Feb 14 (Reuters) - Some U.S. stocks on the move on Thursday:
U.S. stocks erased earlier losses to trade flat by late morning on Thursday as a flurry of M&A deals and better-than-expected jobs data fed optimism to the market, although signs of economic weakness in Europe and Japan curbed appetite for risky assets.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 1.20 points, or 0.01 percent, at 13,981.71. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 0.03 points, or 0.00 percent, at 1,520.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.65 points, or 0.08 percent, at 3,194.23.
** H.J. HEINZ CO, $72.51, up 19 pct (1155 ET)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital will buy ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co for $72.50 a share, or $23.2 billion in cash, Heinz said on Thursday.
** US AIRWAYS GROUP INC, $13.55, down 8 pct (1155 ET)
** AMR CORP, $1.91, up 47 pct (1155 ET)
American Airlines and US Airways Group said they plan to merge in a deal that will form the world’s biggest air carrier with a combined equity value of $11 billion.
The merger caps a wave of consolidation that has helped put U.S. airlines on more solid financial footing.
** GENERAL MOTORS CO, $28.27, down 1.4 pct (1124 ET)
The largest U.S. automaker reported a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, citing wider losses in Europe and lower vehicle prices plus higher costs in its core North American market.
** CONSTELLATION BRANDS, $43.32, up 35 pct (1156 ET)
** ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV , $92.45, up 5 pct (1156 ET)
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, said it had now agreed to sell Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo’s Piedras Niegras brewery to Constellation Brands and grant it perpetual rights for Corona and other Modelo brands in the United States, at a cost of $2.9 billion.
** ARTIO GLOBAL INVESTORS, $2.71, up 32 pct (1200 ET)
British fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management is to buy New York-based asset management firm Artio Global Investors for about $175 million, or $2.75 per share, and the stake in SVG Advisers (SVGA) for 17.5 million pounds ($27 million).
** ENDEAVOUR INTERNATIONAL CORP, $3.39, down 31 pct (1201 ET)
The oil and gas producer, which is also listed on the London Stock Exchange, said it would explore a sale of the company as it was disappointed by its share price.
The company, which has been facing delays and high costs in its North Sea operations, said it will also consider a joint venture or a sale of its assets in the region.
** AFFYMAX INC, $16.03, down 5 percent (1202 ET)
The North America unit of the world’s biggest kidney dialysis provider Fresenius Medical Care said it will pause further expansion of a pilot program under which it was testing Affymax’s anemia injection Omontys to determine if it could be used as an alternative to a standard dialysis therapy on Fresenius’s formulary.
In a letter sent to Affymax on Wednesday, Fresenius said it had administered Omontys in over 18,000 unique patients and observed that the drug caused some infrequent allergic reactions in patients. Most of these were mild, but a small number were serious reactions.
** CENTURYLINK INC, $33.43, down 21 pct (1202 ET)
** WINDSTREAM CORP, $9.14, down 7 pct (1202 ET)
The rural telephone operator posted fourth-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations as more customers disconnected their home phones.
** ULTA SALON COSMETICS AND FRAGRANCE INC $88.25, down 11.3 pct (1203 ET)
The beauty products retailer said Chief Executive Chuck Rubin will step down to join Michaels Stores Inc, North America’s largest arts and craft retailer.
** ENERNOC INC, $17.62, up 16 pct (1203 ET)
Analysts at Needham & Co raised their price target on the company’s stock to $19 from $17, citing expectations of healthy revenue growth, margin expansion and strong earnings recovery in 2013 and 2014.
EnerNOC, which provides energy management services, reported a smaller-than-expected loss on Wednesday.
** INGRAM MICRO, $19.97, up 8 pct (1203 ET)
The electronics distributor reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Wednesday and said it expected worldwide revenue growth to be in the low teens in 2013.
“Latin America outperformed our estimates as Brazil outpaced Ingram Micro’s expectations for operating margin improvement and exited the year at or better than break-even and is now expected to be profitable in FY13,” Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said, raising his price target on the stock to $19 from $17.
** SERVICENOW INC, $32.37, up 8.7 pct (1203 ET)
Brokerage UBS Investment Research raised its rating on the cloud computing firm’s stock to ‘buy’ from ‘sell,’ according to benzinga.com..
** DEMANDWARE INC, $30.45, up 9 pct (1205 ET)
The company, which makes software that powers e-commerce sites, reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results helped by a 40 percent rise in subscription revenue.
** TANGOE INC, $15.25, down 5 pct (1206 ET)
The telecommunications software company reported fourth-quarter results that marginally beat expectations and the company forecast full-year earnings slightly above Wall Street estimates.
** NETSPEND HOLDINGS INC, $12.31, up 7.8 pct (1206 ET)
The prepaid debit card provider reported a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit as more people used its cards and the company forecast full-year results above analysts’ estimates.
