(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday ahead of the comprehensive monthly jobs report, which could influence the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates next month.
Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 0.03 percent at 17,807, S&P 500 futures were up 0.08 percent at 2,095.75 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.18 percent at 4,703.5.
** WALT DISNEY CO, Thursday close $113, +0.27 pct premarket
Disney reported higher quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts as cable networks including ESPN brought in higher advertising revenue and collected more fees from pay TV distributors.
Graphic-Disney's earnings: reut.rs/1CtTmY0
** VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS INTERNATIONAL INC, Thursday close $78.77, +3.44 pct premarket
Billionaire investor Bill Ackman expressed confidence in Valeant’s CEO Michael Pearson on Thursday as shares in the drugmaker fell as much as 20 percent to their lowest level since 2013. The stock plunged from $263.70 on Aug. 5 to below $80 on Thursday on scrutiny over high price markups for its drugs and accusations it used a specialty pharmacy, Philidor, to inflate revenue.
Graphic-Valeant intraday share price performance: link.reuters.com/rup85w
Breakingviews-Bill Ackman pushes limits of activism at Valeant
** ZS PHARMA INC, Thursday close $63.31, +40.85 pct premarket
** ASTRAZENECA PLC, Thursday close $32.52, -1.05 pct premarket
Britain’s AstraZeneca said it had agreed to buy U.S biotech company ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion, pipping Swiss firm Actelion to the prize in the latest bout of deal-making for the hyperactive healthcare sector. AstraZeneca said it would pay $90 per ZS Pharma share.
** ICONIX BRAND GROUP INC, Thursday close $16.14, -51.30 pct premarket
The consumer brands owner and licensor said it would restate some financial results and cut its third-quarter and full-year forecast, citing charges from some accounting errors that will result in reducing 2014 operating income by $6 million and increase first half 2015 operating income by $1.6 million.
** LEXICON PHARMACEUTICALS INC, Thursday close $10.54, +29.98 pct premarket
** SANOFI SA, Thursday close $50.42, -6.25 pct premarket
French drugmaker Sanofi said it has agreed to collaborate with Lexicon Pharma on Sotagliflozin, a potential oral treatment for people with diabetes.
Sanofi also said it would not have any meaningful profit growth in the next two years due to investment in products to compensate for declining diabetes sales and cost cuts.
** GLU MOBILE INC, Thursday close $3.66, -19.95 pct premarket
The mobile game developer forecasts a Q4 loss, while analysts were expecting a profit. “The super majority of titles launched in 2015 have underperformed as solid monetization rates were offset by significantly lower-than-expected install volumes,” CEO Niccolo de Masi said.
** TRIPADVISOR INC, Thursday close $83.11, -10.08 pct premarket
The travel review website operator reported lower-than-expected Q3 revenue and profit, hurt by a stronger dollar. The company also lowered its 2015 revenue growth forecast and said it expects slightly negative EBITDA growth.
** MEN’S WEARHOUSE INC, Thursday close $40.1, -38.40 pct premarket
The men’s apparel retailer estimated Q3 profit below average analysts estimates, hurt by weakness at Jos. A. Bank, where comparable sales fell 14.6 percent.
** CANCER GENETICS INC, Thursday close $4.61, -17.57 pct premarket
The cancer diagnostics company’s offering of 3 million shares was priced at $4 apiece, a 13 percent discount to the stock’s close on Thursday.
** HORIZON PHARMA PLC, Thursday close $17.26, +15.99 pct premarket
** DEPOMED INC, Thursday close $18.29, +3.88 pct premarket
Horizon Pharma posted quarterly profit, revenue that beat analysts’ estimate and it also raised its full-year sales forecast. The company said it will hold an investor day on Monday to address “misinformation”. It was named in a New York Times report that said drugmakers were using specialty drug distributors to overcome hurdles to raising drug prices.
Horizon Pharma has launched a hostile bid for Depomed.
** INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP PLC, Thursday close $39.86, +3.74 pct premarket
** STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC, Thursday close $77.75, +2.17 pct premarket
InterContinental, one of the world’s largest hoteliers, is exploring strategic options including a potential sale or merger, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The hotelier in July declined it was in deal talks with rival Starwood.
** NVIDIA CORP, Thursday close $27.71, +8.63 pct premarket
The chipmaker reported better-than-expected Q3 revenue, helped by strong demand for its chips used in gaming and cars. It also forecast Q4 revenue above analysts average estimate.
