugated packaging products reported fourth-quarter results above the average analyst estimate and said it expects higher prices for white paper in the current quarter.
** TRIMBLE NAVIGATION LTD, $35.42, +8.58 pct
The navigation software maker forecast first-quarter revenue largely above Wall Street estimates and reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on an adjusted basis, helped by robust sales in the transport and logistics sectors.
** CONTROL4 CORP, $22.47, +11.51 pct
The home automation software provider reported a 17 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by strong demand in North America.
Brokerage Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on the company’s stock.
** FOSSIL GROUP INC, $123.4, +5.51 pct
The fashion accessory maker and retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results as it sold more watches and jewelry in North America, its largest market.
At least five brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock.
** INTUIT INC, $69.14, -4.92 pct
The developer of tax-preparation software TurboTax, slashed its earnings estimate for the second quarter due to a delayed start to the U.S. tax-filing season.
** REACHLOCAL INC, $10.745, -15.26 pct
The company, which provides search engine marketing, display advertising, and internet marketing products and services, forecast on Tuesday weaker-than-expected first-quarter revenue, citing higher investments in international markets.
Brokerage JP Morgan cut its rating on the company’s stock to “neutral” from “overweight.”
** JIVE SOFTWARE INC, $7.92, -10.71 pct
The social media software maker forecast first-quarter revenue below the average analyst estimate after reporting fourth-quarter results in line with expectations.
BMO Capital Markets cut its price target on the company’s stock to $9 from $11, citing Jive Software’s decelerating billings growth rates.
** VIASAT INC, $56.3, -6.21 pct
The U.S. satellite and wireless communications systems maker reported third-quarter revenue below the average analyst estimate, hurt partly by lower sales to the federal government.
Brokerage Needham & Co cut its price target on the company’s stock to $62 from $75.
** ANDERSONS INC, $81.39, -5.57 pct
The diversified agricultural company, on Tuesday, reported fourth-quarter results that missed the average analyst estimate.
** CUTERA INC, $10.04, +9.01 pct
The provider of laser and light-based aesthetics systems reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue of $22.2 million. Analysts, on average, were expecting sales of $21.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** PHH CORP, $25.4, +4.83 pct
The mortgage-lending and car-leasing company’s fourth-quarter earnings beat the average analyst estimate due to lower expenses. The company also said that it was looking to sell its fleet and mortgage business, among other options.
Reuters first reported in October that PHH was exploring splitting up its mortgage and auto fleet leasing businesses, and selling each of the units. (Compiled by Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)