** INTREPID POTASH INC, $22.O0, down 6.3 pct (1208 ET)
The U.S. fertilizer producer reported lower quarterly profit on Wednesday as its average realized price for the crop nutrient potash slipped.
** PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT INC, $13.99, down 6 pct (1209 ET)
Barclays Capital analyst Felicia Hendrix, who cut her price target on the casino operator’s stock to $16 from $20, said due to an increasingly competitive environment it will be difficult for Pinnacle to replicate the revenue growth and margin expansion it achieved during the first three quarters of 2012.
** ORBITZ WORLDWIDE INC $3, up 11 pct (1209 ET)
The online travel agency’s quarterly revenue beat analysts’ expectations, helped by an uptick in travel demand.
Benchmark Co analyst Daniel Kurnos said the company’s outlook for room nights growth was also very positive.
Orbitz said first-quarter trends showed continued acceleration in stayed room nights growth. On a booked basis, the company said, it saw “very encouraging accelerating trend during Q4 and into Q1.”
** KINROSS GOLD CORP , $8.44, up 7 pct (1209 ET)
The Canadian miner on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit, excluding one-time items, of $276.5 million, or 24 cents per share, coming in ahead of analysts’ average estimate of 22 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
While a non-cash charge weighed on earnings, revenue soared in the quarter as the company produced more gold and the price of the precious metal rose.
** COMMERCIAL VEHICLE GROUP INC, $8.30, down 3.5 pct (1210 ET)
The supplier of cab-related products and systems swung to a loss in the fourth quarter as North American truck production levels and construction equipment build rates fell year-over-year. Analysts were expecting Commercial Vehicle Group to post a profit for the quarter.
** ABB LTD , $22.49, up 4 pct (1210 ET)
Switzerland’s ABB Ltd beat forecasts for net profit and order intake and said business was improving in China, sending its shares to their highest in a year and a half.
** STRAYER EDUCATION INC, $57.39, down 10 percent (1219 ET)
The for-profit education provider reported a 38 percent fall in quarterly profit and forecast current-quarter income well below analysts’ estimates.
Strayer said it expects first-quarter earnings in the range of $1.45 to $1.47 per share. Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.71 per share, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
** ANGIE‘S LIST INC, $16.83, up 23 pct (1210 ET)
The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of 4 cents per share on Wednesday, while analysts had expected the company to post a loss of 2 cents per share.
The margin surprise in the quarter was largely driven by lower selling and marketing costs, Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice wrote in a note, and also raised the price target on the stock to $20 from $13.
“Investors can expect to see solid margin expansion throughout 2013,” Rice said.
** WEIGHT WATCHERS INTERNATIONAL INC, $45.60, down 15 pct (1211 ET)
The company forecast full-year earnings below Wall Street expectations as attendance at its diet meetings remained low so far this year.
** NANOSPHERE INC, $1.86, down 30 pct (1211 ET)
The diagnostics device maker on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter revenue and forecast full-year revenue below analysts’ estimates. The company appointed a new chief executive and three new members to its board.
Roth Capital and Jefferies cut their price target on the company’s stock on Thursday, citing uncertainty around the management changes.
** DENDREON CORP, $6.24, down 2.3 pct (1211 ET)
There are significant obstacles to the upfront use of Dendreon’s prostate cancer drug Provenge, Maxim analyst Jason Kolbert wrote in a note to clients, downgrading the cancer drug maker’s stock to “sell.”
The analyst cited competition from Xtandi, an easier-to-use drug by Medivation Inc, and added he does not expect a quick approval for Provenge in Europe this year.
** INCYTE CORP, $19.96, up 7 pct (1212 ET)
The company posted a profit of 14 cents per share in the fourth quarter, while analysts expected a loss of 2 cents per share.
** SKECHERS USA INC, $21.87, up 11 pct (1212 ET)
The shoemaker reported a profit of 8 cents per share in the fourth quarter, while analysts had expected the company to post a loss of 11 cents per share.
Susquehanna Financial Group raised the target price to $25 from $22.
** ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES INC, $9.79, up 15 pct (1212 ET)
The U.S. coal producer reported a narrower net loss on Thursday due to one-time items, but the company’s adjusted loss widened and revenue dropped.
** HOSPIRA INC, $30.19, down 7.5 pct (1213 ET)
The injectible-drugs maker withdrew the 2013 profit and revenue outlook it gave on Wednesday after the U.S. health regulator imposed an import ban on some of its products.
** TRIPADVISOR INC, $43.50, down 7.2 pct (1214 ET)
The travel website operator forecast its costs would increase more quickly than revenue in 2013, overshadowing a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.
** TRONOX LTD, $19.39, down 3 pct (1214 ET)
The company, which makes paint pigments said on Thursday that its Chief Financial Officer Daniel Greenwell had resigned from the company for personal reasons.