** WEIGHT WATCHERS INTERNATIONAL INC, Thursday close $16.93, +19.08 pct premarket
The weight management products maker reported better-than-expected Q3 profit and revenue and raised its 2015 adjusted profit forecast. The response to the partnership with Oprah Winfrey has been “terrific”, CEO Jim Chambers said.
** YOUKU TUDOU INC, Thursday close $24.37, +10.14 pct premarket
** ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, Thursday close $85.38, +0.20 pct premarket
Alibaba agreed to buy Youku Tudou, known as China’s YouTube, for about $3.67 billion, slightly more it had offered in October. Alibaba’s new offer of $27.60 per ADS is $1 higher than its previous offer.
** SYNGENTA AG, Thursday close $71.83, -2.09 pct premarket
** DUPONT, Thursday close $64.81, +0.29 pct premarket
** DOW CHEMICAL CO, Thursday close $51.61, untraded premarket
DuPont is discussing a potential combination with Syngenta for its agriculture division and is also separately discussing a potential alternative agriculture deal with Dow Chemical, which is exploring a sale of its seed and pesticide unit, the Wall Street Journal reported. (on.wsj.com/1iGgB93)
** KRAFT HEINZ CO, Thursday close $75.42, -1.88 pct premarket
The company missed earnings and revenue estimates and said its quarterly loss widened due partly to the negative impact of the strong dollar on overseas sales.
** SHAKE SHACK INC, Thursday close $51.11, +7.12 pct premarket
The company, known for its antibiotic-free hamburgers and indulgent side dishes, said restaurant sales growth and profit jumped more than expected in the third quarter. The company raised 2015 forecasts and said growth would moderate in 2016.
** TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE INC, Thursday close $33.05, +4.39 pct premarket
The video game publisher’s third-quarter adjusted revenue nearly tripled, topping analysts’ estimates, as sales of its “Grand Theft Auto V” and “NBA 2K16” titles surged.
** MONSTER BEVERAGE CORP, Thursday close $132.24, +8.89 pct premarket
The energy drink maker reported better-than-expected Q3 profit and sales as customers stocked up ahead of the company hiking prices on some of its beverages from Aug. 31.
** STAMPS.COM INC, Thursday close $75.98, +18.45 pct premarket
The online postage services provider posted Q3 revenue and profit above estimates, helped by demand for PhotoStamps, a product that helps users create personalized stamps. The company also raised its 2015 profit and revenue forecast for the third time.
** QORVO INC, Thursday close $45.08, +15.35 pct premarket
The radio frequency chip maker posted better-than-expected Q2 results, helped by growth in its mobile products unit and lower operating expenses. It also announced a new $1 billion share repurchase program.
** DREAMWORKS ANIMATION SKG INC, Thursday close $20.21, untraded premarket
The Hollywood studio reported an unexpected Q3 profit as it earned more from licensing its content and benefited from the DVD and Blue-ray releases of “Home”, its only movie this year.
** TABLEAU SOFTWARE INC, Thursday close $84.39, +16.09 pct premarket
The data analytics software maker posted higher-than-expected Q3 profit and revenue, helped by strong licensing revenue and international expansion.
** TRUECAR INC, Thursday close $6.13, untraded premarket
The online car-shopping service provider posted a smaller-than-expected loss in the third quarter, helped by a 28 percent jump in revenue to a record high as more people purchased vehicles from TrueCar dealers.
** EXXON MOBIL CORP, Thursday close $84.81, -0.04 pct premarket
The New York attorney general has launched an investigation into whether Exxon misled the public and shareholders about the risks of climate change. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the company on Wednesday evening, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents, a source familiar with the investigation said on Thursday.
** DR REDDY’S LABORATORIES LTD, Thursday close $65.25, -12.41 pct premarket
India’s second-largest drugmaker said it has received a “warning letter” from U.S. regulators over inadequate quality controls at three manufacturing plants producing drugs for cancer and other diseases.
** BHP Billiton Plc, Thursday close $31.54, -5.55 pct premarket
** VALE SA, Thursday close $4.39, -2.96 pct premarket
A dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil that is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton burst on Thursday, devastating a nearby town with mudslides and leaving officials in the remote region scrambling to assess casualties.
Breakingviews-Brazil dam disaster tests BHP’s mega-mining model (Compiled by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)