** BEST BUY CO INC, $16.04, up 6 pct (1214 ET)
The company’s founder Richard Schulze may scrap a buyout bid and instead line up investors to take a minority position in the electronics retailer, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
** FREESEAS INC, $2.49, up 3 pct (1215 ET)
The company, which transports dry-bulk cargoes, said a reverse stock split at a ratio of one new share for every 10 outstanding shares was effective Feb.14.
** STAMPS.COM INC, $23.45, down 16 pct (1215 ET)
The company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit but forecast full-year profit below analysts’ estimates.
** ZILLOW INC, $43.50, up 11.6 pct (1215 ET)
The company’s quarterly revenue jumped 73 percent as the real estate website attracted more users, a trend set to continue into the first quarter the company says promises higher earnings than analysts had expected.
** WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC, $87.68, down 9.5 pct (1216 ET)
The largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chain said on Wednesday that sales at established stores so far this quarter softened from the prior period.
** ARUBA NETWORKS INC, $22.71, up 7.4 pct (1026 ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the wireless network equipment maker’s stock to “overweight” from “equal weight”, benzinga.com reported.
** INNERWORKINGS INC, $13.06, down 4 pct (1216 ET)
The company, which delivers printed products such as brochures and catalogs, forecast 2013 results largely below analysts’ estimates.
** PIONEER ENERGY SERVICES, $9.49, up 11 pct (1217 ET)
Jefferies raised it prices target on the company’s stock and Raymond James raised it to “market perform” from “underperform”, after the company, which provides contract land drilling service to oil and gas operators, posted fourth-quarter results that beat analyst estimates on Wednesday, backed by strong performance at its production services business.
** LEAP WIRELESS INTERNATIONAL INC, $6.47, up 3.7 pct (1217 ET)
Wells Fargo upgraded the low-cost mobile telecom operator’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform,” saying it could be an acquisition target, and would make a “logical partner” for T-Mobile/PCS, Sprint Nextel, AT&T and, by a long shot, Dish Network Corp.
** DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC, $68.98, down 1.6 pct (1217 ET)
The company, whose cable networks include Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, quarterly profit fell short of analysts’ estimates as revenue from U.S. networks, its biggest business, grew only 4 percent.
** EQUINIX INC, $228.05, up 7 pct (1220 ET)
The data center operator reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations.
** ARUBA NETWORKS INC, $22.76, up 7.6 pct (1221 ET)
Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the wireless network equipment maker’s stock to “overweight” from “equal weight,” benzinga.com reported.
** PEPSICO INC, $72.38, up 1.3 pct (1221 ET)
The maker of Gatorade sports drinks and Quaker oatmeal reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by increases in sales volume and prices, and gave a 2013 forecast consistent with its ongoing turnaround plan.
** ROSETTA GENOMICS LTD, $4.95, up 3.5 pct (1221 ET)
The diagnostics maker said two of its products received a notice of allowance of patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If the patent is granted, Rosetta can make the product exclusively for 20 years.
** ITRON INC, $43.58, down 9 pct (1222 ET)
The power meter maker reported a fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts’ expectations on lower revenue in its energy business, and the company forecast full-year earnings below market estimates.
** J2 GLOBAL INC, $35.75, up 12.3 pct (1226 ET)
The cloud services provider forecast full-year profit well above analysts’ expectations after posting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday.
** VALUECLICK INC, $25.44, up 16 pct (1223 ET)
The online marketer’s fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ expectation.
** DIODES INC, $20.93, up 5 pct (1223 ET)
The electronic components maker reported better-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter on Wednesday.
Atleast two brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
** BARNES & NOBLE INC, $13.15, down 7.4 pct (1223 ET)
The company said on Wednesday it expects its Nook business to post an increased full-year loss in fiscal 2013, as the top U.S. bookstore chain struggles with slower sales of e-readers and e-books and rising costs.
** NEWFIELD EXPLORATION CO, $28.50, down 4.3 pct (1224 ET)
The company said it will seek “strategic alternatives” for its international oil and gas holdings as it looks to focus on its U.S. business, and forecast a big fourth-quarter loss due to a writedown of natural gas assets.
** SPX CORP, $80.29, up 6 pct (1224 ET)
The diversified U.S. manufacturer reported better-than-expected quarterly results on a 29 percent increase in revenue from its largest flow technology segment.
** METLIFE INC, $36.58, down 3 pct (1225 ET)
The company reported a 90 percent fall in quarterly profit on derivative losses linked to its credit spreads but the largest U.S. life insurer’s operating profit beat estimates.
** HERBALIFE INC, $37.52, up 3 pct (1225 ET)
Hedge fund manager William Ackman, who has called the nutritional supplements company a pyramid scheme, said the biggest risk in shorting the company was whether regulators would take time to focus on the matter.
** APACHE CORP, $83.22, down 1.3 pct (1225 ET)
The company’s quarterly profit missed analysts’ estimates as strong production from the company’s oil and gas wells in Texas’s Anadarko and Permian basins failed to offset the effect of weak prices. (Compiled by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore)